Sunday, September 12, 2010
"It's easy to forget what cold feels like when you're warm."
What a birthday for my girl! She isn't officially 14 until Tuesday, but her party was so much fun this weekend. I loved that the girls she chose to invite were all her TAG buddies, sisters in Christ who love her. It was such a wonderful thing to sit and listen to all these little women talk and laugh- and just be REAL with one another. Middle School is a time of awkwardness and need for approval and each of these ladies probably struggle with self esteem and confidence while they are at school. But Friday night they were safe. Each girl was able to be as silly or as serious as she wanted and it was ok. I just loved that. I loved that they all have different circles of friends at school, but one God that connects them. I love that out of all the "friends" Jasmine has, THESE were the ones she chose to spend her special day with...because she knows they love her no matter what.
As much as I loved it, I noticed the risk of "being comfortable". As I watched them hang together, I thought of all the middle schoolers who don't have that. The kids who walk through the stress of school life everyday, come home to more turmoil, and never have that feeling of love and acceptance that God's family brings. Who never KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt, that SOMEBODY loves them. It breaks my heart. That don't have a girl's night like I was watching. I wish I could walk over to her middle school and hug each one of them and tell them how much Jesus loves them. Tell them that there is one place that they can always be safe from ridicule and sadness...in the arms of the God who made them.
We listened to a sermon this last week that came to mind after seeing these sweet girls- about the importance of committing to God's calling- to worship and to share God's message. It's based on Colossians 4, kind of weird since this is just a bunch of goodbyes to Paul's friends. But the principle was soooo right on. That we need to aggressively worship our God, aggressively minister to those who need- rather than hanging just with my mature, comfortable fellow believers all the time. The pastor just smokes the idea of the "holy huddle". Not that it isn't important to spend time, like Jasmine and her friends, refreshing our spirits with our brother and sisters in Christ. But in Colossians 4, God makes it very clear that we aren't to just run with "good people". Hanging with the "cool kids", who look good on the outside. God wants us with "FEROCIOUS believers". Check it out. These guys Paul was writing to were ANIMALS- madly in love with God and madly attacking the streets with the love of Jesus Christ. One of the questions the pastor asks is "Are you running in a Moron Herd?" Sounds ridiculous- but it is so true. He states that it seems that mature, grown Christians tend to hang with the same, and immature, foolish Christians tend to flock together. So you have a group that is wise and has knowledge of God's Word, but not sharing it, and vice versa. Something to think about, and something I see as true in so many ways. We want to hang with people like us...yet we need to "mix it up" if we are to be effective. Matt Chandler from The Village Church says it so much better. Here is the link to the message- oh, how I pray you have the chance to listen. I won't ever read Colossians 4 the same again.
If I am honest, I choose to spend time with my friends that are "easy", rather than the ones who are more stressed, struggling, or more needy. How shameful. That's not my purpose here. That quote above really hits it home- "It's easy to forget what cold feels like when you are warm." The farther I get from my first taste of God's warmth, the easier it is to forget how badly I needed it. I forget how much the people around me need the warmth of Jesus and His people. And I don't want to forget anymore.
Lord, help me to not grow weary and to be more intentional in my worship of You. Let me worship You by sharing my life, my blessings and my heart with those who need You most.
"...pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ...Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:3-6
(On a lighter note- just wanted you to see what I get to see all the time! My girl is so fun- laughing is our best medicine! :)