Thursday, November 6, 2008

Barack Obama is Covered in Chinese Food! :)

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
Proverbs 13:12

Since Tuesday night, my heart has been sick. The hearts of my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ have been sick as well as we mourned and grieved over what is to come in the next four years. We shared our concerns for Israel, the unborn, and for the welfare of our faith and families. We painfully watched the world rejoice over their exalted “messiah” and groaned to think that so many in our nation voted for the one that was the choice of all our hostile enemies and terrorist in the world. We are left wondering “why” and how we can cope with what lies ahead. Beyond any promises of “hope” we hear from the mouth of the world, we rest in the REAL hope of what we know to be true:

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. - Jeremiah 23:16

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. - Psalm 130:5

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. - Psalm 33:20

O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water. - Jeremiah 17:13

For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. - Psalm 37:9

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. - Psalm 31:24

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Our only hope is God, and in Him will we trust! We will bond together and stand stronger than ever in our faith. Hopefully, the body of Christ will be unified even more as we seek to uplift our leaders and pray harder!

As I cried and prayed Wednesday morning, I was comforted with the fact that as surely as the Lord lives, there is HOPE! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever! And, as long as His people are drawing breath here on this earth, we have hope, unity, fellowship, and His Kingdom come on earth!! We who are in Him will still continue to do His Will and goodness and love shall prevail!

You know, I serve a great God!! Even though this nation acted in defiant rebellion against His will, He is greater than all things!! He will have favor on His faithful ones and protect His people. He will redeem and restore those who cry unto Him. He will give us grace, hope, and peace. It is the very thing He graciously gave to me in a powerful way, yesterday, as I carried the burden of sadness on my heart. I would like to share that beautiful and blessed story with you now:

Yesterday afternoon, I told Mitch I just wanted to get out of the house and get my mind off of things. So, we decided we would go to Fort Wayne (which I had an errand to run up there anyways). Usually, when we go to Fort Wayne, we pick somewhere to eat. Knowing my state of being, Mitch kindly offered to let me pick the place to go; hoping that it would cheer me up. So, as we made our way to Fort Wayne, I felt a strong urge to go to a little Chinese place that we hadn’t been to in a long time. I was almost hesitant to go considering that our children are such picky eaters, but we went.

As we entered the place, it was very empty. We were the only ones there. The kids headed straight for the fish tank, so we picked a table right in front of it so they could enjoy the view. The owners of the establishment were very friendly and kind, and they took our order and we waited.

Meanwhile, two guys came in and ordered some food to go. They sat down at the table beside us as they waited for their food. All the while, they watched our children talk about the fish, and they made funny comments to them as they seemingly shared in their joy and delight in seeing such big fish. We said a few words to them here and there as well, and just smiled and laughed along with them as they watched our kids take joy in such simple pleasures. Then, we motioned the kids to sit down as the lady brought us some food. We told the kids to pray, and we all bowed our heads as our five-year-old son uttered the blessing in a small little voice. Promptly thereafter, the kids decided they weren’t ready to eat yet, and went to admire the fish some more. (That’s children for you! Ha ha!).

A few minutes later, the men received their order and left. Then, the owner came up to us and said that our bill (tip and everything) had been paid in full by one of those guys. Mitch rose from his seat; hoping to find them and thank them, but they were already gone. The owner asked if we knew the men and we said no. He then told us that they were from a town nearby (which is in the northern part of the county that we live in). He said the one guy came in a lot to get take-out. I asked if I could write a thank-you note and if they would give it to him the next time they came in. He said of course, and gave me a paper and pen. Clearly, they were just as moved by such a random act of kindness as we were. He read my note of thanks and we talked to them a little while as we enjoyed our very delicious meal (and the kids ate their food that night too! LOL).

I tried hard to hold back the tears as I marveled at what had been done. The whole time, God was speaking to my heart and here are the few verses that particularly came to me:

So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:31-34

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. - Psalm 30:5

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. - 1 Peter 4:8

As I pondered all those verses in my mind, I was blessed with such comfort and peace beyond what I imagined was possible. I was assured of God’s sovereignty and provision for my every need, whether great or small. He is my hope and security no matter what happens! I knew that the night of grieving was gone and that the time for rejoicing had come! No one or nothing will steal my joy!! God is still good and worthy of my praise and He will work all things out for good (Romans 8:28) even if we disobeyed Him and went against His will by choosing someone who will oppress His people (Israel), kill our children (the unborn), and bring strife and calamity on this nation. God is sovereign over it all!! And, His people are STILL here and we can STILL carry out His will and bring blessing on this nation through our rendered hearts!!

Deeper still, I thought of King David’s reaction to his child’s death in 2 Samuel 12:20-23:

Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!" He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.' But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.

In other words, what's done is done. We will reap what we sow. David learned that disobedience has consequences. Then, he prayed and fasted and hoped that God would show mercy. But when it didn’t happen, he accepted it and moved on. Likewise, we mustn't look back and try to "revive the dead." The past must stay in the past; we cannot resurrect it. It cannot come back to life. All we can do is live with whatever consequences come and band together in unity and prayer so that we can face our lives today and in the days to come. God has nothing but good plans for us if we would only listen and welcome Him in. Otherwise, we bear the consequences of our own free-will. Hopefully, we will learn from our mistakes and have changed and repentant hearts like David’s.

Above all else, I was comforted in remembering that love covers!! Love certainly covered us in that little restaurant. My heart was blessed beyond all I could comprehend. That act of love and kindness COVERED the wrongs and sadness that were disturbing my heart! God must have stirred that man’s heart to do what he did because only God could have known how much it would mean to me. I don’t know the heart of that man, but what he displayed was true agape love - which he must have recognized in our family as well. He blessed us immensely, though I know in some way we must have blessed him first. Maybe it was the pure joy and innocence of our kids, our display of faith through prayer, or maybe even the pro-life t-shirt I was wearing (or all of the above!). I may never know, but what I do know is that those blessings spread! Those two guys, our family, and those restaurant owners were touched. Now, more hearts will be touched as they read this story. I had written on the note that the world would know of their kindness, and I gave them the link to my blog in case they should ever see it. The best thing you can do with a blessing is pay it forward and keep the chain going!! Moments like that is what encourages me that in the broader scope of things, we will all be ok because the Holy Spirit continues to work and move in the hearts of His people. We will not be shaken!!!!

Because of that blessing, I am not bothered so much by what has occurred in our nation. Of course it’s saddening and even scary, but it’s COVERED!!! LOVE COVERS!! Barack Obama is covered in Chinese food (ha ha)!! No matter what he does or doesn’t do, the love of God’s people can cover it because we have God’s grace and agape love in our hearts!! NOTHING on earth is greater than God’s Holy Spirit - NOTHING!!!

Believe in REAL hope and pray for REAL change!! Let’s lift up all of our newly elected leaders in prayer (especially Barack Obama). May those whose hearts are right before God continue standing up for what’s right, and may those who don’t have a heart changed by the Holy Spirit!! Take heart in knowing that God will carry us through - just as this Mark Schultz song describes (which totally spoke to my heart as I heard it on the radio after leaving the restaurant).

May true hope, grace, and peace be in YOUR hearts!! God bless you all, and GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!

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