“I give you a new command. Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you. If you love one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.”
There’s been a lot of bad stuff recently. If you pay attention to the news, it can seem like there isn’t much hope in the world. Last week there was a shooting in Florida where seventeen students lost their lives. Seventeen students with potential. Seventeen children made in the image of God. My heart breaks. I tried to think about what I would do if seventeen of my students’ lives were taken, I can’t even fully comprehend the hurt and pain. We live in a time where each day it seems like more devastation happens. Our world is broken, we are so far from God and we are a lost people. I remember an Easter afternoon where I received a message that my friend and one of my brothers from small group took his own life, the pain and hurt that ran deep. I still remember the pain of having my dad tell me that a family member was addicted to drugs and alcohol, the shock and confusion of how that was even possible. In all the brokenness, it can be hard to understand why all this happens, the truth is, we need God. We need a relationship with a mighty savior that loved us so much. I’m not writing a post about how to change the past or change what has happened, I wanted to write about how we go forward. We move forward, together, and love one another.
I’ve really loved doing this series the past few weeks. I felt like God wanted me to speak to the misfits like me, people who feel like they don’t fit in, but have been made with purpose unlike anything else. I started writing it when I was dealing with my own fears and thoughts about feeling like I didn’t fit in with people. During this time, I felt like God wanted me to start reading through the first couple of books in the new testament, primarily focusing on the misfits that surrounded Jesus. What I saw was how people who never fit in were used, and they ushered in the church and spreading the gospel. It is quite an amazing thing to see, and it culminated in this last post which I am writing now. I want to talk about being a misfit in community with other misfits. The thing that’s hard about feeling like you don’t fit in, is the fact that many of us stop there and begin to believe there’s no place for us. The truth is, we can come together as misfits and be in community together, because when we do this, we become the church.
This past month of this New Year has been so incredible. My church just went through a season of praying and fasting, it was filled with so much encouragement of what this year will bring, and it will bring forth great things. God is moving through his people, his children made in his image, us. You and I are going to be used immensely this year, but it won’t be easy. This past month has been very impactful for me spiritually, but our world has been through much hurt and pain. In the United States (Where I live), we have seen women stand up and say that enough is enough, we are more than a body to be looked at and we are people with much to contribute. We have seen anger and hatred split people down the middle because of the past election. We have seen the way that fear of another people can cause others to hold deep hatred. We have a battle in front of us. My world is being torn apart by sin and evil; but there is always hope. If there is one thing God has taught me over and over again it’s that hope in him will not fail. When our hope is in Christ, we march together to say that enough is enough, we can have rational discourse with opposing views to come to an agreement, and we can show love to those who are not like us by living out the gospel. We have a purpose and God has placed it on each of our hearts.