Today I'm praying for/about:

Today, (in no particular order) I'm praying for...
- Fresh ideas, inspiration and diligence to post regularly again

- My dad fighting mesothelioma too far away for me to hug him

- Children, parents, and teachers everywhere preparing to return to school

- My single friends as they seek God for His guidance in relationships

- Broken relationships; for grace to abound where grace has been withheld

- You; I'm praying for every single person who views this blog.

Thank you for standing in agreement with me for these precious souls!

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Ninevah Next Door

I recently had the privilege of going through a Priscilla Shirer study called Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted.  We were challenged to look at "interruptions" we've experienced in life from a Heavenly perspective and try to view those instances instead as Divine appointments.  The concept was a blessing and it's a process I've been working on for some time.  This study nudged me a little further down that path.  I'm realizing where I've experienced my own "Nineveh" on several occasions and where God either did something amazing or I totally failed and missed out on blessing.  Since the study I've been more compelled to check my attitude when life's irritations confront me.

Even now, I'm feeling convicted regarding a little boy in our neighborhood who seems quite lonely and largely ignored by his dad (he says he has siblings but we've never seen them).  In the opinions of the majority of our neighborhood, he's really too young to be out by himself, especially for hours on end and many are finding him a bit of a nuisance.  (Just the other day he pounded on the door during nap time, setting off the dog; I'm afraid I was not at my sweetest when I told him the boys could not come out to play)  I don't really feel comfortable inviting him in (something about his dad makes me feel uneasy) but I also don't want the discomfort of sitting out front in the hot sun to watch my kids play on the sidewalk.  On the flip-side, though, I feel a deep pang of conviction every time I turn him away.  What if our family could plant the seeds of his salvation?  What if my choice between hosting him or turning him away makes the difference in an abduction?  What if my hospitality towards him shows all our neighbors how real Christians should act?  What if...

And yet, here I sit, writing this, comfortable in my home, with my kids, safe inside, that familiar thorn still in my side that's driven deeper with every justification of why not.  I'm deeply conflicted about this little boy.  There's something in my spirit that feels uneasy and yet there's the pondering of stories I've heard about "that one family who reached out" to someone and made a profound difference in who they grew to be.

My point of this post is not solely about our little neighbor boy; instead I hope we all can begin to recognize our own "Nineveh".  Maybe Nineveh is snoring next to you every night, maybe it's in the next cubicle.   Wherever (whom ever) it is, we need to become more and more willing to tolerate discomfort, irritation or a challenge to our point of view so we can deliver the message of salvation where God wants it received.  Maybe it involves hospitality, maybe it involves getting up and moving.  Either way, we need to trust that obedience will bring blessing and reward that will outweigh any discomfort the journey may bring.  If you can make time, read through the short book of Jonah today; it will bless you.

No comments:

Post a Comment