Read His Words Before Ours!
“Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity”
These words from Hillsong’s “Hosanna” echoed from the walls of a small school cafeteria full of people seeking Jesus one bright, Palm Sunday morning.
God was already working in my heart before those words even left my mouth as I sang along.
The morning before, I’d run through my normal Saturday routine and headed to a nearby coffee shop to join some of the best women I know as we dove into God’s Word.
I happened to arrive a little early, so I ordered my breakfast and had a seat to kill some time.
Opening Facebook for what I thought would be a mindless scroll, I ran across an article about a 5-year-old boy who was thrown from the 3rd floor of the Mall of America by a random man. There wasn’t much information available, because authorities still were unclear on many details. Normally, I would read the article, think something like, “Oh that’s so sad” and move on, but for some reason, I was prompted to delve further.
I looked up several different articles and then unwittingly dove into the comments section on Facebook. People were commenting with prayers for the young boy and his family, for healing and peace and comfort. I was heartened to see the support pouring out for this family in their time of crisis.
Yet, what really struck me were the comments about the young man who’d allegedly thrown the boy. Comments abounded regarding what an evil person he was, and vengefully suggesting people violently take matters into their own hands. As I read, I felt convicted to pray for the accused man. So, throughout the rest of the day, I prayed.
The next morning, as our setup team for our little plant church gathered for prayer, I continued to feel burdened to pray for everyone involved in the tragedy. As I shared about how this man was God’s creation and needed healing and Jesus just as much as any of us, tears flowed uncontrollably from my eyes. The depth of my reaction surprised me, but I knew it was a sign of the Holy Spirit working within me.
The rest of the morning I was a mess, crying during prayer and as I spoke with others, all outward signs of God breaking my heart for what breaks His. Opening up my eyes to the things unseen. Showing me how to love like He has loved me.
Jesus spoke often on forgiveness and its power to completely change a person’s life; the parable of the man who was forgiven much in Luke 7 is an amazing example. If you’ve ever been subject to debt, imagine how grateful you would feel if it was completely paid at no expense to you.
What if extravagant forgiveness was shown to the young man from the Mall Of America incident? What if, instead of all of those hateful, vengeful remarks, the comments were filled with words of compassion and forgiveness for this man? Imagine how his life might have changed.
None of us deserves forgiveness. Regardless of the ranking system we humans have erroneously developed for sin, all sin deserves God’s wrath. And yet through the death and resurrection of Jesus, forgiveness is ours. All of our debts, past present, and future are paid.
That man at the Mall of America could be any of us, one snap or mental health breakdown from wreaking havoc on another life, community, or ourselves.
So, before we are quick to condemn today, let’s ask ourselves if that person could use forgiveness.
If they could use love and an encouraging word instead of ridicule and condemnation.
If they need Jesus.
Because don’t we all?
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!