My day began with the Lord. Worshipping. Praising. Seeking guidance and wisdom. Asking. Interceding. Reading His Word. Being still . . . then conversation began.
Conversation asking for protection against the attacks of the enemy upon various people who join me in an ongoing ministry in a very impoverished area of our city.
Conversation interceding through the words of Isaiah for God to loosen the bonds of injustice, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and bring the good news of Jesus to the afflicted who live in the neighborhood we serve.
Conversation about a recent meeting with a fellow minister where we discussed how to help a family with two members in captivity. One an incarcerated young adult. The other a young boy captive to feelings he cannot explain, a mind which struggles to let him learn, and destructive behavioral patterns he cannot seem to break.
Conversation of praise reflecting on a recent email about a middle school age child whose mentor has worked with him for almost 7 years. On the way home home from an event they had attended together, the two of them had been reflecting on several conversations about his life and future and about the person of Jesus Christ . . .
Conversation grown silent suddenly exploded as he called for her to pull the car over . . . NOW! For him, there was no more waiting. Ready to have conversation with Jesus, he confessed and gave his heart, life and soul to our Savior.
Oh, what conversations of praise must have echoed through the halls of heaven that afternoon.
But there are other, less joyous kinds of conversations around us every day.
‘It’s hopeless. People exist in horrible life circumstances, amidst rampant injustice and generational poverty. So much so it seems impossible to break through the chains. So few escape to a better life’.
Then those about the places in life we’d rather not think about. Abject human suffering and injustice we rather not admit still exist. Wound within a cocoon of naivety, many of us keep our focus on parts of the world where change seems possible.
But hard places do exist in our world, in our city, and in the lives of children bound in generational cyclical poverty. Just the places Jesus sends His people. Sends us to proclaim life. Speak truth, life, hope. Live out the Gospel.
But perhaps the conversation we most need to have concerns our core belief. Is God God? Or is He not? Our answer determines how we live. For if we confess God exists and if we truly believe God is who God claims to be, then we should be living as if God is the God of the impossible. Believing in the hard places of life. Spending time among hurting and desperate people. Going forth into all the world, believing . . .
With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God. Mark 10:27
Perhaps before more miracles can be released into the world on a regular basis there are conversations we need to have, questions we must ask ourselves . . . .
Is God’s Spirit ever thwarted or delayed because believers cannot, will not muster the faith or spiritual courage to ask God to break through the darkness around us and pour out His Spirit upon the lives of those who suffer? Thwarted because we stay focused on what is in front of us, the circumstances around us? Delayed because we refuse to ask, don’t expect God to move in and around us?
Defying all acceptable social norms, Jesus moved in God’s realm. Proclaimed release of the captives. Caused recovery of sight to the physically blind, and the spiritually blind. Set free the oppressed. Preached, taught and healed. Jesus lived among and extended His concern and care for the downtrodden and society’s outcasts.
I sometimes wonder what conversations God yearns for us to have with Him, and with others.
Yet there is one conversation I believe God is pleased to hear. One occurring weekly through the lives of mentors who love and live out a message from God to each child we mentor in our church’s Kids Hope USA ministry: You are valuable. Just because you exist, I care about you – so much so that I come faithfully every week to spend time with you. I believe you are loved and cherished by the One who loves and cherishes me. I see God’s image within you. And I will spend my days calling forth what I believe is inside of you and all I believe you have the potential to become.
Every human being is God’s beloved child. Each one of us is deeply loved and treasured. Each of us called into relationship with our Holy Almighty Triune God. A relationship waiting to be entered into by faith through the grace and redeeming sacrifice of Jesus.
Each one of us has a choice, believe God is who God says He is, or not. Believe in the life, work and saving grace of Jesus, or ignore His pleas.
A choice to get stuck in conversations of hopelessness over all the hard places in our world.
Or choose conversations that continually speak of the God of the impossible, the hope we have in Jesus, and the work we see God doing. To God be the glory, for surely great things He has done. And great things He will do.