Every now and then I like to think things aren't as bad as they seem in my community. But then, something happens and I realize things are bad and the reality is that I just want to escape and pretend the problems doesn't exist. Which really doesn't make sense at all if I know things will be hard, and my city is in need of redemption. Over the course of a three day weekend we have had to endure through some very tough situations. Parents leaving their children abandon in a home alone with no food, no clean clothing, missing days of school. The youngest out of the bunch being 5 months old. We begin to look for the nearest relative only to find her under the influence of alcohol, which is almost the same. Yet, its obvious she loves these kids and wants whats best for them. (That's a reason to give thanks.)
Easter day, shots at a park right up the street from me left a 13 yr old girl shot in the leg and a 35 yr old shot in the hand, both are doing well now.
A father who faithfully takes care of his kids goes to prevent his wife from doing something foolish, ends up in jail because the wife wants him out of her life. Which leaves the kids without a dad for God only knows how long.
19 yr old, 9 months prego found dead behind a local church. This young girl was not apart of our specific target community, but her death has affected many of our kids, teachers and parents.
So many burdens, so much to be concerned about.
If you are anything like me your probably overwhelming with the thought of all of this. I have been and I am. Yet, its in times like this that God humbles me and reminds me that I'm not in control. I think times of chaos are used to remind you who is a HEALER, who is the great PHYSICIAN, who's all KNOWING, who's the only WISE God, Who is it that SEES, having nothing hidden from His sight. I believe within the heart of TRUE Christianity is the understanding that we are weak, and not strong. We don't have it all together, we don't know what to do in many of these situations, BUT we know ONE who does.
My goal for the past couple of month have been to really, I mean really, KNOW who MY GOD is. So many times, I have not handled the news of the streets or difficult circumstances/trials because I have not rested in the NAME of my LORD. That doesn't mean things wont be hard; but, I do believe it will mean I will have SHALOM in the midst of such challenging, hard situations.
A close friend and I learned last night that this really is our FIRST priority in life, not marriage, not parenting, not urban ministry..but to KNOW WHO MY GOD is. TO be intimate with Him, to grow in TRUSTING Him. It is here where everything else will be so much more easier to rest in.
Oh friends, may this be our FIRST pursuit in life.. To LOVE and KNOW WHO OUR GOD IS!
".....but the people who know their God will display strength and take action."
- Daniel 11:32