2016: Page 219

Page 219 has been productive as I’ve spent much of the day soaking in the Word as I prepare to share a sermon at the North Wayne Mennonite Church tomorrow morning.  Time spent with God preparing a sermon is always a reminder to me of how much God cares for the “invisible” people.  While it is difficult, even impossible at times, to communicate what I need, God always understands and provides for me in ways that show the great value He created within me.  While invisible to much of the world and unnoticed even by those around me, God sees every tear that never makes it to the eyes and understands even the hurt that doesn’t know how to cry.  As I study scripture and prepare a message about the abundant life God has called us to, I’m comforted by a Savior that lived life in the everyday moments yet was mostly unseen by the people He came to serve.

Today’s photo includes a goldfinch who showed up to eat some sunflower seeds.  These things are difficult to photograph because they often do such a great job of blending in.  I know they are out there, so I watch for subtle changes or movement around the sunflower heads.  Not only do they have a similar color pattern as the sunflowers, but their invisibility is aided by the fact that very few people are even looking for them.  Our communities are filled with “invisible” people, and not just because they blend in with everyone else but also because very few people are really paying attention to what anyone else is going through.  As we read Scripture, we do see that the teachings of Jesus often amazed people but I think there is an element of His life that is often overlooked which led people to even have a desire to listen to Him.  That element is that He noticed people.  Not just people who thought they were important, but people who no one else thought was important.  People who didn’t even think they were important enough to receive a second glance from anyone.  It’s as if the example of Jesus is that the less the world thinks of you, the more likely you are to be in position to notice Jesus noticing you.

When I have these seasons when I feel rejected by everyone, I consider Jesus hanging on a cross crying out, “My God! My God!  Why have You forsaken Me?”.  When I reflect on what Jesus went through, I realize He has kept His promise to never leave or forsake me.  He experienced something that in Christ I never have to experience.  Yet the small internal battles are real and can appear larger than life itself.  The battle to find a balance between the extremes of arrogance and worthlessness.  The battles between who God says I am and who others, including myself, say I am.  Many people have an incredible struggle to believe who God says they are because so many people have convinced them to believe something that isn’t true.  I have read that people need to hear ten positive things to counteract every one negative thing that is said to them.  In a world that is filled with so much negativity, it is no wonder that so many people believe the lies about themselves — the lies are usually spoken more often and with more conviction than the truth.

I pray that we would not only be truth-speakers, but that we would do so with such sincerity and conviction that those who hear us would accept God’s truth about them.  I pray that the negative, and untrue, things which are stored in my mind through the words of others would not define who I am.  I pray that we would have eyes that see and ears that hear those who are walking through life as invisible people.

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