We awoke in our cozy Iowa small town to a haze yesterday morning. It was as if we were in a fog, except that it wasn’t fog, and it didn’t go away. As the day progressed, we came to realize that wild fires were burning in Canada, and because of the jet stream, we were overcast with the smoke from the flames. Throughout the day, I found myself checking the radar which continued to indicate clear skies in our area. One glance outside told a different story. No blue skies. No sunshine lighting up the summer day. Instead, dark haze.
As evening drew near, the sun in the West sky burned red through the smoke. Standing on our front porch, I watched in amazement. It was beautiful. Different yes, but beautiful. At that moment, I realized that even in the haze, the sun still shines. Sometimes seeing it is difficult, but the sun hadn’t stopped shining.
Earlier in the day, I had been a participant in a discussion about the recent supreme court ruling and how our organization should respond. As our team talked, I was mostly silent. I’ve been in that place lately. Silent. Not because I don’t care, but because I care more than I can express. I feel numb. In a fog. And the fact that we were overcast with smoke from a fire seemed so ironic.
The cry of my heart is that we would see revival and holy spirit fire. That we would become a people of passion for Jesus. Instead, I feel like we are clouded by our opinions and what we “think” is right. And in the name of Jesus, we respond in ways that are the exact opposite of what I would imagine Jesus doing, or revival looking like. Much like the Pharisees.
I can’t help but wonder, are we blinded by the smoke screen and missing the fire? Are we being led by emotion to focus on the wrong thing? Yesterday, I was focusing on our “haze”. Today, I’m praying for the forest fires in Canada. The smoke that is before me pales in comparison to the tragedy of the wild fire.
How true is this in our everyday ordinary life? We can spend lots of emotional energy on things that are right in front of us and clouding our view. Because it is immediate. But, I’m challenging myself to keep perspective. I’m trusting the Holy Spirit to guide me and help me respond, instead of my own human emotions. I’m a passionate person, and can easily let my emotions get ahead of me.
Perspective for me means this. Sexual Immorality is and has been an issue. The Law will not change that. Racism is and has been an issue – the law hasn’t changed that. Drugs are an issue. The law hasn’t changed that. (Even in Colorado where some drugs are legal) ISIS is an issue. The law isn’t changing that.
But Jesus. Jesus changes everything. I’m focusing on Jesus. I’m asking him to give me a heart like his heart. I’m asking him to break my heart for the things that break his, AND to give me a heart that loves like he loves. I’m asking that he gives me words to speak and ears to hear. I’m not praying that he comes with wrath and judgement. His word already tells me he will do that. I’m simply asking that in my time on this Earth, that he will continue to give me his heart. And perspective. Lots and lots of perspective.
Last week while I watch the world of facebook blow up with posts full of opinions, I saw little mention of the tragedy of ISIS and the continued killings. Persecution is happening to people who are standing up for Jesus, and we are lost in a haze of societal issues. The haze is right here, and so it’s easy to forget about “them.” Or Greece – where financial crisis is eminent. Imagine waking up tomorrow in the U.S. and finding out your retirement and bank accounts were in jeopardy. But, again, it’s the haze that clouds our perspective.
Please don’t get me wrong. I hear and understand both sides of so many of the issues that are brewing right now. However, what I most desire to hear is God. I truly want to honor his heart.
More of you, less of me Lord.