After leaving church with more questions than answers yesterday, it set the tone for a weird day. A day where I never felt settled. A day spent agitated. A day spent stirred up. A day that continues this morning.
And I'm not sure where God is going to take this.
It started in Sunday school with a short video and then discussion questions. In short, it brought me back to the place I was after reading Crazy Love. Overwhelmed with the desire to do SOMETHING and yet, stuck on the what.
A woman in my discussion group shared about a church she had read of. This church wanted to do something. So they called their county's SRS to see how many foster parents would be needed for the organization to be fully staffed. The county needed 150 homes. Turns out, 160 families from the church volunteered to be foster homes for suffering children. Amazing.
I thought, we have that need in our county. Our church could do something like that. Imagine how wonderful it would be to have even more children filling our church! And then, I was immediately discouraged. It would never work, I thought.
And this is why (and is another source of burden for me right now):
Nearly every Sunday, our sweet pastor brings sermon illustrations. Yesterday, he brought candy. Let's just say MANY people love those illustrations, as you can well-imagine! But, of course, there are some that don't.
Yesterday, the point was: God's gift of salvation is free, just like the candy. But, you have to be willing to come get it. And then, later in the sermon, the pastor had those people who received candy the first time come back up to disperse candy to the remainder of the congregation. The point: We don't keep our gift of salvation hidden. We take it out to the world and share.
But, when the people (mostly children) came out into the congregation to share their gift, some attenders turned it down. Multiple times. I'm sitting there, seeing the disappointment on the faces of these children, thinking, "How dare we make these children stumble. HOW DARE WE!" Even if you don't like chocolate, take a piece of candy. Help these children understand the point of the message!
And then, a thought came to mind. What personal conviction (that doesn't REALLY matter) am I putting in front of the message? Better yet, what personal conviction am I putting before GOD?
Wow. Tough stuff. Convicting stuff. Stuff I still don't have the answers for. Stuff I am still burdened with today.
So my prayer for God's people, including my church:
"Show us your ways, LORD, teach us your paths; guide us in your truth and teach us." Psalm 25:4-5