I went to a funeral at my church on Monday for the first time ever.Â It was about my 15th funeral, but I had never been to one here.
Until Monday, I had been scared to go to one at a place that had been so full of life for me.Â I don’t think that in high school I would have been able to go there for a funeral.
You see, when I got confirmed at church, my mom said that I had to choose one thing to go to at church, and I had to go weekly.Â Starting in 10th grade, I began developing my own faith instead of the one that I had been told to have.Â I grew to know Jesus as my personal savior and friend.Â But I also had some hard times during my high school years.Â These years consisted of doubt, confusion, hatred, sadness, happiness, love, I could go on and on.Â Coming to church became the best part of my week, my favorite place to be and it held the most important people in my life.Â I could not have handled this place including death of a loved one.
Having gone to so many funerals in my life, I had experienced them as a great passage to Heaven as well as a horrible exit from this earth.Â I knew that I could feel gladness at a funeral as well as anger.Â At the time when this church meant so much to my life and was one of the reasons that I have made it to 23, a funeral would not have meshed with this temple.
At the end of the day, I have realized that I have grown incredibly.Â I was able to go to accept sadness and death at a place I never wanted to have to.
It’s a God thing.
I really enjoyed the church sermon today. We are focusing on questions to ask during Lent at our church. (You can read all about them here.)Â This week was focusing on the truths of God, and how important it is to understand the correct truths.
Pastor Nadasdy was preaching in Genesis, which is always exciting for me because I always get something out of his sermons.Â Today that was especially true.Â Although the entire sermon was interesting and caused me to think about things a bit deeper, there was one truth that stood out.
Pastor Nadasdy said that one of the crucial truths about God is that He loves the world (as stated in John 3.16-“For God so loved the world…”)Â I had always said or read that passage and brushed it off as a ‘duh’ kind of sentence.Â Of course He loves the world!Â Otherwise He wouldn’t have sent Jesus to save us!Â But God doesn’t just love the world… He loves those people that we don’t.Â He loves those who murder, who swear, who just rub you the wrong way, and those who you think are too different from you to care about.
That alone was amazing to me, and then Pastor said “So should the church love the world.”Â OH WOW!!!Â It is amazing to me how the world could change if the church demonstrated that love to God’s people.Â What would it be like if the church welcomed in homosexual people, people of different faiths, those who have shown hate against the church!Â I am not saying that the church has to agree with everyone’s actions or lifestyles, but everyone is a child of God no matter what and they deserve to be shown the love that we would show a member of our church.
The world could be such a wonderful place if the church could show that love.Â So many more people would see God for what He has done for us, for who He is, and for the friend He wants to be without being blinded by problems with the ‘church’.
Hopefully we can become more like God everyday.Â I know I am going to start trying harder!
As I was facebook stalking just now, I came across a great word of encouragement:
The will of God will never take you where the grace of God won’t protect you.
There are so many things in life that require motivation.Â Sometimes it is harder to get motivated to do something than to actually do it!
Take for example, going to the gym.Â When I finally get motivated to go, I am almost as proud of myself as when I actually go!
Filling out job applications takes a lot of motivation, especially when 99% of them lead to rejection.Â I feel that I am a very qualified applicant.Â I have always been praised by employers and I really takepride in whatever job I am doing.Â It is hard to express my worth on paper though, which is the way to apply for jobs!Â I can only call and say I am interested so many times!Â It is continually frustrating to be a new graduate in a bad economy.
The good thing is, I am blessed with the assurance that I am not in control.Â God will take care of this job search of mine, I just have to leave it up to him and be patient.
That takes motivation too!