Thursday, February 13, 2014

Don't Miss The Rescue

Earlier this week, wait...was that just yesterday? No. I don’t even know what day it is any more people. BECAUSE THE SNOW. Anyway, the two most precious dogs you have ever seen came up to my girls who were sledding in the yard. They were obviously well trained and groomed but they didn’t have collars on!

If you have followed the news at all, you know that some of us who live in the south have been getting "blessed" with large amounts of snow and ice. And look, roll your eyes and make fun of us if you want too...WE AREN'T USED TO IT.

Back to the dogs...as adorable as these dogs were... (they even know how to fetch a tennis ball, that's a big deal because our dog fetches NOTHING unless he feels like it AND there is a bacon bribe involved) I knew in the back of my mind we only had a few hours of day light left and the looming ice storm was breathing down our neck.

I had to find their owners. Fast.

We live on a mountain so driving around posting signs on street corners with pictures of the dogs and "FOUND" wasn't an option. The roads were already covered in black ice. Honestly, I didn't want to be stuck with these dogs. I have my hands full. But what was I going to do, let them freeze and die? No. So now these little darlings were my problem.

I paced the floor for a few minutes and then it hit me...Twitter. I follow some teenagers from our Church and local High School because they are ADORABLE and full of life so I read their 140 character blurbs and giggle, and then pray. (Grin) I knew if I could get a picture on line they would recognize the dogs...or at least “re tweet” the pictures until someone saw them who did.

I was hoping for around 10 re tweets...I got almost 400. The dogs were reunited with their owners (Who were beyond thrilled and thankful. They even sent us Papa John’s pizza later.) And I stood there in sort of a star struck wonder as I looked back through all the teenagers who wanted so badly to help these defenseless animals. This is why I think young people can change the world.

Hey listen, if you think it's easy to get teenagers to re tweet something a 38 year old woman has to say...you have lost your mind. I put stuff out there every single day in an attempt to reach out and let them know how loved they are. I tweet about Jesus and I get zero response. I tweet about a dog and my account had so much action it got suspend for suspicious activity. True story.    

And it got me thinking...I don't think it was the dogs, meaning the cuteness of the pictures, I think it was the idea of a rescue. Being an active part of a story that saved something or someone else. These kids want to live for a bigger purpose. They can feel it from the deepest part of their soul that they were put here to do something. They can't put their finger on it but they want to start a movement. One that rescues.

If you are honest, we all do. Some would say it's a chase for fame...I disagree. I think it's a chase for value and fulfillment. Because we live in a world where very little satisfies.

The flip side to that overwhelming desire to help rescue...is the need to be rescued yourself. There isn't a single one of us who if lost, wouldn't hope that someone was out there searching. Never losing hope that we would one day return home safe. If a fire broke out, we want to hear those life saving words of a firefighter that say "I've got you, we are getting out..." If we go camping or hiking and lose our way...the water and food runs low...we want the rescue helicopter flying over head...you can bet we are going to jump up and down and wave our arms around. Rescue me…

Last week a friend of mine was trapped in her car... stranded in an ice storm...her husband, moved out of deep devotion and an uncontainable love put on his snow gear and walked for MILES just to sit with her, and guide her safely home.

Rescued. 

Don't tell me you don't want to be a part of that story.  I won’t believe you.

I could go on and on. The news is filled with stories that make us swell with hope of humanity when some person or animal is in great distress and then someone else swoops in to save the day. It keeps our hearts on fire with faith that goodness and love still matter and they most importantly… still win.

And I am reminded of how all of this draws us back to the greatest rescue of all time. The one where The Creator of the universe looked down on us with compassion and said "What a mess they have made, let me rescue them. Son, it's time for You to go." (My interpretation of what that conversation might have sounded like.)

Of course I'm talking about Jesus Christ. Don't stop reading now...you will miss the best part. Hang with me here for a few more minutes.

The God who is being crammed down your throat by some, and misquoted for political agenda by others. The One who came humble, simple and peaceful...and has been since described and depicted falsely as a ruler who shakes His finger in anger waiting for you to screw up so He can punish you (ridiculous) is here.

Can you picture it? The greatest act of chivalry the world has ever known. He heard us call out in distress. He came after you. He delivered you to safe ground. He came for you with an agenda of nothing but love and we have turned it in to a court house debate. I shake my head at the sorrow of it all. How could we see Him as anything but a hero? I don't get it...

I'm terrified we have ruined this for you. We have told you to say a certain prayer that for the life of me I cannot find in the Bible. We are hurling rules at you instead of preaching freedom. We are scaring you into obedience rather than leading you gently into the arms of the God who is the only One able to redirect or calm your heart, and trusting that He can handle you. 

We have decided to focus on the sins rather than The Savior and we are putting words into the mouth of God that He never spoke. I can think of nothing more dangerous. No wonder you don't want to re tweet my Jesus talk.   

Time and time again the religious rulers of the day were asking Jesus to narrow down the greatest commandment...They, like us, wanted to know which one to follow when all else fails. He kept saying... 

Love me. Love others. (Matthew 22)

He didn’t take that opportunity to say “The most important thing is to make sure everyone isn’t sinning.” No, here’s the thing…He knew we would always be sinners. It’s the entire reason for the rescue.


What if it is really that simple? God came to rescue you. Period. To offer peace, hope, kindness, love, an eternal relationship with the very One who made you. Would you accept it then? If it came without strings attached would you be open to learning more about this Jesus I'm talking about? What if I told you time really was of the essence...just like the storm raging in from the east. Would it be worthy of the retweet? Or would you roll your eyes at the frantic weather forecaster...

What if I told you that God is desperate for seekers of Him, not experts of Him. Ones that want to find out who He truly is by the searching of Scriptures and prayer....not by blindly following the crowd and agreeing with "the truth" just because someone said so. There is One Way to heaven, (John 14:6) yes. But there is not "one way" to be lead by, or worship Jesus Christ. He allows us to each be unique. He isn’t looking for conformity... 

Could you be the generation to blow the world away with an authentic mobile "church"? I think so. Think outside the four walls, spread your wings and chase God, yes...I believe this is going to happen. And I believe you will find Him. "If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me." Jeremiah 29:13 

John 21:25 tells us that "There are so many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written."

Do you understand that in our great attempt to explain Him, we are boxing Him in? And THERE IS SO MUCH MORE. We don’t know it all. None of us. This is equal playing ground. There is room for you. 

            
I wish you could have seen the dogs when the spotted their owner. I thought their tails were going to wag right off their bodies. One of them let out a sound that sounded like a cry of relief. They both literally jumped into his arms. I was just about to sob my eyes out.

Why?

Because they knew him as provider, protector, companion, and fixer of the empty water bowl. They could trust him. He came for them... the rescuer. 

But you know what...even though the owner came, the rescuing couldn't occur until the dogs allowed him to put them in the car and take them with him. There was a choice involved. They could have run...and missed the rescue. They wouldn't have been loved any less...they would just still be lost. 


Don’t miss it out of rebellion. Don’t miss it out of fear. Don’t miss it in an attempt to stick it to the hypocrites. Don’t miss it because you don’t have all the answers. Don’t miss it because you can’t see the Heavens, or hell. Don’t miss it because your dad is an asshole. Don’t miss it because you don’t fit in the Church crowd. Don’t miss it because you are the Church crowd and everything in you wishes you weren’t. Don’t miss it because in the bottom of your heart there is a dark secret. Don’t miss it because you are too comfortable. Don’t miss it because you don’t think you need it. 

I'm pulling your face into my hands, eye locking with you....whispering to you with conviction. You need it... you need it... you need it... I promise you will not regret it. And it’s not complicated. Stop running. 


Don’t miss the rescue.

Don’t miss the rescue.

Don’t miss the rescue.  


“You came to my rescue, Lord, and saved my life.”
Lamentations 3:58

"If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."
Romans 10:9 

It's that simple.

~Allison

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