Saturday, April 3, 2010

Little Easter Revelation

God has been working on this for a couple of days, but this morning He really drove the point home.

Many of my friends know of the ongoing drama of the "drug house" that we moved into. We have had several visitors that were hoping to find the former tenants. To explain the latest piece of the puzzle, I have to rewind to right before we moved in. A new kid started at my daughter's place of work. Through the course of conversation they figured out that he had just moved out of the house we were living in. It was a strangest sort of "coincidence". Then it got complicated as his apparently mentally ill girl friend decided that Ally was trying to steal her boyfriend. Ridiculous! She began calling repeatedly and hanging up. She would do this for hours straight, literally call hang up and immediately call again. Ally ended up on the phone with her some time at the beginning of this; the girl had been screaming at her boyfriend and asked to speak with Ally. When the girl accused Ally, Ally just laughed, said "Don't flatter yourself, I have a boyfriend and I have no interest in your boyfriend," then hung up. The calling went on and on. When Ally would answer the girl would call her a bitch or worse. Finally, the place of employment fired the boy and pressed charges on the girl. I was not too concerned about the matter, until she showed up at our house. We realized that they knew where we lived b/c they lived here before us. They also know where Ally works and leave after 10 pm on most nights. By God's grace, the two showed up when Ally, my mother and I were gone. Only Larry (my husband), Chloe (my youngest) and Larry's brother were home. I have to be honest, I would have taken that girl out and asked Jesus to forgive me later. Call it fleshly instinct, mother's instinct, or whatever. I am a short somewhat tiny girl, but I am strong and I lived on the streets almost 20 years ago. In case you aren't aware, I am not someone you want to really tangle with. Thankfully, I am generally a peace loving hippie type. Anyone who knows me at all, knows I just want everyone to get along and love each other, but deep inside of me that homeless punk girl still lives. I would have shown her crazy like she has never seen. She probably would have been horizontal before she even realized that I have made a move toward her. My husband said,"If I would have thought about it, I would have told her that Ally's mom used to be homeless and she is crazy as a loon." With my rooster hair and my sleeve,I am sure she might have been a little intimidated when she saw me. I am not really what most people expect when you say mom. Needless to say, I was livid. I was ready to kick that girl into next week. I did not care about being a Christian, or living a crucified life at all. She talked smack to Larry, who refused to engage her. He just kept saying "I don't care what you have to say about her, you better leave my daughter alone; I don't play games." He just kept repeating it like a broken record, so they finally left. I am so glad that I was not home. I would have reacted and probably landed myself in jail in the process.
By the next morning God was already at work in my heart. As I ran, I realized that I could not hate the girl or be angry at her. I had to pray for her. She was me. I was crazy jealous like that. I was a nut case before Jesus turned me into a pecan pie. I would have totally gone to some poor girls house and yelled at her. I actually would have probably started beating on her. How sad, b/c Ally really didn't do anything. She really" loves" her boyfriend; whatever that means at 17. But she does care about him and has no interest in this other kid. But had I been the girl I wouldn't have been reasonable either; I would have beaten up an innocent girl b/c I was threatened by her. I started praying for her and the girl with the rotten teeth to come to the Kingdom. I prayed for the Spirit to go ahead and prepare the way and make their hearts open to the gospel and for God to send authentic Christians into their lives to love them and show them the way home, but I was still angry about her.

I prayed the next day for the whole crew, dad, mom, son (boyfriend), girl friend, and the girl with the rotten teeth.

Then this morning as I ran and prayed, and I prayed for them b/c I committed in my heart to pray for them something deeper happened. I saw the whole thing in light of the last day, when we stand before the Lord. I saw the situation outside of my small little story and say it in light of the much bigger story being told. The story that began before I was born and will still, probably, be being told when I am gone. The story that I am in for only a moment; our time here is like the flicker of a lightning bug. We forget that next to eternity and even history, our time here on earth is so fleeting. I saw a much bigger story that I am blessed to be able to have minute in. All this "coincidence" could not possibly just be coincidence. Seriously, what are the chances of the boy being hired at my daughters place of employment. Of all the places, of all the stores in a chain, with the girl who is moving into his house, a house where drugs were dealt. No chance in my mind that this was a coincidental chain of events. God was in the middle of the whole big mess. He orchestrated the whole thing. He chose this house for us. He decided that we would move into a former drug house. The former drug addict, in a house that will quite possibly see many former customers at it's door. The crazy girl friend deciding she hated Ally and stalking her. God has a plan. He knows my heart and He knows what I do when someone does something to me. I get angry for a minute, then I begin to pray. And when I say I am praying for someone it is not with pretense. I am not one of those who says they will pray then walks away and forgets. If I say I am praying, you can take it to the bank. Once you get on my list, you will be there for a while. As a matter of fact, I have a really hard time removing people once they are on. My list just keeps getting longer and longer. Call it a twitch. I feel very responsible for the people on my list of prayer. Not responsible to fix them or something, but responsible to lift them up every morning. I am a creature of rhythm and habit. I pray every day, like I breath and eat. I am not trying to say I am something special or spiritual, or whatever. I am just stating that prayer is as much a part of my life as eating is. It is something I spend a lot of time doing every day. God has given me a gift of being able to develop habits and rhythms very easily and in that He has made prayer a very rhythmic part of my life. So, He purposefully, brought this situation and these people into our lives b/c He has them in mind for the Kingdom. He wants them to come into the Family of God, so He has assigned me to them to seek His face for them. I don't know everything about prayer; as a matter of fact, I don't know much about prayer except that it works, it is a mystery and it is something that beats inside me like my heart. So, I have no doubt that these people are coming to know God b/c I have been assigned like a prayer marine to storm the gates of hell until the shackles fall off of their hands and feet and they are welcomed into the arms of the one who died for them.

There is no coincidence only Providence.

Then when I read my devotional for this morning, God drove it home for good measure. Luke 23:34 says, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Jesus prayed for all those around Him. He prayed for the religious leaders, the Romans, the disciples who abandoned Him; he prayed for all of humanity, including this family who used to live in this house. If He can pray, "Father, forgive them, in regards to the ones who nailed Him to the tree, how can I do anything less for the girl who just yelled at my daughter. Haven't we all done at least that, yelled at someone.

I am quite sure that God probably raised up stealth bombers to pray for me. There is no telling how many people prayed for me to come into the Kingdom. I am so grateful that He loves me enough to assign people to pray for me. What a beautiful day it was on earth and in eternity when those prayers found fulfillment. What an amazing day when the "the girl with the mohawk" came to Jesus. Who know someone may have prayed for me just like that, just like I pray for the girl with the rotten teeth. I stole from so many people and did so many terrible things, who knows, God may have directed my destructive behavior to one of His prayer warrior just b/c He know, like He knew with me, that they would pray for me. What a good and gracious God we serve.

I would like to ask for all of my friends and followers to pray diligently for these individuals. God has eyes for them. Jesus loves them and we have no idea what amazing works God has for them to do.
Ephesians 2:1-10
And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just s the others. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved) and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH, AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANYONE SHOULD BOAST. FOR WE ARE HIS WORKMANSHIP, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR GOOD WORKS, WHICH GOD PREPARED BEFOREHAND THAT WE SHOULD WALK IN THEM.

Who knows what works He has for them to do. Pray for them. J and T (mom and dad), T and girlfriend, and girl with rotten teeth. I don't want to put their names out of respect for them. Please pray diligently for them. The enemy has them and wants to keep them, but we must pray for them and fight for their salvation. I don't want a pretense of prayer, but I pray that God puts passion and love in your heart for them and compassion for the suffering they are undergoing at the hand of a very cruel master.

I am praying for myself as well. I pray that God will break my heart and fill me with His Spirit, love and compassion so that if I am faced with them I will share my story and how Jesus changed my life in a way that is authentic and loving and impactful.

What a beautiful Resurrection gift. I am so glad that God does these things. He is so good to me and I love Him with all my heart.

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