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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Permission and a Wittness

Yesterday was a crazy awful day! Now, when I say awful I don't mean anything life threatening happened, nor did anything that can't be fixed later happen. But, none the less, emotionally yesterday rocked me. It rocked me because I had been in a mind set of what yesterday would look like, when it turned out to look like the opposite of relaxing, a Sabbath I so desperately needed before heading into a busy week, I lost it. Instead all I could see was all that was before me and it looked too big for me. I cried out to the Lord all day, wanting  Him, needing Him to change my attitude. Wanting him to give me extra joy and extra energy. Yesterday was Saturday, which was even worse because the next day was Sunday. I have responsibilities on Sunday. Sure they only last an hour, but it's an hour that is filled with rushing, shepherding of my kids as well as other's kids, it's filled with running here and there. I love spending time with my church body, but let's be honest, it requires emotional and physical energy to get there!

I had a choice to make. I could give myself permission to stay home, to soak in a Sabbath at home I so desperately need to get my mind in the peaceful place it needs to be to tackle the week. I could give myself permission, but instead it's laced with guilt. Guilt of knowing I am needed elsewhere, but knowing my family comes first and knowing what they really need is not a busy morning, what they need is quiet time with mommy and daddy. We need to connect again, especially after a day filled with mommy and daddy stressed out. We need the connection and so do they. We need to be reminded and grounded in our love as a family. We don't need one more thing to run to, we need a Sabbath, a quiet, we need to breathe. So, I gave myself permission.

Do I need the permission of other believers, no, but is it nice? Yes! We as believers have a tendancy to think that if we are not serving EVERY Sunday or in my case miss more Sundays than you've attended when you've committed to something. Yeah, that pill has been hard to swallow. It's been hard to swallow because instead of compassion and a hug of I'm so sorry life has tackled you lately. I feel like I will get the evil eye that I'm not holding up my side of the bargain, my side of the deal.

But this brings me to a bigger picture of what the body of Christ is needing. We are sick with sin, it's inherited, you can't run away from it, you can try and deny it, but no matter how hard you try it will always be there. We eat too much chocolate because we are lonely, we yell at our kids because the weight of the world is too heavy, we love and enter into relationships that are plagued with sickness not health. We gaze at someone in a way we should not be, instead of turning away, we allow ourselves to stay in the moment. A moment of unhealthy lust.

But, the thing is, we know we are sinners. We know we are holding the short end of the stick and so we cringe and shrink back. We label our selves sinners and so instead of giving each other permission, we label and cause two directions, either they try even harder to be spiritual, to please and be Holier than thou art, attempting to earn our way out of our sin or we throw in the towel, give up, and embrace the sin. Both are covering up a sickness they don't know how to deal with. So, instead of admitting it they press on, still sick, still needing a cure, still ducking their head in shame.

What they need, what I need, is a witness! I need a witness of love. A witness to hug me, to reassure me that even in my sin, especially in my sin. God the father, Jesus the savior understands my sin, he understands my heart, and loves me still. What I need is to know that I am still loved by the body of Christ, because within knowing I'm loved by the body of Christ, it becomes Christ loving me. I'm not suppose to need anyone other than Christ and when it comes down to it, your right. But, I do also know that God often uses his people in my life to bear witness to his love and his truth! He uses them as a sword to sharpen me, to get me through furnace firings in my life. I need the body of Christ and other believers need the body of Christ to give them permission to be imperfect. Let's not judge, let's love, let's pray for one another in love. Let's rejoice that God can take a sinner, a wretch, and love them to glory. Let's give each other permission to fail, let's love them through the failure, and bring them to victory in Jesus! Let's give permission and bear witness to one another the glory of God within us! Let the light in us speak for itself. When we are abiding in Christ, our love for Christ is evident, others will flock to the peace, they will crave the peace. Let us let love bring transformation.

Let us give permission for each other to sin, to be imperfect, to drop the ball. But, let's call each other to truth and love by being a witness of being in the slum ourselves, let's give testimony, let's remember were we were when we were lost. The times we still get lost. Let's give each other permission to be gone a Sunday or Sundays because life throws curve balls. Let's give each other permission to be imperfect, let's let God do what God does best. Let's be a witness of God at his best when we are at our worst!

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