On the edge of some of your greatest victories, one wrong message can make you run the other way and hide and want to die.
Christine Caine, Passion 2015
This weekend, I went to Passion with some of the 20-somethings in my church.
If you don’t know what Passion is, that’s fine; what it is isn’t the point of this particular post.
Over the course of the weekend, I had the opportunity to hear Christine Caine preach. She wasn’t teaching. She was preaching.
And if you’ll hang on if you aren’t really a fan of the Bible or God or stuff about faith. Would you just hang in here with me? I am so grateful to have people who read this blog from all over with different backgrounds and beliefs. Maybe you read because you have triplets or because you like fashion or because you follow my leadership stuff. I love that. And I would really like all of you, regardless of why you come, to hang in here because I would like you to (a) hear this neat thing she shared, and (b) tell you one thing about myself that I don’t talk about much.
She preached out of the Old Testament – I Kings Chapter 19 to be exact. I’ve been spending some time in this part of the Bible recently because I like the story of this guy named Elijah. He was a prophet and having a mess of a time in a place where a lot of people believed something else while he believed in God. King Ahab was furious at him because of the drought, but Elijah knew God was going to use it to show His power. So in I Kings 18, Elijah has this major God victory and shows all the followers of Baal that God was the One True God. Seriously, this is like the most epic moment in his entire life.
Then we get to I Kings Chapter 19. Right off the bat we see that Queen Jezebel is furious about what just happened, so she sends a messenger to Elijah to say she’s going to kill him. What would you expect his reaction to be? My brain starts pumping out MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This!” I mean Elijah just had this stupendous victory and beat all her Baal prophets, so wouldn’t you think he’d look at the messenger and bust into “Can’t Touch This”?
He doesn’t. He runs away. And hides. And lays down and wants to DIE.
So Christine Caine leads with a seriously true fact: sometimes, after our greatest victories, come our hardest seasons.
God is okay with our despair. In fact, here he lets Elijah rest for a long time. He feeds him and gives him drink (for FORTY days). Then He even passes by so Elijah can experience His presence. But after that, He tells Elijah to go and anoint the man who will be the next prophet, Elisha. After God allowed him to rest and regroup, He asked him to get back up and pass the mantle to the next generation.
I have no idea where you are in your life season. You may be at the point of your greatest victory. You may be at the lowest point of your life. You may be at a place where it is time to put your hand out and bring up the next generation. Whatever your place, God is with you there. And that place is just a season. Another one will come to replace it.
Here’s the next thing. This one is about me. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know I believe in God. You hear about my faith some. Heck, sometimes I even include something I’m reading in the Bible.
But I think I’ve been short selling my faith because I’m scared people who read this blog will see it as religion and run away. I am not religious. When I hear religious, I think of a person with hat and gloves on a Sunday morning that sits singing hymns but doesn’t so much care about what Jesus wants them to do during the week. I think you’ve known some of those people, and they have scared you away from Jesus because you think that’s who Jesus is.
That is not who Jesus is.
I’m a mess on Sunday mornings and I try to go to church with my loud kids, and most of the time we make it because I learn something from my pastor now, but we didn’t always go. But I really care during the week what Jesus wants me to do. I mess it up and get it wrong every single day. I yell at my kids. I eat things that are bad for me. I spend selfishly – my time, my words, my money. Oh, but I want to do it right. I try every week to do it right. I would love to show that Jesus is freedom and forgiveness and grace. That He is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… (Galatians 5)
I do not want to short sell Jesus on this blog. I’m not going to change what I write about and I’m not going to turn Fashion Fridays into Faith in your Face, I promise. In fact, I’ve got about eight Fashion Fridays already lined up. And I’m still going to research and write about leadership because I think it’s important to have a generation of smart, inspired women leaders. But I’m going to use words I believe in more. God somehow sounded like it would offend people less. If I spoke generally about faith without any edges, then no one could get bothered.
You know what though? Jesus bothers me. He pushes me so far out of my comfort zone, I haven’t even seen it recently. He tells me my job is to let His light shine through me so people would see me and glorify Him. (Matt. 5:16) You know how crazy that is today? Aren’t people running around trying to be seen so they can be glorified? Me – well I’m just supposed to point back to Him.
So I’m going to try that. And if you’ve ever asked me how I do what I do, I do it because Jesus lets me, helps me, and paves the way before me.