“Pray for them.”
A phrase we often hear when a tragedy occurs.
A phrase I hold so dearly to my heart.
Early this morning, a devastating occurrence happened in Aurora, CO. As many of you have probably heard of the tragedy already, I couldn’t help but be the one millionth person to think “Why…” Why does this kind of injustice happen. Why did this man, James Holmes, decide to massacre such a family friendly environment. What led him to such brutality. Why, why why…
Sex slavery, drug trafficking, poverty, child abduction, physical abuse, verbal abuse, rape, gang violence, and the list goes on of all the injustice that happens on a daily basis. I can’t help but weep over the enslaved. WHY do I have freedom while others are born in such unfortunate conditions. I thank God everyday for my freedom to praise him..this freedom to attend a local church and grow spiritually without any limitations. A freedom to engage in conversation with a brother or sister in Christ of all the good work He’s done in my life. We are blessed beyond measures, and it doesn’t take an overseas missions trip to understand that. We overlook the treasures he’s given to us since birth. There must be a reason we were the chosen ones to receive freedom and the Lord’s blessings. To hear of His good works and to experience Him. There is a bigger purpose in our lives than that same mundane routine.
About a year and a half ago, I had this sudden conviction in my heart to change. To change everything about my life. To let go of the bad and take hold of the good, in a nutshell. It sounded so pretty. I was living in blatant sin at the time. And had no room for God to work. I didn’t care for much of who I was, or where I was headed. I just knew life was just alright because I was never sober. I had a great time when the devil was in control. That was the scariest part to acknowledge…
Through my devotion of my life to the Lord, I went through some of the hardest times of my life. Loneliness to be exact. I let go “cold turkey” of all that I held on to. And boy did I have to learn the true meaning of discipline…I had to go through an extreme season of loneliness and despair for a few months, before God started revealing to me his greater plans for me. And before I experienced Him as a personal God. There were countless amounts of times where I wanted to give up, and honestly the only reason why I didn’t is because I took this faith as something black and white. I didn’t even know there was grace for my insufficiencies! I literally saw that me letting go of the black balloon meant yes or no under any and every given circumstance. So in a sense, I forced myself to be good, thinking that if I messed up, God may strike me down with lightning. Ok, maybe not that extreme, but I was just afraid of making a mistake. I wanted to be perfect before God. But even still…He saw right through my imperfection. God can be humorous at times, and I believe that He knew how ignorant I was in this new faith that I’d taken up, and He wanted to see how long I’d last with this perfection streak. But as usual, He comes at JUUUST the right time to save us from ourselves. And that’s exactly what He did for me. The moment I thought I was going to lose it, He saved me. He showed me grace. He showed me his love for me. He showed me how great I was to Him. He showed me that I AM HIS BELOVED. He called me princess, and showed me the greater things than what I had lived for.
HOW COULD A SINNER LIKE ME RECEIVE THESE UNDESERVING BLESSINGS? Why did He choose me to be born into freedom? Why am I so privileged and gifted in certain areas that others may not be in? Why has he not struck me down for all the blasphemy, sin, and deceit I’ve lived in for so long…
Because He must have a greater plan for my life. I wasn’t born into a great life to simply enjoy it. But to take from it and poor into those that need it. He calls us to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). And with a heart for injustice that He has given me, God is making more clear to me as to how I will be able to do so. No ministry to further the kingdom is belittled in the eyes of the Lord.
During the early months of my surrendered life, God spoke to me in ways that I couldn’t make sense of. He’d give me dreams, bring people in my life, and raise awareness of all the injustice around the world. One night that I’ll never forget is the night the Lord spoke to me. Literally spoke to me in an audible voice. I am reminded of Samuel when the Lord first spoke to him (1 Samuel 3) when I think back on this moment. I was sound asleep (and normally don’t wake up in the middle of the night), when this occurred. It was approximately 4 or 5 in the morning when I was awoken and had no idea why my sleep was disrupted. I lied in bed for a few minuted tossing and turning, trying to go back to sleep. As I closed my eyes and wondered why I was awake, I heard an audible voice say to me “PRAY FOR THEM”. I lied there silently in bewilderment. I was afraid and thought I was crazy. My heart was racing as my eyes shifted throughout my entire room. I didn’t know what to do, so I said a silent prayer in my heart to lift “them” up from whatever it was, as I drifted back to sleep.
Til this day, I don’t know who “they” are, but I am always praying for them. Whether they are those scattered around the world enslaved in any kind of human trafficking, or victims of natural disasters, or even of the recent tragedy of the shooting in Colorado, I am always praying for them. God has clearly placed a special place in my heart for all those who are suffering. My prayer used to be that God reveal to me WHO they are, but that is no longer my immediate concern. In His timing, and through continuous prayer, I believe He will show me who they are. Even if He doesn’t there must be a purpose in WHY He doesn’t. Whatever the case, because He is so perfect, and so wise, I trust that Daddy knows best and I will obey.
So today, I pray for those who were involved in Colorado’s tragedy. My heart goes out to the friends and families of the victims as well. It is so unfortunate..and wishing that there was something I can do, I must always remember that even with this atrocious evil in the world, the true test is to not react with vengeance, but to let this be between them and the Lord. For God is faithful and sees to it that evil will be justified through HIM.
David writes a Psalm as his enemies and Saul pursue him, and the Lord delivers him:
In my distress I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
7 The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook;
they trembled because he was angry.
8 Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth,
burning coals blazed out of it.
9 He parted the heavens and came down;
dark clouds were under his feet.
10 He mounted the cherubim and flew;
he soared on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him—
the dark rain clouds of the sky.
12 Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced,
with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
13 The Lord thundered from heaven;
the voice of the Most High resounded.
14 He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.
15 The valleys of the sea were exposed
and the foundations of the earth laid bare
at your rebuke, Lord,
at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
God is a personal God, and hears YOUR requests as he heard David’s.