17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:17-18
You know how it is, a bunch of like minded people get together for an occasion and everyone is happy and it is all swimmingly beautiful and because we are all children of God it is even better.
There is no need to put in the nitty gritty of what happens when you get down and dirty and discover that instead of a band of happy clappies we are a bunch of diverse folk who in the body of Christ are united.
We are united in spite of ourselves, we are united because of ourselves. We are united because we are focused on the Cross, focused on Christ and refuse to let distractions come in and take that unity away.
A young chap I know wants to know why he has been given lots of different disabilities that make it difficult to learn, speak, see and walk. He wants to know why. On top of that why does he pick up every infection, has open weeping sores, is allergic to almost everything and his intestines are now causing him pain and discomfort.
“Why me?” He asks me, as if I am the fount of all wisdom. I shrug my shoulders and then tell him I have shrugged my shoulders. Sometimes I think “Why not him?” other times I think, “Why not me?” other times I don’t get past the shrug.
You see, I don’t know and I don’t want to give him some wishy washy happy clappy cliché ridden statement that will make me feel better having addressed the issue but leave him floundering in the abyss. There are no easy answers, now some will say “the sins of the ….” and others will say “the more you suffer here the more blessed …”
What would you say?
Many years ago I held a dying child in my arms, death had him claimed, blood vessels had popped on his skin surface due to the severe pressure of not breathing, he was sweating blood, his skin was turning blue, his body limp when an act of heroic “not now” brought breath back into the body, the limp became solid, the blue became pink. When this man-boy now stands before me and says “Why me?” I think back to those minutes when the oxygen was stopped and the “not now” happened and try to map out a different route a “What if?”
I don’t get far, I don’t regret the saving of a life, I don’t regret that because of that point in our shared history we now have these discussions where he asks and I shrug. I don’t regret anything.
That moment, that crucial jigsaw piece that fits five people’s jigsaw of life is a root stone. What happened in that moment changed us all. We are rooted to each other and to that moment, not in a sentimental, always looking back, nostalgic way, but life changed for all of us that day.
Are you living with regret?
In the unity of family be it genetic or church, stuff happens. There are moments like that, when there is no breath – someone has said something and the family turns to see what happens next. We are called to not turn our backs on our family and yet this country is full of family feuds that have lasted lifetimes and generations until no one knows what the argument was about.
Families should stick together, pray together, love together because no matter how many differing opinions there are the focus should be on Christ, on the Cross. We have been provided for abundantly to live this life, not in monetary terms but in our very being we have been given gifts to nurture family in spite of ourselves.
Church families across this land need prayer today, all churches need prayer today, the people in those churches, in the churches of our land, in your church and my church, all churches. The people need prayer. Pray for unity with me today. Pray for broken hearts to be healed. Pray for tears to be wiped away. Pray for all our brothers and sisters in Christ today.
The Prayer of Faith
13 Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:13-20