Saturday, July 23, 2011

"Love them. Love ME."

For my loyal followers you may have noticed that there is something new to this blog. Thats right... I changed it from I am my Beloved's and My Beloved is Mine to a shorter name... it is now simply Smiles with Stephanie.

If you have read any of my last posts I just returned from Africa where my life was shook up. I prayed going in that the Lord would ruin all of my plans and shake me up something good. Well as it goes... "ask and you shall receive." And boy did I ever. I received a lot. I received blessings far beyond anything I ever thought or dreamed. I received love from children who had be beaten, abused and neglected. Some left on doorsteps. Others left on streets or among the garbage.

"Love them. Love ME." I heard God whisper the second day I was there.

For a white girl growing up in middle class America, my problems all of a sudden seemed dramatically insignificant. In America you are taught to look out for number 1. Don't show weakness. Vulnerability is not an attractive quality. As Christians we are taught the opposite...
"So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last." -Matt. 20:16;

"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." -2 Corin. 12:9;

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1.

"Lord... they are in need of so much. How can I provide what they need? How can I give them comfort? Why was I given so much but they are given so little? (Silence.) Jesus? (Silence) Father? (Silence) Beloved? (Still Silence) Why aren't you listening to me? What am I doing here? Why have you chosen me? Where have you gone? What do I do?"

"Love them. Love ME."

"Love them? How do I show them love? Will they even understand it? These babies have gone through situations in life I cannot imagine. They have been raped. They have been hit. They have been taken advantage of... and thats just the ones under 15. God... you are good. I know this--and forgive my disbelief or question for a second-- but why? How? I don't understand why this has to happen to them. Why not me? I know you. Put this upon me because surely if I die I will come to your kingdom... but for some of them who are so close to death... they don't even know you or your promises of freedom. What about them? How do I insure that when I leave at the end of this day that they will be in YOUR hands eternally?"

"Love them. Love ME."

"Ok God-- so by loving them I am planting a seed. (Matt. 13:6-8) I have heard this since I was younger... I need to just speak your name. Tell that truth and pray that the seed takes root. Even if I can't see the harvest. Is that what you mean?"

"Love them. Love ME."

"Ok so by loving them (Matt. 25:40)... I will not only be loving these children but I will be loving You which will in turn show them You?"

"Stephanie...just love them."

You see... we try to over rationalize everything. We take the easiest of instructions-- "Love them. Love ME."-- and turn it into a dissertation over the theological significance behind the word love. Its pointless and meaningless. We listen to Satan's lies and we are filled with fear, confusion and doubt. Thank goodness I was seeking Jesus so diligently that I was able to discern the lies coming at me like flaming arrows (Eph. 6:16). If you simply put your life into your Beloved's hands... He will grow you in ways you never imagined!

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