When God Takes You From Barren to Beautiful

Imagine a barren land. The earth is dry, and cracked. Nothing grows there. There is no water. No life.

Now, imagine a beautiful land. It’s warm, the sun is shining down, warming your face. Green meadows, and forests, and flowers are springing up everywhere. Rivers, streams, and waterfalls. A place so alive, you can almost hear it growing.

Now, if I were to ask you: Which place would you rather live?

Who would choose the barren place?

Who would choose the beautiful place?

Of course, you’d choose the beautiful place!

It’s easy, right?

 

It’s easy when you are choosing a physical place. But not a spiritual place. Not when you are choosing it for your soul.

It wasn’t so simple for me. And…

 

I chose the barren place. I chose to make the desert my home.

I want to tell you the story, of my soul.

 

How my soul changed from barren…to beautiful.

 

It all started when…we wanted to have a baby.

We thought it would be so easy–we laughed about how easy it would be. And, I still remember, so naively, taking that first pregnancy test. I took it before work in the tiny bathroom of our first apartment. I didn’t know if I would shout through the bathroom door and say, “You’re a dad!” Or, “We’re gonna have a baby!”

But instead, after two long minutes, I was shocked when the test read: negative. And I didn’t say anything.

“It might just take a little longer for us,” my husband told me when I came out.

And he was right.

Month after month. We tried. We waited. We prayed.

And then my period came. And I cried. And my husband was quiet.

 

Over time, infertility began to wear on us. 

We were trying so hard. To throw ourselves, our hearts, our hopes, our dreams, our faith back into the sheets month after month. “Maybe this would be the month..” my heart would whisper.

But, no matter if we nailed our “fertile window.” Or, totally botched it. No matter if we were getting along great. Or, fighting like cats and dogs. No matter if I diligently charted with different colored pens, and knew every fluid, and mood swing, and temperature rising and falling. Or, if I took my stack of BBT charts and threw them in the garbage under the coffee grounds–to try to prove to God that I trusted Him.

It didn’t seem to matter.

I couldn’t get pregnant.

And it felt like my husband and I just stayed still. Frozen in time.

While the rest of the world rushed past us.

All of our friends were having babies. Even accidentally.

They were trading in their sports cars for SUVs and transforming their offices and guest rooms into nurseries. They were welcoming little tiny packages, and holding them in their arms at church.

But our arms stayed empty. Except for each other. Some nights my husband would hold me as I cried into his chest.

Why was it so easy for everyone else?

Except us?

I tried to “accept” that this was God’s plan for us.

I tried to “tolerate” the fact that I couldn’t have a baby, and maybe would never be a mom.

I actually thought I was doing good, being able to “accept” this fact, or “tolerate” it. But, in reality, I was walking around with clenched, angry fists. I was trying to be okay–but I wasn’t. 

My soul was like a dry, barren wasteland.

Yes, my womb was barren–but so was my soul.

There is nothing like a barren soul.

 

How did my soul become barren?

 

How did I choose to live in that dry, barren wasteland–on the inside of me?

This is how:

I looked out on my life, and saw: a barren wasteland. I saw only what I did not have, I saw only what I lacked. And I did not see God, or any of the many gifts He had already surrounded me with. 

I just saw: barren.

And this is why, I think, the Bible uses the word “barren.” It literally means, “unable to produce.”

We hear the word “infertility” in our culture. But I never have felt that word is accurate. It’s too clinical. Too sterile.

And speaks nothing of the soul.

But,

Barren. 

Yes. This is how the woman with the barren womb feels–on the inside. In her soul.

I was barren. And I was blind. To God.

To His goodness.

 

God wasn’t doing what I wanted, so I thought He wasn’t doing anything.

But He was. Oh, He was. 

He is always doing more than we can see. 

 

God didn’t want me to simply “accept” His plan (even if it meant I never had children) for my life. He didn’t want me to merely “tolerate” it.

He wanted me to embrace it.

 

To embrace Him. 

 

So I did something crazy.

But sometimes you have to do something wild in order to break free.

So, here’s what I did: I thanked God for not allowing me to get pregant.

Yes, you read that right.

I thanked Him for my “infertility.”

I said the words.

 

“Thank you God…”

And there was a very long pause, a very long silence before I could say it.

…”for my infertility.”

I don’t even know, if I meant it. I know I didn’t feel it.

But, I said it.

And sometimes you have to start saying something–before you can start meaning it.

Sometimes your heart is trailing twenty miles behind your head.

 

(Apologies and forgiveness are like this, too.)

 

But, you just say it. You let the words escape out of your lips. You push them out like fragile, baby birds.

And somehow, in the air, they learn to fly. 

 

As I began to thank God for my infertility, something crazy happened. I actually began to trust Him. I began to think He was wise.

I began to think of EVERYTHING I possibly could that was “good” about not being pregnant. I made a list.

“Thank you that I don’t have to go through labor..”

“Thank you that I don’t have to go through morning sickness..”

“Or, stop excercising..”

“Thank you that I don’t have to put on baby weight..”

“Or have a flabby stomach…Or, flabby arms..”

(Yes, I was vain, but I was sincere.)

 

Soon, my prayers moved from vanity…to true thanks in who God was.

“Thank you God, that you are wise..”

“That you know my body better than I do…”

“That you know my future better than I do…”

“Maybe there’s something around the corner, we don’t know about yet..”

“Maybe what you have called us to something we wouldn’t be able to otherwise do if we had kids..”

Maybe He was going to call us to another country to do missions, or something totally wild!? I had no idea!

But for the first time–in a long time, I began to actually feel excited.

God had a plan for us. He would show us exactly what that was.

And we could rejoice in it.

Whether that meant we had kids, or not.

This was how I began to embrace what God had for me, as a woman. For us, as a couple.

He didn’t want me walking around with those clenched fists. He was inviting me, so tenderly, so gently, to open my hands. Open my arms.

Wider, and wider still. Embracing Him–and whatever He called me to.

That was how…I crossed from barren…to beautiful.

In my soul. 

 

My womb was still barren. But my soul no longer was.

My soul was no longer that dry, barren wasteland.

And it was no longer what I saw–when I looked out over my life.

Now, I saw God. God was there. He had surrounded me with gifts, with beauty. With good things.

A torrential downpour broke out in my desert.

Streams burst through my wasteland. Just as He promised in His Word.

“See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

 

[God did miraculously and naturally give me two beautiful babies, you can read about my first miracle daughter, and second miracle son. He did heal my barren womb, but don’t miss the biggest miracle of all–when He healed my barren soul long before any pregnancies.]

If you are barren, and reading this–take heart.

Do you know what is so great about being barren, about being as dry as a desert on the inside?

 

He will come and make rivers flow through your wasteland.

Gushing, might rivers are coming. For you!

And you will drink, like you have never drank before. Because only the thirsty, can truly drink Him in.

And you will be satisfied with Living Water. And you shall not thrist anymore.

 

Whether you are trying to concieve a baby–or already have tons of kids. Whether you are single, or married, or never even want kids. It doesn’t matter. Whether you are a man, or a woman, rich, or poor, it doesn’t matter.

We are all barren on the inside apart from Jesus Christ. Every single one of us.” quote=”We are all barren on the inside apart from Jesus Christ. Every single one of us.

We are all barren on the inside apart from Jesus Christ. Every single one of us.Click To Tweet

Dry, cracked earth. A dying, desert, wasteland.

That is our soul apart from Jesus Christ.

So, if you don’t want to have a barren soul anymore.

Invite Jesus in.

 

He brings rivers in the wasteland. And streams to the desert. He is the Living Water. And surely, He will come at the sound of your cry.

I can’t promise anyone a baby. But I can promise you a River. I can promise you Jesus Christ. And if you drink of Him, you will never thirst again.

I can't promise anyone a baby. But I can promise you a River. I can promise you Jesus Christ. And if you drink of Him, you will never thirst again.Click To Tweet

It’s what He came to do on the cross.

 

Maybe you think, No. I’ve had too much pain.

Maybe your fists are clenched so tightly right now. How can I open my hands? How can I open my arms to Him? Why should I?

Because He first opened His arms–to you–on the cross.

 

This is the Gospel:

Jesus Came To Take All Of Us From Barren to Beautiful

Jesus could have come to this world and saved Himself. Easily. He could have come to our world, and closed His fists, and shook them at the sky. “Father! What is wrong with these people? Why did you even make them??”

But that’s not what He did. Is it?

No, instead. He opened His arms.

On the night He was betrayed. He took bread, and broke it. Saying this is my body. And He took wine, and said this is my blood, and poured it out.

And He went to garden and wept loudly, and poured out his soul, even to death. For us. 

So we didn’t have to barren anymore–on the inside. 

So we could have life. Eternal life in Him.

 

Jesus Opened His Arms To Us On The Cross

Have you ever thought about Jesus’ posture on the cross?

Arms wide open. Like He is ready to embrace us. Baring His heart.

Like He is calling out, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

He calls us each to come–arms open wide.

Embracing Him, as He is embracing us.

 

This is love.

 

Will You Let Him Take You From Barren to Beautiful?

Maybe this is the year you stop living in the desert place. I don’t know if He will give you a baby–but I know He will give you Himself. And He is the best gift of all. And…

He is calling out to you in the wilderness. Come! Come! Come! 

Don’t stay here. Don’t choose this place. Take off your grave clothes. I have something for you. I have a plan. It’s gonna be wild. And scary. And you won’t always know that I’m right there–but I assure you I am! Because I will not leave you as orphans–I will come to you. And I will give you rest. And I will give you drink. And I will satisfy you. Fully. For you are mine. You are my sons, and my daughters.

And I will take you from barren…to beautiful.

 

For, I make streams in the desert. And rivers in the wasteland. And behold,

I am making everything new.

 


Listen this song called, “Control,” by Tenth Avenue North. Make it your mantra for this year, and open your hands to Him. <3

 

Don’t Throw Yourself Away

“What’s this?” My husband said holding something at the top of the stairs. “Why was it in the trash?”
He walked down the steps holding it in his hand.

It was a picture. Of me, when I was fifteen. I remember it was taken by my friend during a sleep-over at her house. I’m just standing there with my duffle bag over my shoulder. And I have kind of an awkward smile. My clothes don’t fit right. My hair is puffy.

“I hate that picture,” I told him. That was why I threw it away when Selah ran upstairs with it the other day in her hand, when she and her dad were cleaning out the basement.

“No,” he said. “Don’t do that.”

“Do what?” I said.

“You don’t throw pictures of yourself away. We don’t do that. We keep them. These are memories, Bekah. Someday people will want to look back on pictures of us–even if we didn’t like them.”

I never knew he felt this way. Or that he had such great conviction about it. My daughter didn’t see me shove it into the trash.

But he saw it in there, the next day, in the little wastebasket in our bedroom.

And he reached down, and pulled it out.

He pulled me out of the garbage.

And isn’t this just what Jesus does?

We throw ourselves away. We bury ourselves under the garbage. We wish away some of our years. Wishing they never happened. Not even wanting to remember. Who we were, or how we looked then.

We just want to forget.

But He…

He loves us. We are precious to Him. And He carefully reaches into the garbage, and pulls out that picture of us. Looks at it with love. Cherishing the awkward smile, loving the puffy hair. Loving the girl under those ill-fitting clothes. And all the confusion of who we were. And wanted to be.

Holds us against His warm chest. And whispers, so gently, and so firmly, “Don’t do that.”

“Don’t throw yourself away. Not ever.”

The Sacred Art of Remembering

Can I be honest? I’ve had a hard time engaging with God lately. Maybe it’s because I’m 3 weeks post-partum and I’m a little thrown off my rocker. Or, maybe it’s because it’s the dead of winter.  Either way, I finally made some time–just to meet with Him.

My husband and daughter were out at a basketball game. And my newborn son had just fallen asleep.

I brewed some coffee, and opened my Bible and journal. I was trying. But…the words in my Bible just seemed to blur. And I stared instead at my blank journal.

And felt…just that.

Blank.

My mind was tired from the day, and I had nothing.

I looked down at my newborn son sleeping in my lap. I studied his face. When so subtly, I heard the Lord say…

“Remember when I healed his brain?”

My heart wrenched. (To read that story click here.)

Tears filled my eyes.

I remembered.

And my spirit, which has felt asleep the last few weeks…suddenly awakened.

I wasn’t prepared for what came next.

“Let’s play a game,” I felt God say, “It’s called…’Remember when I…”

My heart burned. And my hands trembled.

And I opened my journal, and began..

“Remember when I heard your cry to get pregnant?”

“Remember the day you found out you were pregnant in the upstairs bathroom, and fell on your knees by the sink?”

“Remember when I provided for you and your husband?”

“Remember when I showed you which house to rent?”

“Rembember when I provided the house you have now?”

“Remember when I…”

(I know these examples may seem flat as you read this…but to me, they are deeply meaningful experiences I had with God. And there are more. More than I could share. And some, too personal to share.)

But what I want to say is…I began to remember.

All of these specific moments where He came through. 

Where He showed Himself faithful.

Where He showed Himself kind.

Where He showed Himself.

Close. To me.

Presently involved in situations I didn’t know He cared about.

But He did.

And He does.

And He’s close. Closer than any of us dare to believe.

And as I wrote in my journal, as I took time to simply “remember,” a song called “Take A Moment” by Will Reagan came on. And no joke, the words were, “Take a moment to remember, who God is, and who I am…”

“Take a moment…to remember.”

I was pierced to the heart. God came through to me. Even in spite of my sleep deprivation. Even in spite of my many unspiritual thoughts lately. Even in spite of my lack of effort to draw near to Him.

He was simply inviting me…through some mysterious invitation from His Spirit, to “remember.”

Remember. 

We always want God to speak something new to us. We always want God to do something. To change something. And we should–after all, He is God. He invites His children to ask Him, to call upon Him day and night.

But there is something so sacred and so holy about just pausing to remember what He has already done. 

The more we remember, the more we can trust Him. The more we can rest in Him. The more we know how very near He is.

David wrote, “I shall remember the deeds of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.

I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.” Psalm 77: 11-12

Maybe you too have had a hard time engaging with Him lately. Maybe you aren’t sure what to read, or write, or do. And it’s okay.

Because maybe you just need to look behind you for a moment. Take a breath and see how far He has taken you. Where the road has curved and bent. Where it was dark and scary. And where He brought you through the pass. Where He met you and showed you how to walk.

Maybe you just need to sit a rock, and remember. That time. And that time. And that time.

Because He is so faithful. And the things He does…are worth remembering. This is the sacred art of remembering.

And maybe He’s whispering to your spirit tonight. Maybe He’s inviting you to play a holy game called,

“Remember when I…”

Remember. 

Why I Really Need Jesus This Christmas

christmas

The whole house smelled like the sharp scent of Windex and furniture polish, mixed with something delicious baking in the oven, and the vacuum was always running. Mom gave us all a job to do, to get ready for their arrival. My grandparents.

As soon as I finished my chores, I would stand at the door and wait. I stood so close, my breath would appear on the cold glass. And I would draw smooth lines with my finger. And my heart would rise and fall with the passing of each car. Until finally, it came.

Their big cream colored Cadillac stopped in front of our house. And my heart leaped.

When you’re eight years old–you don’t wait for people to ring the doorbell. (Especially when you’ve been watching out the window for a half an hour.) And you don’t give them “courtesy time” get out the car. No. You run. You race down to greet them in your socks.

You nearly climb into their car before they can even climb out. And you cover them in hugs and kisses, and cling to them like a starfish, so they can barely walk.

Have you ever had that feeling of longing? Of waiting so long…it physically hurts?

(Click here to read about infertility and longing for a baby at Christmas.)

I’ve been thinking about expectation lately.

Maybe it’s because I’m expecting a baby a boy in less than four weeks. And I’m longing to meet him and touch his skin, and look into his face.

Or, maybe it’s because we just finished a very a ugly political season. And I’m watching rioting in the streets on my TV. And the world seems dark. And in need of a Savior.

Either way…I’m feeling this longing. This expectation. This need for Jesus. To be here.

So I’ve decided to celebrate Advent this year.

(Please on’t think I’m super spiritual…because I didn’t even know what “Advent” meant until a couple of weeks ago. I thought an Advent calendar was a paper calendar with chocolates inside.) (And it is, in many grocery stores.)

But I didn’t know Advent is so much more.

The word “Advent” actually means “coming.”

And I just found out that people celebrate the “season of Advent.”

The season of “coming.”

The season of “waiting for His coming.”

You  know how the sky grows darkest before dawn? How it seems so black, and then slowly it turns blue, like that deep, glowing blue, that gradually turns pale blue…and then the dawn breaks through? The light pierces the dark?

That’s Advent. Like watching the dark sky, and waiting for those first gentle rays of light.

Because the world is dark. And we are all waiting, quietly, desperately for Him. For Jesus. To come.

In years past, I guess I have “tried” to celebrate Advent. I tried to print something off Pinterest and force my 18 month old daughter to do the readings with me each night, while she screamed and ripped up the papers. I tried to force my husband to do this “tradition” with us, that I read was supposed to be so meaningful.

But since everyone hated it. (Including me.) It only lasted about a day.

(Maybe someday, we will figure out some wonderful Advent tradition that works for our family… )

But for now, I’m realizing: I need it.

Instead of trying to drag the family to do something I want to be “meaningful,” maybe I’m the one who needs to find something meaningful in this season.

I’m thirsty for it. For Him to show me who He is.

I feel Him prompting me to “behold” Him. I don’t really know how, but I feel like you can’t “behold” someone, or something in a two-minute rush (like I usually do). It takes some time.

So, I’m trying to learn how to behold Him, And His coming. And I’m celebrating the season of Advent this year. The season of darkness before the light, the season of waiting, and expectation, and longing so bad, it hurts.

And I’m celebrating by myself. Because I realize: I need Him. And until I am able to “behold” Him—I can’t help anyone else to do the same.

So I bought a book on Amazon, called “The Greatest Gift” by Ann Voskamp. And It’s a book all about Advent. A book about “His coming.”

I know Christmas will come either way. All the Black Friday Ads are coming in the mail, and the hustle and bustle will start us all racing to December 25. We will do gift exchanges, and parties, and try to make our homes warm and beautiful, and full of light.

But what if the preparations don’t need to be done so much outwardly?

What if the real preparations happen inwardly?

Maybe I need the light inside me this year?

Because there is something about preparing a place. Inside. Like the Christmas carol says, “Let every heart prepare Him room.”

When we would prepare our house for our grandparents to come, it wasn’t just about work. It was about anticipation. We could all feel it in the air. It was in the expectation of standing at the window, and watching for them.

I feel that Jesus is calling me to prepare a place for Him. Maybe I’m not the only one who is desperate for His light to pierce through?

Maybe He is calling you to prepare a place for Him this Christmas, too.

Maybe you will stand at the cold glass door, and wait for Him. And watch for Him, to come.

And when He comes…

When He comes…you won’t wait for Him to ring the door bell. Or to get out of the car.

You will run out in your socks to greet Him. You will run wildly, like the father ran to meet His prodigal son while he was still coming up the road. You will cling to him like a starfish, so he can barely walk.

When you see His light appear, you will fall down and weep before Him. You will behold Him.

And He will hold you, and He will not let you go.

And this “beholding” is what Christmas is all about.

Emmanuel. God is with us.

His Word says,

“Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1-2

If you feel the night is black right now, hold on. Christmas is coming.

For you.

Jesus is coming.

For you.

The night is long. But…

Your Light is coming.

Yes, He will be here soon.


For more encouragment about infertility, motherhood, or marriage follow Barren to Beautiful by entering your email address in the box on the right of this website. Or, “like” the Barren to Beautiful Facebook page, by clicking here. For more Christmas posts read “When All I Wanted For Christmas Was You,” or “Christmas Is For Desperate People.” 

5 Officers Killed In Dallas And Truth For Your Soul

dallas officers

I turned on the TV this morning to find a kid show to watch for my daughter. But I didn’t leave the channel. “CBS Live Report: 5 Officers Shot and Killed in Dallas.”

My heart sunk. My eyes widened and I stared, as the TV showed nightmarish scenes of these brave officers who were led into an ambush, and shot. And killed.

The screen’s red and blue lights shone, and they blurred out the officers dead bodies in between their police cars.

Then the whole screen blurred, with my tears. My heart is grieved over this. Over men trying to protect us. Over men whose lives were stolen away, in a moment. Over their wives, and kids, and friends, whose loved ones were snatched away by wicked people.

“These weren’t like other attacks,” the officer they were interviewing said, “This was a skilled, military-style ambush.”

The female newscaster then said, so accurately, “It seems like every day many Americans wake up, not sure what tragedy they are going to find, that’s even worse than the day before.”

“What do you make of it?” she asked the officer being interviewed.

“Well, to be honest, our culture is changing,” he said, “People are not satisfied with anything any more. They are impatient. Nothing is good enough for anyone. They are more callous and rude. They take matters into their own hands. And with the right kind of weapons they’re very dangerous.”

“It seems that the anger of the American people is at a tipping point,” she said.

“What can law makers do to stop this from happening?”

Law makers??

What can law makers do?!

I wanted to pick my TV off my wall and shake it.

Nothing. 

How I wish “lawmakers” could change it somehow.

The problem isn’t the laws. It’s the people.

There is no law that can stop this. You know why?

The problem is in the heart. 

In all of our hearts.

 

And that’s the truth that our culture refuses to hear.

Our culture: that believes we are all right in our own eyes. 

And we preach tolerance–because everyone is okay.”

No. I’m sick of it.

We are not okay.

I am ready to scream from the rooftops,

“We are not okay! Look around! We are not okay!”

Let God be true and every man a liar.

The words the officer said began to ring louder and louder in my ears.

“Our culture is changing.

People are angry.

No one is satisfied. 

We’re getting worse.

People are more rude than before.”

And just like that the Holy Spirit reminded me of a passage in Scripture, where God utters these very words. It’s in 2 Timothy 3:1-5:

 

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!” 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Is this not our culture? The description here could not be more accurate.

I don’t say this as an innocent person. I say this as a sinner. Who is guilty of most of what is on this list. We all are.

But I don’t share this to shame you. I say this to encourage your spirit.

When you see what’s happening on TV, and all around you–you need something solid to stand on.

You need to find comfort. And it’s found not in how many weapons you have, so you can hunker down and build a bunker for when it all goes down.

It simply comes down to one weapon. 

You either have it, or you don’t.

But you sure as hell, better get it. Because when hell breaks loose–you are going to need it. 

Here is the weapon: the Sword of the Spirit.

God’s Word.

You can laugh. You can mock it.

But you can’t live without it. 

Hell is coming for you. Whether it’s through the hands of terrorists…or simply through the selfish desires in your own soul, that make you want to love pleasure more than God.

Do you have a weapon?

Do you know how to wield it?

You need to learn. I need to learn. 

Today, drop what you are doing. Get your sword out. Open God’s Word. And if you don’t understand it, learn from someone skilled in it. As if your life depended on it.

Because it does. 

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

That passage in 2 Timothy, the one that says how our culture is going from bad to worse–there is an encouragement there for believers. Here is what it says,

“But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:13-15

It’s not a joke. The thing we are told to stand on is: God’s Word.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16

You wan to be equipped for every good work?

I don’t care how Sunday School-ish it sounds: read God’s Word. 

Devour it. Hide it away in your heart. Soak in it. Let it penetrate your soul.

And live it.

It’s the only way.

We are a people, who are not okay. 

Every. Day. We need reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness. So that we may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I don’t know what bombs or bullets may come against me.

But we aren’t warned in God’s word about bombs and bullets. We are warned about “principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12-13

Maybe I will get shot in a movie theater. Or maybe I will be the victim in some terrorist invasion. Who knows? The way our culture is going, the odds are going up every day. But however I die–is not up to me. It’s up to God.

But how I live–that is up to me.

Every day it’s up to me.

And I live in a culture that is slowly, or quickly, killing itself. People have no hope, no God, and desire pleasure, always, more than God. And it pulls me down with it. Every day is like trying to crawl out of quicksand. But we are not called to simply try to “survive.” We are called to so much more in Jesus Christ. We are called to stand up. To play a part in Jesus’s rescue mission in this world. Because our lives are not about us, they are about Him.

Our lives are not about bunkering down in our little kingdoms, they are about wildly advancing His Kingdom. 

They are about letting Heaven invade earth. 

So, we don’t have to hide, we have to stand. We have to stand and not deny God’s power. 

“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints…” Ephesians 6:14-18

It’s not that our world has too many weapons. It’s that we don’t have the right kind of weapons. 

Without the weapons of the  Spirit–we fight this battle like a naked man. 

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10

 

 

Put your armor on. And do not deny His power.

We don’t need more lawmakers.

We need Jesus. We need heaven to invade earth.

For His is the Kingdom,

the power, and the glory, forever and ever.

Amen.

Photo credit: CNN.com