music monday: with everything by hillsong

| On
5:00 AM

I have been wrestling lately. Wrestling with God. Seeking and praying and fasting and reading. Wrestling with the Church in context of America; not sure what wrestling looks like when I can hardly crawl and lacking in skill set and just learning how to stretch muscles in rhythms that are natural to the body.

Recently sitting on my counter was a copy of Relevant magazine, a young child whose arm was bandaged and stopped before the elbow looking back at me on the cover. Anything but light reading before bed but had me searching the pages for the corresponding article.

Children and women and men dying for their faith. Martyrdom in Nigeria. Sitting in my overflowing home and thinking about the 13 year old boy who was castrated and in bandages but asking for prayers for his faith to increase, and the husband, whose wife went to be with the Lord after being told they must convert to Muslim or be killed, as he lay in the hospital recovering from the wounds after being left for dead but comforted for Jesus said there would be trouble, and the lady who watched her sister get shot to death and forced to marry the man behind the gun but managed to escape, it is hard to comprehend it all. He could be my friend. He could be my relative. She could be my child. This could be meThese are God's children. Keep them tucked in your prayers as you slip both hands in your shirt as you dress and as you guide  your child's legs in his pants. 

As I sit well fed and comfortable, not a need unmet, having attended a church service this week, others are fighting the good fight of faith. Others are losing their loved ones, their moms and dads and babies to hate, their own arms and limbs cut off, while I feast. While I celebrate birthdays and hear of goals to be made and holidays to be planned, their faith is being refined in the most holy of ways.

There is a time for everything under heaven. A time to mourn and a time to dance. A time to weep and a time to laugh. And this is a time to refine. The words of Paul, taken from Psalms, echoing in my head: for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

This is real faith. This is what it all boils down to. Do we really believe? 

Is this what America needs to witness to be reconciled to its first love? To see the suffering and perseverance of real faith? To follow in their example and know we are more than conquerors through Jesus? To truly know the Savior we claim on Sundays, yet fail to fully seek him the rest of the week?

Is this what we need to witness to truly repent and turn from our sinful ways?

With Everything by Hillsong is a beautiful song and prayer for the Church. Have a listen.

Open our eyes,
To see the things
That make Your heart cry,
To be the church
That You would desire.
Light to be seen.

Praying that your faith would continue to be formed and shaped and molded. Praying we would stop the enslavement of our cell phones and iPads and turn our hearts to him. That we would stop living for empty, self seeking pleasure and American dreams and turn to him. That we would stop seeking monetary gains and politics and turn to him.

Here's to wresting and faith. 
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