Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Broad Shoulders 07/15

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 196: Today, I am grateful I have a God with broad shoulders strong enough to bear the weight of my uncertainties.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! -Psalm 27:14
He strengthens our hearts.
This quote and image found on the internet really spoke too my heart this morning as we reel from real acts of terror.
Are we willing to bear the uncertainty of unanswered questions as we lift our hearts in trust and prayer? Elisabeth Elliot had to make that very decision when she was left a missionary widow in Ecuador in the 1950's.
Her husband, Jim Elliot, was armed at the time of his death, but he had promised God and himself that he would not take the life of any man he was sure had not heard the gospel of Christ. He kept that promise with a gun in his pocket. The natives didn't take his life. He gave it. So did the others with him that day.
In the very soil where missionary blood ran, the seeds of the gospel took root and grew. Elisabeth choose to trust and wait. And then, she moved when the spirit said move.
This story leaves me in awe. It wasn't a short story, but the suffering of the loss of her husband and friends was but a chapter. In that chapter she made decisions by lifting her uncertain heart to God as a broken offering. He did amazing things. In the end... Her children would refer to the man who took their father's life as "Grandfather". It is a miracle of change and healing. Love always wins.
Today, I pray for Godly wisdom for leaders around the world and our nation on the verge of leadership change. My friend Don posted this excerpt form George W. Bush's comments at the Dallas police memorial. They were so hauntingly beautiful:
"Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions. And this has strained our bonds of understanding and common purpose."
"At our best, we practice empathy, imagining ourselves in the lives and circumstances of others. This is the bridge across our nation’s deepest divisions. And it is not merely a matter of tolerance, but of learning from the struggles and stories of our fellow citizens and finding our better selves in the process."
These words speak. These words convict. Can the message perpetuate a positive change?
Not just as Americans, we are now global citizens as our transportation systems, media and social media messages reach far and wide in an instant. What messages are we transmitting?
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love." - 1 John 4:18
Do Justice and love mercy...a complicated balance in this world. We are to protect those who cannot protect themselves. We are to love our neighbors. All of them.
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."-Jesus
Justice, mercy and faithfulness. Simple and complicated.
Elisabeth Elliot's response to the terror in her life inspires and encourages me on every level.
We can and should pray for Godly wisdom for our leaders.
Today, I am grateful I have a God with broad shoulders strong enough to bear the weight of my uncertainties.

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