Extended Stay

wheatI started this post when my husband was in the hospital. I didn’t get it finished while we were there… too many nurses walking in and out of the room? Amazing people, those nurses! I didn’t get to finish it the first month we were home. Still, I think about these things.

Lately, there has been so much on my mind. So many words written. So many things not really said. So many things changed. This seems to have become my life.

These last six days have been scary. These last six days have been frustrating. These last six days have been long. These last six days have been heartbreaking. These last six have been hard on our kids. These last six days have been a blessing.

Now, I’m not a biblical scholar, but let me tell you what that means to me.

The Bible talks about a sifting that will happen. In Luke 22:31 Jesus says, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”wheatsifter

See, Jesus was hanging with his tribe, these men he called his disciples. They were celebrating the Passover. Jesus had told two of them how to find the place where they would eat together, and the men followed his directions, found it exactly as He had said, and made the preparations. Once all the men are all sitting around the table, Jesus gives us the words most churches now quote when they gather for communion.

communioncup2Most churches, however, stop before that chapter does. Jesus, taking the cup, talks about his blood being poured out for them, and moves right into talking about his betrayer! This comment starts an argument between the rest of the men. Seriously, they started fighting about which one of them was the greatest. Jesus tells them he would be betrayed by one of them and they start telling him why each one is better than the other. Talk about missing the point!

Once they begin to argue over which one is the greatest, Jesus talks to them about the difference between secular government and heavenly government. The people of the world want to rule over the people. When you run into a worldly person in charge, how do they treat you? Typically, they hold power, and they let you know it. Unless you can do something for them, they have little use for you.wheathands

But kingdom-minded leaders should be different. For Jesus’ challenge to be met, a leader must serve. They must honor those who are under them. Why? Because that is the way Jesus lead.

Sifting can and does happen in life. What that looks like is different for each of us. What needs to look the same for each of us is this, when we have been tested, have come through the sifter and learned from it, we are to help those who have not learned the same lessons yet.

What would the world be like if everyone who took a step up, turned and helped the next guy make the same level up? What if everyone who grew, helped the person behind them learn the same lesson without as much pain?

Maybe that’s what love really looks like.

 

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