a beautiful follow up from saturday

I know that I am supposed to begin my journey into the book of Proverbs, but I feel that i must dwell on this topic for just one more post. Yesterday after church we went to lunch with my parents. My mother told something that caused my mind to be filled with wonder at how good our God is. He truly is wonderful. If you have not read my post from Saturday, you may want to before you read this. (ill make it easier for you..here it is) Saturday night I rolled around in bed for a good while..i was scared that my blunt honesty in that days post might have upset my family..i mean, i was talking about my mother’s grandfather. I know that they agree 100% with the post..it is because of how they raised me that I feel so much passion about the subject..but, still to see in writing that your grandfather may be in hell is not an easy pill to swallow. Thankfully, she was not upset by my unwillingness to censor my tongue and yesterday at lunch my mother shared something with me for the first time. My great grandfather was born in Pickens County, South Carolina in 1912. He lived a hard life and raised his family through the heart of the great depression. He worked his fingers to the bone in the cotton fields and continued to work hard until the day he died. What ultimately caused his death was pneumonia , however what caused his ordeal to begin was, while burning trash in his front yard, he caught himself on fire..a 91 year old man out burning trash..like I said, he was a hard worker until the day he passed. He was flown to the burn center in Augusta, Georgia. Even in his critical state, he managed to pitch a huge fit when he found out who his nurse was going to be. The things he yelled at that kind woman I dont even want to know.. just because of her skin color she had to endure such pain from the mouth of my great grandfather. Nonetheless, the outcome of this story is beautiful..our God is beautiful. I wish I knew her name..but I dont. What I do know about her is that she was a steadfast christian lady who showed my great grandfather great love. Week in and week out she nursed my great grandfather back to health and loved him the whole time. After his skin graphs he was able to go home. Once he got home, sitting in his living room..sitting in that same old blue chair that as a child I always remember seeing him in..that same chair that he had spoken such hateful things from for all those years..as he was sitting there, tears began to fall down his weathered face. He cried out to God..he told him to please let him see that nurse again so he could tell her that he was sorry. He cried out to God in repentance.. telling him that all these years he had been wrong. A few days later, God answered his prayers. He came down with pneumonia and his skin graphs began to show problems.. he had to go back to the hospital, this time he would never leave there alive. He would, however, get to ask that sweet nurse for forgiveness.. to tell her that he had been wrong. in a previous post, the beauty that pain can bring, I talked about how wonderful our God is and that even if his plan for us is painful we still need to pray through it and seek the beauty that lingers silently behind our struggles. I wonder if that beautiful nurse knows how much God worked through her..i wonder if she knows that, besides the blood Jesus shed on Calvary, she is the reason that my great grandfather made it to heaven. I cant begin to imagine the pain that she felt as my great grandfather cast upon her soul fiery arrows of hate just because God created her with a different skin color than him. I cant imagine how much she probably dreaded going into work because of it all..but praise the Lord for her! She prayed through it..she walked in there day after day and shared nothing but the love of Jesus with him. She WAS Jesus. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”…these were some of the last words that our savior cried out from the cross..from that place of pain and abandonment. Almost everyone had turned their back on Jesus but still he prayed for them..he loved them, and it is because of that love that any of us can make it to heaven. That nurse suffered through persecution but never did she stop praying and loving my great grandfather. The pain that my great grandfather endured those last few weeks, im sure, was something that very few of us know. Its hard to see much beauty when you think of an old man being burnt to death..even though, it was this exact situation that saved him from an eternity of fire. God in his MERCY, allowed him to go through such a terrible ordeal because God loved him..God knew that it would take such a painful end for my great greatfather’s hardened heart to be changed. I wish so badly that I could send this to that nurse..i want her to know how grateful my family is for what she did. Her pain..my great grandfather’s pain..from out of it all such beautiful grace flows. I cant wait for her to make it to heaven..i know that when that day comes my great grandfather will be waiting for her. He will see no color..he will only see her as a beautiful child of God..the woman that, through her pain, forgave him and led his heart to heaven. In closing, may I just say that it is my prayer..my never ending hope for the church…that we all begin to see one another as beautiful children of God. We cannot wait until our heavenly eyes make this change..because without making this change on our own, i am afraid to say that heaven probably will not be an option.

Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. – John 2 : 9  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3 : 28

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on sadness and redemption part 2

Before I go any further I must make a few things clear..first off, I am not a bible scholar. I am speaking from my heart..from my own personal experiences. I pray that the things I write are pleasing to the Lord and that they match the direction that He would like me to follow..be it so, I’m sure that some of my lowly mortal ideas are not one hundred percent on target. Please do not hold any of my opinions as being undeniable truth unless, of course, it be a direct quote from the bible or a statement obviously made with biblical truth to back it..for example- ”Jesus loves you.” How I interpret things may be completely different from how you see it..but now, that is why I started a blog..so that I can say what I feel like saying. The second thing, which I’m sure my writing thus far has already proved..I am not an english major,if I was id probably be failing terribly. My grammar is ”briana grammar” and if you know me..then you know nothing about me is proper…ever. I may need to copy this onto the front page of my blog because I’m sure that the need to say this will be a repeated one. So now..after all that is said, let me move on to why I am really here..sadness and redemption part two.
When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. – Jonah 2:7
The story of Jonah and the whale is a story that children who are taught the bible (which unfortunately is far too few these days) are fascinated by. The idea of a man being in the belly of a whale is an exciting concept for children and i was reminded of this the other night. Trinitee and i have an illustrated childrens bible that we read every night before her bedtime..i think i enjoy it almost as much as she does..but, a few nights ago we read the story of Jonah. She clung to every word..her eyes grew wider with excitement the more i read. It got me thinking..as an adult,you really don’t hear about ol’ Jonah too often. Could it be that the idea of a giant fish throwing up some dude on a beach somewhere is just too far-fetched for a sophisticated adult to believe? This is a perfect example why the Lord urges us to come before him as a child would. The story of Jonah is breathtaking..it is a story so many hurting, lost people need to hear. The bible does not lie. The truth it holds is so concrete that even the catastrophes of Armageddon could not (and will not) shake it. It grieves my heart to think of all the souls that are blinded by pride or by scientific “reason” who curse our Lord and spit hatred onto the sovereign word of God..it will take these catastrophes of Armageddon mentioned above to finally open their eyes to the bibles truth..and sadly by that point, it will likely be far too late for many of them to recant their stubborn choice to refuse the Lord’s invitation to lifesaving redemption. Why so many hate christianity i just can’t understand. It is a message based on selfless love and nothing else..so many people skew the word of God to make christianity into something that it is not..but it is simple..God loves us so much he sent his son to die an agonizing death so an evil humanity could have the choice to believe and to be freed from the chains of sin. He loves us so much he had his son butchered just so we could choose to have life.
If i woke up tomorrow morning to news reports proclaiming the outbreak of a virus that, without exception, was deadly..a virus that every baby born on this planet would have and every person alive would eventually catch, i would be devastated beyond description. But what would be even more devastating would be a knock on the door from men telling me that Rory was the only human on this planet that possessed the supernatural antibody needed to create a cure but “unfortunately mam, the child will have to sacrifice his life for us to have access to the antibody, this is humanities only hope of survival..the child will feel no pain..it will be like he is going to sleep.” I cannot even imagine the affliction that would drown my soul..but i would have to say yes. i would first make sure that my son’s life would not be taken in vain..i would mandate that this miracle cure be given to EVERYONE, whether they want it or not. If my son is going to give his life to save humanity then this virus shall not make a mockery of his life! Not one person shall die from this virus if my son gives his life! Any parent who reads this i’m sure can understand. Think about God..God is not some all controlling dictator who forces us to accept the cure that the death of his only son has granted us. He loves us so much he allowed his son not to be painlessly “put to sleep” but to be mercilessly slaughtered just so we could have the choice to live. And Jesus.. before his resurrection he was a mortal man..he could have chosen to walk away. The night before he was crucified he was scared..our Lord was scared..he cried and begged God to let his fate be different. but, it could not be different..Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for us. The blood that dripped down the cross..the cross that Jesus died an excruciating, agonizing death upon..was filled with the selfless, pure antibody that is our only hope for life..the only cure..yet so many reject it.
Just like Jonah, my life was being chiseled down..almost to nothing. I was so barred beneath my sin..but through that black void of my life i continued to cry out to God..even though i was sure that i had gone too far to be recovered..even though i believed that i was too torn and dirty to be refurbushed..i knew he was there. My cries..the prayers that came out of my filthy mouth – He still allowed them to enter into his presence – He heard them. That selfless, pure blood of Jesus.. it reached down into the hopeless pit of death that i was in and it cured me from the certain death that i deserved.
 WORTHLESS. HOPELESS. INSIGNIFICANT. ABANDONED.  BARREN. DISGUSTING. DIRTY. FULL OF SHAME. EMPTY.
 Jesus does not discriminate..he does not reject one who asks him to save them..no matter how filthy they are..no matter how dark their sin. The redemption that has brought me back to life is available to ANYONE who asks. Jesus loves you no matter how much you belive that you don’t deserve it. What he has done for me he will do for any who asks. Because of Him i am now
WORTHY. HOPEFUL. SIGNIFICANT. FOUND. FRUITFUL. DELIGHTFUL. CLEAN. FULL OF LIFE.