The world we live in is marred by brokenness, death, and despair. I use to think that all the bad in the world was caused by our separation from God. However, when I read the New Testament I am reminded how the very first followers of Jesus didn’t have it that great in this life. They faced challenges and hardship around every corner. Paul was found drifting in the open sea, was beaten for his faith, and was persecuted even as he served God faithfully. Those in close relationship with Jesus were battered and bruised by life alongside the rest of humanity.
Today we see the evidence of this brokenness all around us. Suicides are rampant, terrorism on the rise, school shootings, kids not graduating, and marriages broken. Our world and our stories are filled with loss, injustice, and pain.
When I think about the Church in America, I see a heart breaking response to brokenness. Complacency, consumerism, a lack of boldness plagues our reaction to a hurting world. So often our lives are void of adventure as we live in fear. You and I don’t take risks for what we believe about God. I ache for our hearts and lives to echo the prayer of one follower of Jesus who prayed, “I believe, help my unbelief.” God has called us to a life of faith to be lived out in the midst of an uncertain world. How might Jesus be inviting you and I to live differently? To engage in the thick of the brokenness?
Four years ago, God showed me two metaphors that are, in some way, the response He is called us to take towards the brokenness around us and the apathy within us.
T R U M P E T S
Judges 7 unfolds a story of Gideon, a mighty warrior fighting with a few select men against the enemies of God. Though the army was small in number, they were called to battle and found courage to fight alongside Gideon. Armed with trumpets and clay pots alone, God used the, “yes,” of these few men to usher His people into victory. The call to engage was not for everyone, but those that heard the call joined their stories with one of greatest defeats in battle. God’s invitation to fight marked them more than the how they won. The same is true for us. God is calling you and I to fight.
Do you hear the call to battle? The marginalized and hurting among us need to be defended. God is calling us to rally our courage and lives around His mission and calling. Will you fight to the very end to make a way for those lost and broken to find their way to Jesus? This is invitation.
J A R S
2 Kings 4, tells of a widow who was drowning in debt and facing the wrath of creditors. In desperation, she cries out to the prophet Elisha for help. Considering that this woman had nothing, Elisha’s response is surprising. Elisha asks the widow, “What do you have in the house?” Her fortune boiled down to a single flask of oil become the very point of miraculous provision that she needed. Her “nothing” the door to the breakthrough she cried out for. With the empty jars of neighbors and friends collected, the woman saw the endless outpouring of God’s resources as every jar was filled…even to the very last one.
What do you have in your house? What meager thing in your life have you disqualified that God might be asking you to offer to Him? God delights in using the obedient offering of the humble to multiply His provision and make a way for His way. God has a plan for your nothing that will impact our community and world. Will you join His mission? Will you bring your empty jars and ask Him to fill them?
May we be those who answer the call. Those who join the fight and offer our lives as a sacrifice for the saving of many lives. May we offer our simple offerings in such a way that God can anoint and multiply them for the sake of the broken among us. God is calling us to wake up and engage in the shattered, devastating world. To infuse our relationships, our communities, and world with His love and His way.
May we pray:
God here I am. Fill me. Use me. Mold me. Make me more like you. I’m offering my life, my talents, my treasure, my time. I’m giving you my life. Will you use it like never before? I’m willing to do whatever you ask and go wherever you lead. My life is in your hands. Today I’ll fight. I’ll bring you my emptiness, knowing only you can fill in. Bring your healing and wholeness through these humble hands for the glory of your name.