Salt and Light

Friend, have you ever had a rough season? Have you ever asked God, “Lord, where are you?”. I certainly have. And I did, multiple times this past winter.

Our two year old son was repeatedly sick this past winter. He had recurring and unexplainable high fevers, ear infections, RSV, Serum Sickness Like Reaction to an antibiotic, and the Flu. One night, his fever spiked so quickly and so high, he slumped to the floor and his eyes rolled back in his head. I picked him up and his little body was limp in my arms. It was one of the scariest moments in my life. As we rushed to the hospital, I tried to pray. To ask God to meet us in this place. But, instead, all I could do was ask, “Lord, where are you?”.

Another time this past winter, I remember driving home from the pediatrician with my son, where we just received news that his White Blood Count (WBC) was low. I tried to pray, to trust in the Lord and His Sovereignty, but instead, again, all I could ask was, “Lord, where are you?”.

I specifically remember calling a friend and sobbing on the phone with her, scared that Luke’s unexplainable fevers and low WBC could mean the “C word”. My friend, being the faithful servant of the Lord that she is, encouraged me to push into the Lord. To seek Him in prayer. To allow Him to comfort me in this season. I remember telling her, “I can’t pray”. And that was the truth. I was so focused on the present circumstances, that I could not look up. What happened next, will be something I will forever carry with me. My friend said, “Well, then let me stand in the gap for you. I will pray.”. And that’s exactly what she did, right there on the phone with me.

Remember this. But lets fast forward several months, friends.

We have been reading Pastor Derwin Gray’s book, The Good Life, with our Life Group and in chapter 5 it reads;

We often ask God when we witness suffering or injustice, “Where are you?” I think he responds, “Where are you, Church? I left you on earth and deposited my life in you to continue my ministry and mission.  You are my hands and feet.  You are salt and light, the great city on a hill” (see Matt. 5:13 – 16). 

This hit me really hard. It hit me hard because I have asked so many times, “Lord, where are you?”. As I marinated on Pastor Derwin’s words, I realized that when my friend stood in the gap for me, she was being the church. She was being the hands and feet of Jesus. She was being salt and light. When I could not look past my present circumstances, to look up to God, she stood in that gap for me. She reminded me of His great love for me, even in my doubt.

So friends, I ask you, what is one way you can stand in the gap for someone today? To be the church? To be salt and light? It is not always easy or simple to step into someone else’s pain, but that is exactly what we are called to as Christ followers. So I encourage you friends, get uncomfortable and let God do amazing things in and through you.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowel. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven. Matthew 5: 13-16

Cast Your Burdens

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” Psalms 55:22

Headache. Sore throat. Pain with every deep breath. COVID-19? Most certainly! Death? Imminent.

That was my reality this morning as I lay on the couch and wallow in my anxiety. My head was clouded and I could not think beyond the “symptoms” I was experiencing. 

My husband insisted I get outside and go for a run. Reluctantly, I obliged. 

After two miles in to running and listening to worship music, I realized the headache, sore throat, and pain with every breath was gone. It was a “miracle cure”.

As I began to pray, I asked God to speak to me, to help me hear from him. Then, as the Holy Spirit does in his super savvy way, he hit me over the head with this truth: 

I will speak when you’re ready to listen. When your head and your heart are in the right place. And when you’re ready to give the worry to me. What is the purpose of speaking if you’re not ready to receive it.

My focus on myself, my anxiety, and the chaos and panic around me was keeping me from hearing from God. I could not get past my worry to trust in Him, or anything he had to say to me. 

I had a choice to make. I could continue to focus on the chaos around me, and give in to my anxiety. Or, I could focus on the Lord, what he has done for me, and he what he will do. I can choose to trust him, even with my worry and anxiety. When I give my worry and anxiety to him, my mind is clear to hear from Him. 

Friends, we are not designed to carry the burden of the chaos around us. We are not designed to carry the weight of the anxiety it is creating. But, thankfully our Almighty God is designed perfectly to carry that weight for us. Cast your burdens on him. It is your choice, and yours alone. What will you choose? He is waiting.