A husband and wife had a child, and because they were good, they raised their child to be good as well. The child grew up loving his parents, and because he loved them, he wanted to obey them and do right
When the child asked to play with his friends, his parents agreed, but gave him a warning.
“Don’t play under the bridge where the brothers Fear and Terror play. They are nothing but trouble.”
The child obeyed, avoiding the bridge even though some of his friends liked to play there. But one day, his friends took him to the bridge to meet Fear and Terror. The bridge’s dark underbelly reminded the child not to go there but turning away would mean being ridiculed by his friends. Instead, he followed them.
To his surprise, Fear and Terror were friendly. Out of the shadows, they loomed intimidating at first, but they gave him high fives and put their arms around his shoulders saying things like “Welcome, Friend!” and “We’ve been wanting to meet you!”
The child relaxed a bit. As long as he was careful, maybe he could hang out with his new friends. When he felt like leaving however, Terror grabbed hold of him.
“Don’t go yet!” he’d say. And when his parent’s warning began to ring in his ears, Fear would start another game and beg him to play.
The brothers began to dare the child’s friends to do dangerous things, and one by one, the friends complied even if it left them miserable and in tears. When Fear and Terror met his eyes, the child froze.
“Your turn!” said Fear. “See that waterfall? Let’s see you jump off it!” He pointed to a place where the water under the bridge spilled onto rocks and a shallow pool below.
“No, I don’t want to do that,” the child said.
“We thought you wanted to be our friend. You’re not a friend, you’re a coward,” Fear guilted.
Before the child could answer, the brothers picked him up and carried him to the waterfall. His heart pounded when they set him down, feet in the water, right on the edge.
“If you don’t jump, we’ll push you!”
The child didn’t know what to do. He looked around for a way out, but even his friends couldn’t save him. Determined not to jump, the child turned back and faced Fear and Terror. Before they could push him over, he lunged at them, kicking, screaming, flailing, and splashing them. They only laughed at him, shoving him into the water. Then they picked up stones and threw them at the child. He cried out in pain.
A commotion of footsteps stomped through the water. The child heard the angry shouts of his mother and father. For the moment, he thought they were yelling at him, but then he felt his mother scoop him into her arms and saw that his father took Fear and Terror by the collar and hauled them away.
Though his mother was silent, she dried his tears and tended his cuts and bruises. When his father returned, the child bowed his head in sorrow. The father’s face was stern at first, but then bent down and kissed his child’s head.
From then on, the child stayed away from the bridge where Fear and Terror played.
As a white person, I don’t have to talk about race. I mean, I have the privilege of choosing whether to acknowledge and think and talk about it—or to think of it as other people’s problem. As a white person, it’s way easier not to think about race at all. But as a person of faith, I see this as part of living into the life of love God has called us to.
When people ask me to tell them about my novel The Means That Make Us Strangers, I usually say something like, “It’s young adult historical fiction about a white, American girl who grows up in Ethiopia and then moves to South Carolina the first year there are African-American students at the white high school. It’s a story of belonging and identity, and race as part of that.”
I then wait to see how people will react. Usually people’s eyebrows go up a little when I identify the character as white, as if they’re surprised I should mention it—as if it would go without saying. Sometimes people stiffen at the word race, like I’ve said something impolite or mildly offensive. Most often I get this reaction when I’m speaking to another white person, and, unfortunately, it happens so often that I’ve come to expect some variation of it.
Maybe everything that’s been happening in the U.S. over the last few weeks has made it more acceptable for white people to talk about racial justice—I hope so. There are a lot of conversations we need to have, a lot of stories we need to hear.
White Christians especially have, for too long, turned a blind eye to our brothers and sisters who have been unjustly accused, killed, locked up, misunderstood, and shouted down. Worse, we as the white church have participated in harming our brothers and sisters—and have refused to acknowledge that—for years, decades, centuries. We have splintered the church by giving preference to people who look like us rather than people who follow the same God we do.
As a white person of faith, I’m troubled by my complicity in the harm my brothers and sisters have suffered, and so I process and respond as I know how: by writing about it.
Racial discrimination is part of my story, too. I grew up as a racial minority, surrounded by racism. The difference was, I was the privileged minority. I was born and raised in Latin America, where my light-colored hair, pale skin, and blue eyes won me favored treatment. I fit the ideal: I looked the way people pictured an “American,” even before they knew what kind of passport I held. The split-second associations people had when they saw me made them assume things would go well for them if they were nice to me. I got picked for lead roles in elementary school productions not because I could sing (I can’t), but because I looked “angelic.”
Now, as an adult, I live in the suburbs outside Chicago. One time I was driving home around midnight in the car I’d recently purchased. When I saw the police lights in my rear view mirror, I knew I was in trouble—my car didn’t yet have plates, and the temporary license plate taped in my back window was expired. I’d broken the rules and deserved the consequences. The cop shined his flashlight in my face and flashed it around the car a bit, then politely asked for my license and registration. A few minutes later, the cop came back and returned my papers, saying he’d let me off with a warning because I “didn’t look suspicious.”
I was furious. What did the cop know about me that would qualify me as “not suspicious”? He didn’t know I taught Sunday school and got a Christian character award in high school. He based that decision mostly on what I looked like. And I knew the chances were pretty high that if one of my black or brown friends had been driving that same road at that time of night—even without the blatant violation of no license plate—the assumption of innocence wouldn’t have worked in their favor.
We live in a world where people make assumptions based on appearance. And, unfortunately, in U.S. society, there’s also a deep-seated tradition of valuing white lives more than our darker skinned brothers and sisters, a tradition that goes back to black slaves being considered property, when it was written into our Constitution to count slaves as 3/5ths of a person.
This tradition was reinforced in daily life under Jim Crow laws, and it was enforced through lynchings and other acts designed to control black people through fear. It continues today in a judicial system that is six times more likely to arrest an African-American man than a white man, and—after arrest—is more likely to send the African-American man to prison and give him a stiffer sentence than a white man would get for the same crime.
As a Christian, I believe that these things should trouble me. The Bible is pretty clear: God cares about how we treat other people, and he cares about injustice. A lot.
Throughout the Old Testament, God repeatedly told the Israelites to not oppress those who were vulnerable in their society. Usually that meant orphans and widows, but the law also includes protections for minorities. For example, Leviticus 19:34 says, “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” The Old Testament prophets railed against the way God’s people turned their back on him and mistreated and oppressed others.
When Jesus came with his revolutionary love that gave dignity to social outcasts, women, and the poor, his command to “Love one another” (John 13:34), wasn’t limited to the members of God’s family who look and sound like us.
When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost (Acts 2), the church exploded to include Jews who spoke different languages and had radically different backgrounds and life experiences. Some of the first challenges of the early church involved dealing with racial and cultural divisions. It is to such a church that the New Testament says, “We love each other because [God] loved us first. […] Those who love God must also love their fellow believers” (1 John 4:19, 21).
I write about race because, as a person of faith, I see that my brothers and sisters are being treated unfairly. When your family is hurting, you do something. And for me, that means writing fiction that looks at some of the problems around race, not because it’s easy or a trendy topic, but because I think facing this painful topic and talking about it—even if we accidentally say the wrong thing and need to ask forgiveness and try again—is helpful and healing to the family of God.
What else can someone do to help against racism?
Most importantly, listen. Pay attention to black people who are willing to share their experience, whether that’s a friend or neighbor, a TV show, a movie, or books. If you say anything, ask a question. (Just make sure the question isn’t trying to prove or defend anything.)
Educate yourself about history. Equal Justice Initiative has some great online resources to help. They also have a museum and a memorial to help the U.S. face its history of racial violence. Learn facts that can help correct your own thinking and that you can point others to.
Work on yourself. Acknowledging “whiteness” as a subculture that influences how we view the world can be an important step to helping us come to terms with our own complicity in a system that privileges us. Lament and repentance are also important. When your own assumptions about other people come to the surface, notice that and take time to repent. Practice speaking truth in love when people around you are saying things that are untrue and unloving.
Christine Kindberg is the author of The Means That Make Us Strangers, a YA novel set in 1960s South Carolina. Christine lives in the Chicago suburbs and works as a Spanish-language editor at Tyndale House Publishers. When not reading or writing, she enjoys running, cooking with friends, and watching shows that feature British accents. You can find out more on ChristineKindberg.com, and you can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
We all have a desire for better things. A hunger for more. We make plans and we dream dreams. They can range anywhere from vacations, to starting businesses, to owning a home, to getting married and having children. Those are all great, and they matter. But what about the dreams of God?
God has a specific purpose and plan for each of us. He has uniquely gifted us to do His will. We are not here just for our own goals, and we are not here to merely exist. You and I were made for bigger things.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10, NIV
God-sized dreams require one key element, God. There are many things I can accomplish in my own abilities, and never bring God into the equation. The God stuff is bigger than us. Impossible without Him. That’s one way you know it’s from God.
Has God given you a dream? If so, has it happened yet? Or, has your God given dream died? Maybe you have no clue of what dream God has for you. It’s time to ask Him. It’s time to cry out to Him, and seek His will for your life.
There are times when He drops His dream for us right in our lap without us ever asking. This was my experience. I never wanted to be a writer, ever. God planted that seed in me over twenty-four years ago when I wasn’t asking. My husband had a dream to write a children’s book. I assumed my role was to be a good, supportive wife. God had other plans. After many years of avoiding what God wanted me to do, I finally published my first children’s book in 2018.
You are the only person in this whole wide world that can do what God created you to do. He has given you talents and abilities, and ultimately, faith. You know the saying, God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.
Are you afraid? Have you made too many excuses?
I’m too old.
I’m too young.
It’s too late.
I’m not a “good enough” Christian.
God needs your willingness and your weakness.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22, NIV
There are many things that can hinder our God given dreams. Life is hard, and sometimes we are in survival mode. Intense trials come, and the last thing on our minds is to dream the things of God. Crisis can be the fire for our faith that will bring us to our knees, and really force us to seek God like never before.
Comfort can also prevent us from pursuing those God dreams. Stepping out is scary. It’s easier to play it safe. I stayed comfortable for many years. The thought of writing a children’s book was overwhelming. But God was unrelenting in His pursuit of me. I finally surrendered and stepped out. Yes, it was scary. But He provided every single thing I needed to accomplish His will. He’ll do it for you too!
Make a decision today, to do one thing toward your God given dream. Seek Him first, above all, and He will show you the way. Be patient as you wait on the Lord to reveal His plan for you. He’s always after our heart first and foremost.
Love you all,
Meghan never dreamed of being a writer, but God had other plans. After many years of avoiding what God called her to, she wrote a Children’s book and now she can’t stop writing. She loves to encourage others through the written word. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, or email her at email@example.com. Be sure to visit her blog for more encouragement!
Check out her Middle Grade Christian Fiction book here!
Why should you care about Israel? That’s the question I aim to answer today. First, a little backstory so you know where I’m coming from.
My name is Liat, I was born in Kfar Saba, Israel into a Messianic Jewish family.
Do you think your childhood was kind of crazy? Maybe think again lol
I was born in Kfar Saba, Israel and lived all across Israel. There was the scorching dry desert of the Negev where we spent our days scrambling on top of donkeys & camels, meeting local Bedouins and sitting in front of whirring fans – attempting to escape the blistering heat.
We can’t of course forget about Northern Israel with its trees drooping with ripe fruit and catching fish with an old water bottle in the Sea of Galilee (a local trick).
Most memorable however would of course be Jerusalem.
Jerusalem. A perfect mixture of ancient and modern. Of celebrations and of struggle.My memories of growing up on the outskirts of Jerusalem range from mountain top moments to crushing disappointments.
A simple day of running errands near the Old City would mean hearing beautiful violin music waft through the air from street performers & listening to a harp player sitting near Jaffa gate.
Arab merchants, on the other hand, were attempting to coax customers into their store with promises of coffee and tea. “My friend! Join us!” They said with heavy accents and hopeful smiles.
I of course, stop along the way to chat with strangers (there is really no such thing in Israel, we are more like one big family) and taking in all the incredible sights, sounds and scents from the market nearby.
I love walking down the streets of Jerusalem cherishing the sense of life, beauty & belonging.
I don’t want to deceive you however, life in Israel is by no means rainbows and butterflies. It is often a daily struggle of intense stress, chaos and fight for survival.
With the cost of living so extremely high and salaries so low it’s typical for families to be in debt struggling to make ends meet and cover basic expenses such as rent & groceries. At times, that’s the least of our worries.
It was just a regular day after school. My brother grudgingly agreed to come pick me up instead of me having to take the hour 1/2 bus ride home. It would eat up some of his time but save me from getting bus sick as I often did on the windy, narrow roads.
I climbed into the car and peered out my window mindlessly, my thoughts consumed with whatever middle school girls think about. Then suddenly I heard it. “BOOM.” I jumped. It resounded throughout the city.
“What was that?” I asked breathlessly. Confusion etched into my brother’s face. “Did something fall on our roof?” He asked dubiously. I glanced up at the unharmed interior of the car and shook my head.
We cautiously rolled forward and continued on our way. Ambulances & police began flying by us racing towards my bus station. My brother fumbled with the radio. “A bomb was planted on bus by Palestinian terrorist…. critical condition… first responders on scene…”
It stammered in and out.
Later it was confirmed. Another terrorist attack at the central station in Jerusalem, right where I would have been standing. Several killed, dozens badly injured.
This tragedy happened several years ago but there have been hundreds more like it since.
Just a few days ago a young Israeli soldier was killed by Arab youth throwing rocks at him. He was his parents only son. My heart breaks a little every time more news rolls in of another death, another attack, more pain, more struggle.
It can be hard to grasp the complexity of Israel, more importantly God’s heart for Israel and the Jewish people when being so far removed. It can seem like Israel is so far away and it can be difficult to discern what is even the truth behind current events since mainstream media portrays a very skewed reality.
Every single believer should care about Israel and the Jewish people. Not only care about it but be willing to lay down their lives if necessary. That’s a pretty bold statement but it’s exactly what we’re called to do by following Yeshua’s example.
Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.” (Matthew 15:24)
As believers we need to recognise that the Jewish people are God’s chosen people. When Yeshua came to earth scripture says He came for the lost sheep of the house of Israel!
“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His prized possession, above all peoples on the face of the earth.”
Why are we chosen? Are we chosen because we’re better than everyone else? Stronger, smarter, holier? I don’t think so.
“The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.” (Deuteronomy 7:7)
Israel is by no means perfect. We see throughout the bible their rebellion, sin and failure. Just like us, they need God’s mercy, forgiveness and redemption.
In the Old Testament (Torah) we see horrific acts of child sacrifice, sexual immorality, violence, corruption… the list goes on.
I’m grieved to say that In modern day Israel, there are still ungodly practices that go on: abortions, prostitution, homosexuality, etc.
Believe me when I say that Israel was not chosen because of their lack of sin, exactly how it’s not our actions that justify us before God but our faith in Yeshua.
photo above: gay pride parade Tel Aviv
“I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew.” (Romans 11:1-2)
The truth is that God will never forsake His people Israel, despite our sin and flaws He will always choose Israel to be His special treasure above all the earth.
There is a theology circulating around some churches that states “Israel messed up too many times with their sin, rejected the Messiah (Jesus/Yeshua) therefore God abandoned them and has replaced Israel with us (Christians.)
This could. not. be. further. from. the. truth!
We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are all in desperate need of His forgiveness and mercy.
God has not, and never will replace Israel. What we has done however is open up the way so that whoever wants to follow Him has the opportunity to do so, regardless of their ethnic background.
So what about the nations? Where does that leave those who are not Jewish?
The original question was not “how can I be Jewish and believe in Jesus?”
The original question was “How can a non-Jewish person believe & follow a Jewish Messiah?!”
This was such a foreign thought in biblical times yet God clearly provides us with an answer.
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Yeshua the Messiah.” (Galatians 3:28)
We are one in the Messiah.
Through Yeshua we are one united people. There is no separate standard or favouritism. The goal if you’re a Gentile is not to ‘become as Jewish as possible.’ Like-wise the goal for a Jewish believer is not to ‘abandon all Jewishness, traditions & culture to prove your salvation.’
I’ve seen both occur and it’s simply not the narrow way that leads to life that God instructed us to follow!
2. If you love me keep my commandments.
The entire focus of our faith is love. When a man in the New Testament asked Yeshua what was the most important commandment in the Torah He said “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment…” Matthew 22:37
How do we show our love towards God? Yes of course by spending time with Him, but equally as important is obeying Him. Living our life in a way that is pleasing to Him. We can’t claim to love God and then blatantly disobey His commandments.
Photo above: Jewish girl praying at Kotel (Western Wall, Jerusalem)
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15
What commandments are you talking about? You might be asking?
I want to make it clear I’m not promoting legalism or rabbinic man-made laws. In fact Yeshua was vehemently opposed to that kind of religion!
However at the same time Yeshua kept and encouraged us as His followers to keep the Torah.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.” (Matthew 5:17)
A few examples would be ‘the Sabbath: one of the Ten Commandments, Kosher Dietary Laws & the biblical appointed times (holidays such as: Passover, Sukkot/Feast of Tabernacles, Shavuot/Pentecost, Purim etc)
If you’re completely new to all of this it can be a bit overwhelming. The good news is that God isn’t in a rush! Take your time to prayerfully seek Him in embracing His will for your life. Gaining an understanding of the role we can play as believers in regards to Israel and the Jewish people gives us so much more purpose, clarity and passion behind our faith.
Keeping the Torah & God’s biblical holidays are not burdensome rituals. They hold so much meaning & richness that enhance our faith.
So why should you care about Israel?
Because God cares about Israel.
“If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.” (Psalm 137:5)
“For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His home: saying, “This is my resting place for ever and ever…” (Psalms 132:13-14)
As a believer you have an active role to play in sharing God’s heart for Israel & the Jewish people.
God promises that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who curse Israel will be cursed.(Genesis 12:3)
Thank you for your prayers & support towards Israel and for helping us bring the Word of the Lord out of Zion to the nations!
It’s true. From the outside of the famed story of Noah’s Ark, it’s easy to assume I’d be faithful enough to believe Noah and join his family in safety. But one day, I paused and reflected upon my skeptical nature.
I’m a stubborn person. I wouldn’t classify myself as a “Thinker” or one who needs to have every fact and statistic to understand something, but I’m bull-headed in the sense that it’s difficult to change my mind.
If I were living in Noah’s day, as the person I know myself to be, here’s how I think it would go.
I would believe that The Designer existed. Looking around the world, I would imagine that only someone great could create such beauty and life. I would also revere my ancestors, Adam and Eve, whom I was told gave birth to everyone around me. I would believe that the earth is vast and unexplainable.
And as for my purpose, I would believe that I was made to simply enjoy where I was placed. Everyone I knew set out to enjoy themselves, why shouldn’t I? I’d work for my food and relax with my friends. Who cared about what I did so long as I enjoyed myself?
Until one day, I’d hear from my friends about Noah. Noah was one of the oldest patriarchs of the land. He kept to himself and his family. He claimed to walk with The Designer. No one believed him because no one else had walked with The Designer.
When Noah wasn’t shouting doom and gloom at the people, he was building what he called an Ark. Out of curiosity, I would probably check it out. An impressive feat of engineering, I would think.
Perhaps when Noah was taking a break, wiping the sweat off his brow or getting a drink, I would strike up a conversation with him.
“Why are you spending these years building this? What do you intend to do once it’s finished?” I would ask.
“It’s for those Elohim intends to save,” he’d reply. Elohim, The Designer.
“Save from what?”
“From the water that will fall from the sky and kill every living thing.”
“Water doesn’t fall from the sky,” I’d argue. “How do you know it will come from the sky?”
“Elohim says so.”
No matter what I’d ask, Noah’s answer would be the same. Because Elohim said so. How could I deny it if The Designer says so? But I would deny it. I’d never seen water from the sky. I’d never heard The Designer’s voice. If everything were to be destroyed by this water, shouldn’t The Designer tell more people?
So, I’d watch as the Ark continued to form. Years would go by. Still no sky water. And though all his talk about the death of all living things would sound depressing, I would be fascinated by his words and how he acted different from everyone I knew. So, I would go back and talk to him.
Before I would leave for the day, Noah would ask me, “Will you join me on my Ark? If you believe, you can be saved too.”
But I would laugh and humor him saying, “We’ll see, Noah.”
Even when I would notice the throng of animals heading toward his Ark, I would manage to reason with it. Noah was storing up food, of course it would attract animals. And I would laugh with my friends as they joked about taking care of those loud, stinky creatures.
Armed with questions and rebuttals, I’d visit Noah and his family. His wife would tell me about the new animals coming in and his son’s wives would talk to me while the men were working.
Noah would come and say to me, “The Ark is almost finished. Will you join me and my family?”
Stirred by his kindness, I would hesitate. But then I would sigh and shake my head.
“It just sounds too far out for The Designer to destroy what He created. And with water from the sky no less! It’s not logical, and you have no guarantee that it’s going to happen. I don’t want to say you’ve wasted your time, but I would just need to see it for myself.”
Noah would lower his head in disappointment, which would make me feel guilty, and he would walk away.
I’ll apologize tomorrow, I would think. But in returning the next day, I would find no one on Noah’s property. And the massive door of the Ark would be closed. I would hear the animals making their usual noises inside. I’d call to Noah from the ground, but no one would answer from the massive structure.
For seven days I’d return to see if Noah and his family had given up and come out of the Ark, but they hadn’t. This was the craziest they ever looked, and my friends made even more fun of them. But I wanted to reason with them. I wanted to talk with Noah. I wanted to make him understand how foolish they looked. They were even making The Designer look foolish.
And the day everything would change was the day I would approach the closed Ark and step in a puddle. My heart rate increasing, I would look around to see water trickling up from the ground. My feet would squish in the mud around me. As I would get away from the water, I would feel that first drop. Like a cool pin prick on my shoulder. I’d touch the damp spot on my shirt and look up.
As more drops hit my face, I’d run up to the Ark and scream, “I’ve seen now!” hoping someone would hear me and take pity on me. But Noah had already given me the chance. Chance after chance. Just like I thought he’d wasted his days, I would realize in an instant that I’d wasted mine.
And as the water would creep up my ankles, I’d cry, knowing my comfort and enjoyment was about to come to an end.
It’s good to question the things we believe in, but there comes a time when our stubbornness and our desire to understand everything needs to take a back seat.
In the end, the Bible says it will be like the days of Noah. People have and will continue to stake eternity on needing proof it exists. But it only takes one moment of faith to change everything.
I truly believe that if I were around in Noah’s day, I would have drowned, because of how I think, because I’m slow to accept things unless you give me a good case. I’m hoping that realizing this will help me in my own walk towards truth—towards The Designer.
"...because just as Jonah was in the stomach of the sea creature for three days and three nights,[b] so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights." -Matthew 12:40
Today, I started thinking of that first day. And the second day. And the third day. The disciples (excluding John and Mary M.) had fled; they weren’t there for the crucifixion. Maybe they watched the trial from afar. Maybe they heard the chants “Crucify Him!” in the distance.
No matter where they were, I’m sure they felt the ground shake when the earth split. Did they think it was a coincidence?
But when it was all said and done “finished,” I wonder what it was like? When the disciples found their way back to each other for the first time, did they collapse into each other’s arms and cry over the massive hole in their hearts?
Were they huddled together in silent dismay? Did they break out into arguments over what the Pharisees did and why Jesus let it happen? No doubt, they must have been searching through the fog of grief trying to grasp all that He’d said to them beforehand.
Yes, He had told them what would happen, but the Bible says they couldn’t comprehend it. Perhaps, they never heard it until He allowed them to remember at the proper time?
Did they question all that they’d experienced with Him? The man who called Lazarus out of the tomb was now in a tomb Himself. Was He not as powerful as they thought? Had everything they’d seen been a hoax?
I can imagine them tossing in their sleep, grasping at their final moments with Him. Maybe they couldn’t shake the thoughts about the pain He endured and guilt knowing they could have been with Him but weren’t. After all He’d done for them.
Maybe they woke up the second and third day and looked for Him, but then remembered the terrible ache of knowing He wasn’t there.
In those three days, who took the lead? Who fell silent? Who was the comforter? Who grew depressed and angry? Who was starting to make a plan?
And did one of them, even in the back of his mind, consider the possibility of what was to come that joyful morning?
Opening credits of The Chosen, the first multi-season show about the life of Jesus, created and directed by Dallas Jenkins
For those of you who are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a few posts and videos having to do with a show called The Chosen. Now some of you may be wondering what The Chosen is and why I am so excited and passionate about it. If you have a few minutes and don’t mind a little reading, I’ll tell you.
Hi Father, I know we’ve talked about this extensively, but I just wanted to bring it up again because, well, it never leaves my mind.
Yes, my love. I know.
I know you know how I feel. I know you feel my ache. Sometimes, it’s just dull, but sometimes it feels like it does right now, like an ocean swell that never crests and laps onto shore.
What else, my daughter?
I long to just let myself burst and deflate. Is that too much to ask?
It will not satisfy.
I know You’re the only One who satisfies. My flame glows for You alone, and I love it.
But I’m still a puzzle that’s incomplete.
You don’t trust that I have all the pieces in due time?
Of course, I do, but the puzzle is collecting dust. The picture’s a blur. It’s not like I can pretend it’s all together.
What will you have Me do?
I’ve been looking around.
How about this one, who says I’m a jewel destined to be treasured?
He has found his jewel already.
This one says he isn’t looking for something serious, perhaps just for a time?
Time that will be spent in pain more than happiness.
I saw this one and he looks wonderful and we have so much in common and I think it could be so great.
You see what’s possible, I see what is. And it would not be good enough for you.
Okay then, I’ll just have to wait.
But I’ve waited so long! I’ve done everything you’ve asked. You’ve watched me wade through the options. You’ve seen me get so attached to nothing. You’ve been with me through the most pain and sat with me at my loneliest. How much more do I need to endure?
If I had let you go with any of the options that crossed your path, you would be drowning in mistakes and sorrow. It may feel like suffering now, but you’ve yet to see the suffering I’ve kept from your heart.
Then how will I know? I can’t trust myself to make these decisions.
You can trust Me.
I know. But I have so many fears and doubts. Maybe I’m better off going without. Maybe I need to learn to be content in this suffering.
I know what is better for you.
Yes, You do. What would I do without You?
I hope you never have to find out.
Me too. Thank you, Father.
You’re welcome, my love.
See you tomorrow?
Tomorrow and forever.
Ladies, have you ever had a conversation like this with God? More like, how many times did you have this conversation? For those of you who are battling that overwhelming swell of loneliness, I understand.
I don’t like to admit to it much, but I acknowledge that that is a human feeling. Loneliness isn’t a sin, but it certainly can lead to it. Have this conversation with The Father instead.
However, despite these feelings, I’ve never had as much joy and contentment in my life as I do now. I look back at my crushes and my almost relationships and I say, “thank you God for knowing better because WHAT WAS I THINKING?!”
I don’t want less than God’s best and that’s not just a saying on a T-shirt. The relationship I want and the relationship I need absolutely cannot be any less than what God wants for me because I don’t see the point.
I’ve had people tell me my standards are too high or I’m not looking enough. They have good intentions, but if you hear that too, don’t listen to them. Let God prepare you and let God prepare him for the right time.
Please do yourself a favor and focus on Jesus, who is always there, who doesn’t fail you, who knows what you need when you don’t know it yourself. Spend those unbearable times with your eyes fixed on His blessings, His provision, and His unique companionship.
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.
Colossians 1:9-12 (NIV)
Once there was a Fellow with his Friend. One day, the Fellow said to his Friend, “Hike up this mountain with me, for I’ve been told we will find the purpose of life. Wouldn’t that be the most beautiful sight to see?”
But his Friend shrugged with a frown on his face. “I am not good at climbing mountains. I’m scared of heights and many dangers lie in the wilderness,” he said.
But the Fellow pressed his Friend. “I will journey with you and protect you. Is finding the purpose of life not worth the risk?” And with the Fellow’s encouragement, his Friend finally relented.
So, the Fellow and his Friend journeyed up the mountain and the Fellow did just as he said. He helped his Friend up the steep rocks and kept a lookout for dangerous wild animals. As they kept on, his Friend grew more comfortable with his surroundings and he was glad he came.
After much traveling, the two came to an overpass. Across from the overpass, another mountainside towered over them. It was much grander than the one on which they stood. Hoping this wasn’t the end of their journey, they looked for a way to cross. It didn’t take them long to find but a single rope bridge hanging between each mountainside. With glee, the Fellow started for the bridge, but his Friend became hesitant once again.
“Haven’t I told you I’m afraid of heights? Surely more treacherous dangers lie over on that mountain.”
The Fellow replied, “Is finding the purpose of life not worth the risk?” But his Friend became obstinate and stood his ground on the side of the mountain where he had grown secure.
“I do not think a bridge like that would be safe enough to cross. It looks as if it has been here since the beginning of time!”
“Surely, it is trustworthy,” the Fellow pleaded. “Come, I will cross first, and you will see that the bridge is secure.” The Fellow grabbed hold of the rope rails and gingerly made his way across the swinging bridge. When he successfully stepped on solid ground, he turned back to his Friend.
“See? I speak the truth!” But his Friend shook his head.
“You may have made it to the other side unharmed, but how do I know that it will not break underneath my weight and cause me to plummet to my death? No, I cannot go any further. I am safe on this side of the mountain and I will stay here.”
The Fellow’s face fell. “As you wish,” he said. “but I will not stay with you. I will follow the path, so that I can find the purpose of life.” With that, the Fellow turned away and disappeared in the woods.
His Friend, however, set up camp on his side and waited for the Fellow to return. But the longer he waited, the more impatient he grew. What if something terrible had happened to the Fellow? He approached the bridge which swayed gently, but fear swelled up in him when he saw the long way down. In fright, he ran from the bridge.
Perhaps, the Fellow was just taking his time. His Friend began to wander around the mountain as he waited for the Fellow. Suddenly, the earth rumbled and began to shake beneath him. The ground split and rocks crumbled, falling down around him. He charged back toward the bridge, hoping he could still flee to the other side before the whole mountain collapsed. If he ran fast enough, he would not fear the bridge anymore.
But as he cleared the shaking trees and the roaring earth, he gasped, finding that the bridge was no longer there. It had detached from his side of the mountain and he found no other way of escape.
The mountain crumbled to dust, and the Friend’s last thoughts were of his Fellow, who had safely crossed over the bridge.