Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jesus... I Thought I Knew Him...

Jesus...  I thought I knew Him really well.  And then He really showed me something a few weeks ago.  I thought I knew Him, but began wondering if I really had a clue!!

You see, sometimes "Jesus" comes to your front porch, and stays there ALL. DAY. LONG....  All WEEK long!  "He" plays with your kids' stuff, and threatens to take it and keep it for "himself."  You wonder if "he" will ever go home!  And then, "he" gets really brave and barges into your house whenever you least expect it.  "He" will tell you "he's" hungry and expect food...  Another day "he" will barge into your house with sloppy, muddy feet JUST AFTER YOU MOPPED THE FLOOR...  "He" will demand a wet rag to clean "his" feet up.  "He'll" need at least five band-aids over the course of just a few days.  "He" will refuse to come to your house with shoes on... you know, your house that has a goat-head patch for a yard?  So!  "He" will expect you to pull out the mean stickers that "he" probably deserved in the first place for not wearing shoes!!!!  "He" will actually model to your children really bad things... like how to habitually take "His" own name in vain...  I'm going to far, you say?  Well, then one day "He" will ask you for a drink.  You will be doing that gesture... putting water in a cup and handing it over in a really annoyed manner.  And then... you'll get it because something about the gesture brings to mind Matthew 25:34-40.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,f you did it to me.’

You'll give yourself a little bit of a break because you know that if you had put yourself in the ministry position on purpose (mission trip, Sunday school, foster parenting) that you probably would have behaved better and been more prepared emotionally and spiritually to handle this Jesus-experience you invited yourself to have.  But then, you remove the "break" you just gave yourself because you realize you are supposed to be prepared to recognize Jesus and who He needs you to be everywhere you go.  You are also supposed to always be prepared in season and out of season. (II Timothy 4:2)  And you should always be ready to show others His hope.

but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. (I Peter 3:15)

You slap yourself upside the head, and wonder how you allowed Satan to deceive you so and wonder how on earth you let your heart have such a crappy attitude.  You realize that these kids (who happen to be girls, by the way) need Him, and obviously they need care... and God chose YOU to be an influence!  Jesus doesn't always present Himself in the most convenient of ways at the most convenient of times!

Through conviction of the Holy Spirit, it's like His breath blew hot in my face, "Arrogant woman!  Wake up and be My hands and feet right where I have placed you!"  May we all be that for Him today, no matter what situation we are placed in, no matter what our occupations are, and no matter how non-Jesus-looking others are around us.  Everyone matters to the Lord and He is looking for us to show them that!

2016 Edit:  As a little background and something I don't mention in this post at all, I was praying fervently on purpose for 40 days about whether or not we should be foster parents.  I think we will some day, but when God brought the mission to my doorstep without the invitation offered by me, I didn't handle it very well.  Through this experience that this post doesn't even fully describe, He showed me why fostering would be hard on my own very young biological children and why it just wasn't time yet for us.  But He also showed me who I am supposed to be when He brings ministry to my door!!!  To MY DOOR!!!  I wish I could say I did a better job, but I'm sure that no matter how poorly I performed, that those little girls knew I noticed them and cared and I'm also sure that my children are in no way scarred because they watched their imperfect mother struggle through something she didn't plan on.  

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