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When Faith Hits The Fan


Passionate Compassion

For the past week I have prayed, wondered, and watched as a community of passionate believers stood beside one of their own as they believed God for the resurrection of their two-year-old daughter. The way they gathered around this family, honored their wishes, and walked with them is a beautiful thing. It takes staggering bravery to own your deepest pain, petition Heaven for your deepest desire, in the spotlight, for whole world to see. It paints a picture of epic faith-but makes you easy aim for snipers, too.

I hear people say they want christian leaders to be the same off-stage as on, to live their life as an open book. Then when they do, as this family has done over the past week, those same people tear them apart.

I’ve been heartsick at the battle they have faced from the people who should have supported them, their family of God. I have prayed for them and with them.  

Honestly, it has rocked me. The Holy Spirit has given me more than one firm talking to:

It’s so illogical.

But I didn’t call you to a life of logic but of obedience, Angie.

For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. -John 5:19

 

But what if she doesn’t breathe again?

It doesn’t change who I AM, what Jesus modeled or how I move. Go ahead, pray for miracles. For things that defy logic and nature. And no matter what— remember I am still God and I am good, Angie.

 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. -Mark 4:39

 

It feels dangerous to pray for her to live again. It would be easier to just move on.

But I called you to things that feel dangerous, to risk it all for my glory? I’ve told you this before. And I’ll keep telling you!

 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. -Matthew 10:8

 

Let me be clear:

I believe Jesus has called us to do mighty things in his name. 

 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. Matthew 14:29

I believe he came as a living example of God’s nature, character, and will.

Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.
How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? -John 14:9

I believe that as the world grows darker our Light and the Light that lives in us will grow brighter. 

But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. –Proverbs 4:18

I believe that Jesus came to give life overflowing, and to disempower the works of the devil who wants to kill, steal and destroy all goodness in the world.

Nothing has broken my heart more than to see the lack of compassion and outright viciousness of some who call themselves “christians.” The venom spewed, the hatred spoken, the judgmental assumptions broadcast and regurgitated into the world has been shocking. This is where faith hits the fan. This is the tipping point of belief and rhetoric, trust and logic.

In this season of the Christmas Miracle—when we celebrate our savior who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, performed miracle after miracle, then told us we would do greater things, rose from the dead and ascended into Heaven and is alive in us today—how can we call him a Miracle Working God and bash those who ask for a miracle in his name and for his glory?

 

Or is resurrection just too much? 

Virgin birth? Sure.

Shepherds and wise men find him by supernatural means? Ok.

God in the flesh, Emmanuel, God With Us? Well, yeah.

Resurrected King? Of course. 

Resurrector of little girls today? Well, ….

If this isn’t ok, where is the line?

Is it ok to pray for illogical, miraculous things, just not THAT illogical and miraculous? 

Is it acceptable to to pray for loved ones to be resurrected in their spirit but not in their body; to ask God to resurrect the spirit of my unbelieving child but lunacy to believe he can resurrect the body of my child to breathe again? Aren’t they both miraculous? 

How closely are we to follow Jesus’s example?

Can we believe every word he said or just those that fit comfortably into our westernized, ‘enlightened’ definition of christianity? Do we believe God is involved in our day-to-day life or not? Acknowledge his existence but disbelieve his tender care?
Is it ok to sing about resurrection power but not to believe it can happen right here, in the tidy western world, today. Do we relegate it to foreign countries and other groups or do we believe his promises are for all of us?

 

Are we lovers of God or deists in sheep’s clothing?

Some say that praying for resurrection defies the sovereignty of God. Defy the sovereignty of God!? How do you even do that? God’s sovereignty is an over-arching movement toward the time that everything will come together in him. Nothing can stop him. No one can derail him. God is in command but he is not a controlling puppet-master-in-the-sky, acting on his whim, defying the free-will he gave to each of us.

If everything in this world is because of God’s sovereignty why bother praying? 

If everything is God’s will why did Jesus teach us to pray for protection from the evil one? Matthew 6:13

If someone I loved lost a child and asked me to stand with them as they believed God for resurrection, you can bet the house I would stand by them. Pray for them and with them. Love them in their pain and faith. Even if it made me incredibly uncomfortable. Aren’t we told to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn? Aren’t we called to stick in the messy middle when we find ourselves stretched between two realities? Isn’t that what Jesus called us to do? Isn’t that what faith is?

If I ever faced such a tragedy, I hope there would be people in my life who would stand with me. I hope my church would gather around me and not stop fighting until I felt the fight was done.

I hope when the wolves came out of hiding and swiped at me with judgmental, pharisaical arrogance, used my pain to further their agenda, there would be those who would have my back and protect my heart. Those who would pray risky prayers right along with me, believing God was powerful enough to defy all logic and nature, join their faith to mine and see heaven bend down and kiss earth.

I hope those who couldn’t believe, would keep their doubt to themselves; that no one would call me names, question my belief, or my relationship with Jesus. 

Can we at least agree to not kick each other when we are already bent over in pain? Can we agree to not eat each other alive just because we can’t see what they see, reach for what they reach for?

Can we admit there is more to the story than what we can possibly know? Step back and not believe everything we read—especially if it’s 2nd or 22nd hand?

For the love of Jesus, can’t we just love each other and leave room for God to move in ways we have never seen him move before?

Can we awaken to the Truth, 

 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can!’ All things are possible for one who believes.”
Mark 9:23

 

Our infinite minds, our limited ideas of who God is, what he does and how he moves can’t possibly be all there is to a life of faith.

Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request,
your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination!
He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.
Ephesians 3:20


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