Lepers’ Camp

leper

I’ve been meditating a lot lately on the Leper that was healed after Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In Matthew, chapter 8, it begins with Jesus coming down the hillside and a man with leprosy approached & knelt before Him. He said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean”. He didn’t ask for healing, he asked to be cleansed. In that time, lepers (along with other diseases) weren’t allowed outside the sick community they were banished to. They were sent away to live with other afflicted (unclean) people to either get better or die. So, for him to appear in this public place amongst the crowd (perhaps he was hiding) was unheard of.

He asks Jesus if he is willing. Jesus reached out his hand & touched the man. He TOUCHED HIM!! This simple, single act  made him human again and showed all the onlookers the value Christ saw in him. In front of this large crowd of people, Jesus touched someone deemed “unclean” and made him clean.

This man that has been cast aside, rejected, assumed and left for dead was finally looked upon with compassion; was touched by kindness and acceptance; unconditional love. This man did not just walk away healed from his leprosy; he was released from his imprisonment of solitude and rejection. He didn’t choose to have leprosy. He didn’t choose to be rejected. His choice and desire was to rise above the labels and hope for something more for his life outside of the death placed upon him. Jesus gave him the opportunity to do so.

How many of us have rejected others because of their “afflictions”? Afflictions can be anything, but I think these days, it tends to be peoples’ choices and/or their lack of perfection in handling life. Have you judged people and placed them undeservingly into the Leper’s Camp?

Let’s flip it. Are you in the Leper’s Camp? Have you accepted the rejection and death sentence you or someone else has spoken over your life? I’m going to say one thing and you need to hear it: YOU DO NOT DESERVE IT. I don’t care what you have done or not done, no one should be in the Leper’s Camp. Our healing, our cleansing and our washing came through the blood of Jesus on that cross. Even if you don’t believe, you still don’t belong in the Leper’s Camp. I’m here to tell you that despite all your (and others’) shortcomings, that you are loved and accepted. Not everyone will understand or treat you as such, but God does. You have breath in your lungs right now because you have a purpose in this life. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

A lot of us have given reason and justification to people throughout our lives to banish us. Call it boundaries, tough love, whatever; some of the time, it is done properly and done with love. Unfortunately, what I have found is that a lot of the time, it is not. It has only added to the pain and deepened wounds. The only thing I have found that can heal all of this is the unconditional love from our Heavenly Father. I didn’t learn it or receive it from anyone here on this Earth. I found it, I found Him while in solitude. When all that darkness closes in on you and you can’t hear any voices, you can’t see your hands in front of you; He shows up. He reaches out His loving hand and touches you, despite all of your uncleanliness. He accepts you just the way you are in your broken mess. His perfect love cleanses you, heals you inside and out, and restores you to someone better than you were before. Then, that power He used to heal you has been given to you to walk into that Lepers’ Camp and heal the rest. No more rejection, no more pain, forgiven; whole.

redeemed

Who do we know in this life that needs that acceptance? We are called to be like Jesus. It’s our job to walk into the Lepers’ Camp and make the “unclean”, clean. One loving word, one act of kindness will not only heal the visible ailment, it will breathe life into their souls.

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Wounded Warriors, Please Stand Up

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I had this phrase going through my head all day & then while getting ready for the day, was given a vision of soldiers fighting to climb up the side of a cliff.
I heard, “You’ve continually been kicked down, beat down, knocked down; but you keep getting up. You know there’s more than this disappointment that you’ve experienced. Some have chosen to accept defeat, accept the victim mentality, and accept the orphan spirit. But, you have not. In fact, every time you get knocked down, you get back up, angrier than before. It’s a righteous anger because you know who you are. You know WHOSE you are! Your dreams I have given you are worth this fight. No one else understands it, but you do. In the midst of all the rejection, you have refused to listen to rejection & turned it into understanding & compassion. You have refused the unforgiving bitterness that has tried to creep in and spoke out my love over all. Every time you chose to do this, you have moved up higher. I know it hasn’t felt this way, but in the feeling of this free-fall, it has been the opposite. You are going to open your eyes & you will see I have placed you high on top. Because of the battle you’ve endured, your loving compassion will instinctively reach out and start to pull others up to where you are. Guarding and protecting them, healing them, giving them whatever provision they need. You will have what they need because I am giving it to you. You will have an overabundant supply of everything because you have been faithful with the ‘not enough’ you’ve had during this battle. You see more clearly with your Faith Eyes than you do your physical. This is what my plan was for you during your solitude. I know you’ve felt lonely, but I also know that you knew I was here with you. I have captured every tear that you have cried. They all have had a purpose; a cleansing for you. You have become what I have always planned for you to be. You are my new creation, my philanthropic missionary. You will be the answer to peoples’ prayers, I will send you to heal the sick, love the broken hearts and spread my Parental love to the parentless. I will use you and the others I have connected you with to break this orphan spirit that has encapsulated so many.”

 
For those looking up that steep cliffside, feeling discouraged, beat down & unworthy; I know how you feel. I understand how it feels to be under the condemnation of bad choices made, under the “fault” from others’ bad choices, wide-open ears to the lies of gossip & rejection.
I say all that to tell you this: Yes, you have been a victim. Do you need this validation? If so, hear this validation, but please also hear that being the victim is NOT WHO YOU ARE! You have so much more to do with your life & for others you come in contact with. It’s time for you to get up, dust yourself off of all that junk that’s clinging on! You know deep inside it doesn’t belong. It won’t be easy, but it will be SO worth it!! Shake off the lies & start climbing!

Quiet

prayer

I set out this morning to simply rest; to calm my mind and emotions. Of course, when I say I’m going to do this, the noise seems louder and more chaotic!

I’ve been meditating on this whole “rest thing” for a couple of weeks now. Some days I’m good but others, not so much. Lately, I’ve been anxious over a lot for things that I can’t even put into words. Just this morning I was blessed with tangible quiet time. The Bigs were at school, husband at work and the Littles playing quietly together. This is a strange and rare occurrence in my house. I slouched down on the couch, exhaled and began going down my Prayer List. Suddenly I heard a stern “Stop!” It took me by surprise a little, but I shut up. I stopped talking and simply sat there in the quiet. Sometimes that quiet is all we’re supposed to do. This morning, it overwhelmed me. I didn’t have an understanding of it, but I knew the Lord was ministering to my Spirit.

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Later on I sat down with the Littles to eat lunch, normal conversation, normal clean up and then as I was reading something, my understanding came from my 2-yr old. She came to me with a request, “peas help”, then sat and waited for my response. She had complete faith and confidence in me that I would answer her request. This revelation is so simple, but it floored me! Why do I have difficulty doing this? I ask and ask and ask without ever shutting my mouth long enough for a response. His still, quiet voice won’t ever be heard over my loud mouth!

Matthew 7:25-26 “I tell you, do not worry about your life; what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.”

 bird

Matthew 7:33 “But seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well”

“Things and provisions were created to pursue the ones that pursue God.” – Creflo Dollar

 

Today I will accomplish this! I am pursuing God because at the end of the day He is all I will ever want and need. His gift of righteousness is more than I can fathom, yet it is mine.

He is not a “Santa Claus God”; He is our Creator, our Provider, our Healer, our Restoration and our Heavenly Father. There is no need to continually shed tears over the same things daily. It’s been taken care of. He knows my heart; He holds my tears in His Hands. I’m not saying it’s bad to be upset about something. It’s our broken hearts crying out for healing or desperate pleas for a need to be met. The thing is, we’re always being healed of something, walking/struggling through the desert, climbing a mountain or sitting in a valley. He is in the midst of it all; meeting every single need we have. The key is finding His Peace in it all.

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I find myself looking for His miraculous nature daily, when in reality; I’m already living in it. Everyday is a miracle; some big, some small, but we are miracles! We awake and lie down with the sun. Every breath we’re gifted to breathe is a miracle! What are we doing with that breath for this day? Some days I feel I’ve failed because all I’ve done is kept kids fed and alive. But, these kids, as taxing as some days are, are being shaped and molded into World Changers! Some days I feel like the sandpaper, making noticeable progress; doing something worthy. Other days, I feel like the potter’s wheel, just spinning around in circles. But, regardless of what tool I am for the day, I’m a useful one in the Hands of the Master.

 potter hands

One random act of kindness, one encouraging word, one prayer for a sick child or a broken heart will be used for a purpose and those breaths you’ve breathed in those moments may be somebody’s miracle; their answered prayer.

I’m always going to be a work in progress. Today’s lesson is to wait patiently. Wait quietly. In the midst of it all, He will use me for His Glory.

Mark 11:24 “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it and it will be yours.”

expectancy chambers