Ouch

I think I have used that title before. In fact, that would have to be one of the most common titles one could choose when they are looking for ways to introduce their life experiences, right? That, and Oh. This past week I had that kind of moment, where I first said, ouch, then I said, oh.

Going through a Revelation study has me turned upside down sometimes. There is the volume of verses I don’t understand, and there is the reality of Jesus’ return. And, there is the reality of God Himself, in total control at all times, even when the world is falling apart. This past year I have been trying to obey Him when I think He is telling me to do something, or not do something. Francis Chan helped me nail it down when he said, loosely quoted, to just do it if I think it is divinely inspired. If it turns out not to be, at least we are guilty of doing, and not guilty of disobedience. So I do.

This time it was a prompt to write to family members who I am pretty sure are unsaved. It took a day or two to get up the nerve and think of what I could write to each one that wouldn’t seem carbon copied to all of them, but I finally emailed the two in one place and one in another. For some reason I didn’t feel like emailing the other two in the latter place, but later thought better of that and just finished theirs this evening. But anyway, so far I have gotten one response.

What an email! I am certain this relative was just sharing what was new with their job/ life/ whatever since we had seen each other years ago, but reading it was like a blow to the gut. Here is a person who really strugggles, with chronic pain that makes it hard to work, taking college courses as can be afforded to get promoted to a less physically demanding position, with an aging parent to care for, and disappointment in those they see call themselves ‘Christian’ around them. I was convicted that I rarely even think of this relative, other than to pray for their salvation, or reach out to them at Christmastime. Am I any better than the ‘Christians’ they know?

A statement they made was the turning of the knife. They are fluent in other languages so they were giving me advice on learning Spanish. “You have the Bible memorized. Why not get a Spanish Bible to read?” Whew. I know this person was not being exactly sarcastic, this is just the basic impression they have of people like me. Is that what I want people to think of me? What do I want people to think of me? Maybe this is one reason we should want others to only see Jesus in us. Only He knows what they need, only He can get the job done right, without me in the way.

Some real soul searching has begun since I received this reply. I pray that God continues His good work in me to make me like Jesus, so that my next Christmas email to my lost relatives encourages them more to seek Him.