Monday, April 30, 2007

What does the world see when we are "Squeezed"?

[Well, I decided I'd put some words on my virtual "paper" while I'm waiting the remaining hour for a video file to finish being converted to Windows Media format...I finally got Adobe Premiere Elements to work for me!!! :-) I know, it's definitely operator issues, but as with most of what I do I'm learning it by the good old School of Trial and Error with myself as the teacher. Oh, the joy of it! I have proven the Word so many times that it's not even funny. You know, that part that says that "with God all things are possible"! ]

There's been so much on my heart to write about, but not enough time to write it all. The last couple weeks have been rough for all of Virginia, but, due to our close proximity to Blacksburg, it has been especially rough for our area in particular. It's just two weeks ago that the Shooting took place at Virginia Tech. Our lead staff writer, Debbie Ruiz, wrote a great account of what the Lord showed her in prayer about that situation; but what I want to focus on is the open door of opportunity, to be a witness, that we as believers have in the days and times like these; and the importance of our lives being anchored in God. It's obvious that we don't have to look far for an open door...there's one every where we turn.

Everywhere we turn people are walking around looking for answers. And even as born-again believers, many of us have been searching for answers...Trying to make some sense out of a situation that, quite frankly, makes no sense. And while we may not have the "whys" that people are looking for, we have something even greater. We have a blessed hope. We have peace that passes understanding. We have a joy unspeakable and full of glory. It is so important that we, as believers, rise to the situation and be the light to the world...the city that is set on a hill that cannot be hidden. How we respond when things seem to fall apart all around us can either point the way TOWARDS Christ, or cause people to look in other directions for the hope that they so desperately want.

I am in the medical profession in my "employment life." Because of my position, I had several hours of direct contact with one of the victims. And I have to admit that it was really hard looking at and working with that beautiful young girl whose life had been so suddenly snuffed out. Honestly, it took me a few days to be able to stop that image from surfacing in my mind whenever the incident was discussed. BUT I have a hope...I have a relationship with a Living and Loving God! He is the God of all Comfort!

I am reminded of 1 Peter 3:15. I like the way that the New Century Version states it: "But respect Christ as the holy Lord in your hearts. Always be ready to answer everyone who asks you to explain about the hope you have," [emphasis mine]. I realize that the context is not quite the same, but I think it is still appropriate for our situation. We have to be able to explain to those around us why we have hope...why we have peace.

Because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we CAN be the strength that others need to see. We can and must be Jesus to the world. We are the only Bible that some people will ever read. What will they read when they see us? My daughter called me up Saturday night as she was driving down Williamson Road in Roanoke. She had just passed a church that had a marquee out front.

Now, I have to admit, I've seen a few church marquees that were pretty goofy, but not this one. I understood why Zip called me. The sign simply stated: "We become what we worship." OUCH!!! Short, sweet, and to the point. Pastor at times uses the example of a tube of never know what color it is on the inside until you put the "squeeze" on it. Well, we've all been "squeezed" over the last couple weeks. And "what we worship" has become and will continue to become evident to those around us.

Obviously, even if we wanted to do so, we can't go go back and change how we've reacted over the last two weeks. I know there are some things I wish that I could change. But my challenge to all of us...myself to make sure that from this point forward, when "the squeeze is on," it's the hope, love, peace, and joy of the Lord that people see coming forth from inside of us. If we do truly become what we worship, and I believe that is so true, let's take the caps off of our "tubes"(lives) and lead them to our loving Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I'll leave you with the chorus of If We Are The Body, by Casting Crowns:

But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
There is a way

Come on...let's let the world see what we're made of!

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