Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My new Un-comfort level

This morning Gene and I were talking about us. And Jesus.
Right now our church is doing a 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting.
But we're not. We haven't.
We never have. And so we started talking about it. Trying to justify our "why" of not doing it. Why we are choosing to not model sacrifice to get closer to God to our kids.

And I began to share with my husband. Things I had just said inside my heart to Jesus. The tears fell and the lump in my throat got in the way of the words I tried speaking.

Putting aside our weak justifications we began to get real with one another. Why we didn't start a fast on Sunday is because honestly, we don't want discomfort.
We want Jesus to use us at our comfort level.

This past summer my mom's 63 year old brother committed a crime. His first one. One that the judge sentenced him last month to 30-40 years. Don't let your mind jump to wondering what he did that would give him such a lengthy sentence. If you go there, just leave my blog now because you'll  miss the whole point of this post.

My uncle has a family that he loves. Adult kids, grandkids and a beautiful wife that remains faithful to her vows and his BFF. He loves fishing with my Grandpa. He loves cooking and hunting with his grandson. He loves telling jokes. He had a new truck that he bought last spring with all of the bells and whistles. When he bought something it was the best of the best.
Now, all of his personal belongings, including his shoes, must fit into a space of 4 cubic feet in a small cell.

He made fun of the faith my Mom boldly shared all the years she was the saved minority in her family. He rolled his eyes at any mention of God at family gatherings. He didn't believe in "organized religion" he would daily tell me. He refused to acknowledge that his own Mom is a miracle when every organ doctor she had signed off on her life and gave her 3-24 hours to live in the summer of 2002. She's still alive. He considered Jesus to be the head of the "organized religion" he wanted no part of.

Until the summer of 2010 when caught in his crime he turned to Jesus.
I didn't believe his conversion at first.
Most people behind bars stumble upon God.
But this was different.
He wasn't behind bars yet when he turned to his Savior.
He still had his freedom and he chose to accept the gift of salvation.
He repented, truly repented and was forgiven.
And he went from not reading even the newspaper to being in his new crisp paged Bible for hours. He started going to church. He got baptized with his wife and Mom last fall. He'd cry talking about Jesus. At the begining he'd talk about choosing suicide over prison. But even as thoughts of ending his life he kept reading the his Bible. He welcomed his pastor over to lead a Bible study with his 80 year old parents every Tuesday.
And Jesus stood triumphantly over his enemy.

I received a letter from him on Monday. A letter addressed to me on the outside of the envelope but solely written to Aaron, our teenage son that Satan is having his way with to put it bluntly. Aaron has been in trouble with the law and here is part of the letter from my uncle: 

"Aaron, Please-Please don't go down the wrong path.
I'm sitting here trying to write this to you crying like a little baby.
I thank God every minute for my family and all the love they have shown me and I know they show the same for you.
Don't turn your back on God or your family.
I am sitting in a cell just crying and wishing I could be with my family.
Don't throw away what you have.
It's hard becoming a man---
But with God's help and the people that love you,
you will be a fine young man.
Please keep your act together.
You would never want to come to a place like this,
it is the closest thing to hell on earth there is.
Stop and thank the Lord you have a family that loves you so much.
Don't give up on God."

That's just a piece of this hand written 2 page letter sent to our son.
I look at how my uncle is living today compared to how he lived the first 63 years of life and he has more freedom now in a small cell than he did when he was camping, fishing and hunting when and where he wanted to.
He may never see his name on another fishing license again, but because of his choice to accept Jesus, he will see his name written in the Book of Life.
Freedom only God can give

I told Gene this morning that I want to be Uncomfortable for Jesus
If Jesus took on the flesh again and walked up to my front door, knocked and said, "Follow Me" like he did to the disciples, I want to go WITHOUT hesitation.
Gene shared too and we agreed that we both want this new un-comfort level.
I have never been in this place of complete and I stress complete desire for surrender until now. To the point that it hurts.  

This life on earth....
                                                 A mist
                  Here today, gone tomorrow
                                                 Too comfortable.

I don't want to waste another minute.
I want my life to be just about Him.
To go where He says to go.
To be obedient when He speaks through my pastor asking me to fast.

I want to be Uncomfortable for Jesus.
A Savior that is able to capture the hardened heart of my uncle and then use him in his uncomfortableness. A God who has His holy radar locked on my son from the walls of prison.
That's the Jesus I want to live for and be usable for. 


rlorimer said...

Powerful Lelia. Thanks for sharing your journey...your heart for God is evident and encouraging!

Pamela said...

Beautiful words here my friend...yes we have to get uncomfortable for Christ. In Jan we did the 21 day Daniel fast. It is a good way to fast. You might want to check it out!!

Keep on that journey. God is faithful!!

Believing Him~Pamela

Jill said...

Thank you for sharing your raw but powerful feelings. You continue to be in my prayers. Your desire to be completely obedient to Christ is a blessing to you and to your family. I have been praying to God for the last few weeks, that I may have that fire of passion for Jesus to burn so intensely inside of me, that it may ignite the fire in others.
Stand strong in the armour of God and satan will never break through.

Vickie said...

"I assure you, most solemnly I tell you. Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth an dies, it remains (just one grain; it never becomes more but lives) by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.

Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. (Whoever has no love for, no concern for, no regard for his life here on earth, but despises it, preserves his life forever and ever).

John 12:24 & 25


tiggerdaisy said...

Convicting. Encouraging. What I needed to read.

Prayers and blessings,

Angela said...

God has so been convicting me of this just this week..although I may seem to be completely sold out for Christ, I still am SO disobedient at times..I choose my own wants and agenda over His nudgings and I am saddened to think of all the opportunities I have missed out on because I am not trusting God to look out for my interests when I obey Him..pretty sad. Praise God that he gives us that "unsettled" feeling when we are not walking the way he calls us to.

Suzanne - Daughter of the King said...

Amen! Again I find myself praying for you all and your son...and adding your uncle to my prayers and most assuredly his wife and children. God is so faithful to keep us even when we abandon Him to run after the voice of another - the "sweet" song that lulls us into thinking we know the way, we know the truth - when all it really was - was a lie. I will continue to lift your family up to the Lord. May He be glorified as you set your hearts to Him. He will do great and mighty things for His glory as you set your hearts to fasting and praying.

Donna said...

Thank you for sharing this powerful and thought provoking message! And thank you for sharing your journey with us. May we all become uncomfortable for Christ!

Blessings to you today!

Liz said...

I continue to pray for you and Gene, and your Aaron. Praise God that He works in ways that we don't understand and in time that is clocked by eternity. He knows.
I began the discipline of prayer and fasting 5 years ago, fearfully, and reluctantly, but out of obedience...and understand your struggle. God has done big, big things during those times and as uncomfortable as it was, it was not nearly as uncomfortable as what I have experienced when convicted of sin. Praying for you, my friend. (and yes, Pamela, the Daniel fast is a great example)

Kelly said...

Beautiful, as always, Lelia...thank you for sharing with us....

Anonymous said...

God is so amazing! He works in ways we will never know this side of Heaven. Thanks for sharing! You are such a great inspiration!

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