I just finished posting some information from last week's Bible study lesson concerning patience. Until last week, I had never seen the parallel between patience and forgivness, and how deeply related they are. During the study I was hit with many "wow" moments, to say the least. This hits home especially in light of so many things going on around us.
Recently, our church utilized church discipline, and it was a hard Sunday. This act of discipline follows Matthew 18: 15-17 which says: "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector." Essentially, the church has released their hedge of protection around his soul. The whole situation tears me up, and the fact a friend whom we used to pray with, fellowship with, and serve with is so hardened to the truth is just hard to see. It hurts because he is destroying himself more than anyone, and he is ignorant to that fact.
It also hurts because this is not the only family I know experiencing this. I hate it, I truly do. In the midst of it, I have also seen how deep my own depravity is and how wonderful God is. I am so thankful that He loves me fully, completely, and deeply. In light of that, I chose to "block" some people out, for now. It was doing no good to consume my mind with what may or may not be going on with them. I do pray for them, and hope that they are healed and restored and not destroyed, but I found myself wanting to know information for the wrong reasons.
Through any circumstance, God will make Himself known, and I pray for miracles to occur in each of the situations I am hearing about, and in my own life. I am praying for God to overwhelm us with Himself, and for us to be fully and completely aware of Him. I want to hear Him, to see Him, and to declare Him boldly.
And with that, I need to continue on with my Bible study. This week we are studying kindness and goodness....does anyone have some band-aids for me? I might need them after this one!