Loving Those Who Struggle With Faith

The days I doubt God are days that start out like any other-I wake up to the pitter patter of little feet and little voices demanding food. I toss and turn, and I beg for more silence.

Sleepy eyed- I prepare breakfast, I pour coffee, I wipe faces and tables. And then I sit. I wait for clearer thoughts while tiny hands and loud voices require attention. Days demand action! Wake up Ro, they need you.

But then the lie comes as a soft question and I entertain it longer than I should:

“What if those tender whispers are really my own?”

Anxiety builds.

The days I pursue this thought without a solid battle plan, I end down a path that leaves me feeling empty and scared: Without actually seeking God, I talk at him….

“Why did this happen to __? Where were you when___? Why haven’t you answered __ ? Are you listening? Are you even there? ”

The questions get worse, but you get the point.

And yes, this happens to me. The girl who has seen and experienced miraculous healings, countless answered prayers, daily victories. The girl who reads her bible and clings to Jesus with all her heart. God is SO good and his word is always true.

But.

It happens.

You see my friend? We all enter into battles of Faith Vs. Circumstance. Faith is confidence in what we hope for, the evidence of things unseen.

But.

Sometimes circumstances still win.

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There are beautiful hearts out there who were fighting for the faith but the loss left deep scars. The heart was not placed in intensive care so beautifully made available by the body of Christ. It was not surrounded by relentless love mixed with timely and pure words of God.

And then what happens? A new reconstructed idea of God forms to cope with the loss.

And we say,

“They should have _____. They didn’t do _____.  If only they______.”

I want to stop placing judgement on those who have lost their faith, and I want to start fiercely loving them instead. I want to chalk up the loss and blame it on the devil. Because that’s where the blame goes.

I want to reach out and watch Jesus lift that person out of their wheelchair.

I want to listen while someone word vomits all over me. And then instead of getting scared or judgmental, I want to hug them.  I want to ask them over for a cup of coffee. I want to live the life of Christ in me, reach out, and with Gods beautiful word, begin to mend wounds.

That’s what someone did for me. They listened. They loved. They cared. They saw me through the eyes of Jesus when I was struggling with faith.

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Jesus never gave up. Ever. He dealt with sin, carnality, and unbelief his entire life. When he was on the cross, he never said, “That’s it, I’VE HAD ENOUGH”

He loved them until the end.

Yes, I agree we shouldn’t yolk with those who deny Christ. We need to yolk with fellow lovers of light.

But I’m not asking for us to yolk, I’m asking for us to love. And too often, we separate ourselves completely… and we appear as self righteous haters. No, this is not our intention. But we live with heads in the ground if we are not willing to admit our own frailty.

Love involves time spent in the trenches with beautiful hearts who have been hurt by the enemy. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is not self seeking. And love covers a multitude of sins.

And instead of focusing on the mote in their eye, I want to take out my beam. I want to build my faith, the only way I know how.

By hearing the word of God.

By walking out on the word of God

By spending time with the one who wrote the word of God.

And.

By looking at the glory of Jesus, who is continually transforming me to his image

 

2 Timothy 2:24-26 New Living Translation (NLT)

24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the devil’s trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

And the Blame Goes To…….

The past few weeks many of us have been hit with adversity…..and whether it’s been personal or twice removed, you have been affected.

Let me tell you friends, it’s ok to be affected. It really is. Situations get real and times get hard, but I want us to place the blame where the blame is RIGHTFULLY due.

There is only ONE to blame. ONE. Let me say that again, THERE IS ONLY ONE TO BLAME.

Let’s expose him for who he is.  He’s called the accuser, the thief, the enemy, the father of lies, the tempter, the ruler of this world,  the roaring lion and the prince of the power of the air. A murderer, a serpent, and a spirit that continually works in the sons of disobedience.

And the blame goes to……typorama (5).jpg

That’s right folks, the devil.

Not people. NOT people. People are loved. they are wanted. They are desired above all treasure. Can we be used as a tactic? Absolutely. But the war is spiritual friends, not carnal.

Fear is not to blame. Fear is something to be exposed and than smashed and trodden upon….and than extinguished. Can fear be a tool? Absolutely. But fear relates back to people, and people are not to blame.

Let me tell you something that you might not know. We are in a war against SPIRITUAL forces. And the devil LOVES it when he sees people running around trying to place the blame on everything else EXCEPT HIM. What a tiny, disgusting, little thief. He will meet his end. But until that day comes,

Ephesians 6:10-18

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

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13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

 

So let’s be affected by what’s going on. Let’s not pretend it’s not happening. But let’s put on our armor. Let’s weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. Let’s stand against the real enemy TOGETHER and stop blaming people, emotions, things, or ANYTHING else but the devil.

We may have lost a few battles, but Jesus has won this thing- and we can carry it out as the brotherhood is fully equipped.

Colossians 2:15

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I “forgot” to put the last part of John 10:10 on here, so let’s end with a powerful statement.

JOHN 10:10b

But I have come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 

 

 

 

How I Battled Fear As I Watched My Son Struggle To Breathe

It was an exciting Saturday in the Allen household as my family and I were preparing for friends from Georgia to come and stay the evening with us. That morning, we were doing all of the usual ‘nonchalant’ things that hosts do to help guests feel comfortable….

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The kids were running around half naked fending for themselves but happy as clams. The music was on. The weather was beautiful. The race was on to get everything ready.

My son Luke, was 100% healthy and as rambunctious as ever. Climbing on things, pushing his sister, stealing chocolates from the treat drawer, you name it. He’s an extremely obedient boy….but a boy nonetheless.

Our guests come and we had an awesome time drinking beer and reconnecting and laughing. Our kids were bonding and playing with each other so happily. It was just one of those days where you think nothing possibly could go wrong on a day like today.

Our guests clock out for the night, children are all safely tucked in, and Ben and I begin our usual clean up after the days mess.

My mind was supercharged while I praised God as I swept the kitchen floor. On top of the awesome day, Ben and I had been getting excited as we felt we were on the verge of experiencing the miracles and healings that Christians can have on a daily basis. I’ve been ready to stretch out and to minister, share Christ’s love in a radical way, and just grace the shit out of everybody.

And than my son woke up.

At first, I didn’t think much of it. My husband whisked him away to not wake the guests and took him into the bathroom. I figured he was just doing the “normal” calm him down routine that usually works like clockwork.

Until all of the sudden I hear,

“Ro, Come check Luke out. Come listen to his breathing”

You know that sudden burst of panic you feel when you sense someone you love is in danger?

In .2 seconds I was by his side checking out the situation and immediately  I felt that something was terribly, terribly, wrong.

He could barely breathe. My son, my healthy 3 year old, could barely breathe. It sounded like he was breathing through a coffee stirrer and every time he inhaled or exhaled, he wheezed. He looked terrified. My heart sank and fear shot into every ounce of my bones.

In that moment, I managed to remember what I had been getting so excited about (the healing thing, remember?) and immediately and firmly declared.

“You will NOT die and you WILL breathe again in the powerful name of Jesus Christ”

Than I looked up at Ben and said,

“We need to get to the hospital, now”

I ran into the guests room, woke them up and told them they were now in charge of taking care of Josephine (My 2 year old). They didn’t have time to think or to even know what time it was.

We blasted out of there with no shoes or a wallet or anything important really, and sped to the nearest hospital about 10 minutes away.

During this time, I was in the back of our van with Luke. He seemed to be getting worse and I layed my hands on him while singing a popular worship song softly to calm him down (and to build my faith)

“There is power in the name of Jesus”

In those 10 minutes I had a constant, ongoing choice. I had a choice to let that fear and panic overwhelm and consume me. I had every right. He was my child, and the thought of losing something so precious would give anybody a right to become absolute jello.

So in each second, I chose to remain calm, to firmly declare Gods protection over my sons life, and determine that the day was going to end with my son smiling and healthy again, as though nothing ever happened.

It was a battle. We are in a battle, friends. The devil wants to win in those situations and decide the victory is his. He doesn’t. have. the. right. typorama (1)

 

2 hours later, Lukey was completely back to normal. I have the doctor, the nurses, the cops, and the rest of the hospital team to thank. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I wish I could remember his “diagnosis”, I really do, but it was a sudden onset of something terrifying. Medicine and love helped my son breathe again. God had his hand on him the entire time,  and I still firmly believe in the power of Jesus to miraculously heal. Gosh, if I could have my readers for another ten minutes, this is where I would ‘preach’. Another day, another time.

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The next day, Luke was PERFECT. Like nothing ever happened. Did I mention the doctor said he would have cold like symptoms? Yeah, NOPE. He was my healthy happy rambunctious 3 year old, once again.

So in the moment friends, you have a choice. God is right there, ready to extend his hand. He is SO ready. Fear has no place when perfect love is known. Darkness has no right when light comes to take its’ rightful stand.

Forget about the lost battles….let’s move on. Let’s build our relationship on the one who has already SLAMMED DUNKED the victory.