Not too often in my life have I ever been certain that Christ is speaking to me in a direct, verbal way. Many times I have thoughts in my head, but question whether they are Christ or not. But today, I heard and obeyed.
Michael is gone for the weekend. I got up and walked to church by myself. The pastor spoke about the Year of Jubilee. It was an OK sermon, nothing profound really spoke to me. At one point I got a little squirmish. The pastor was referring to jails in the time of the Bible, and how prisoners were usually slaves, because murderers were usually stoned to death. Then, as a side note, he said, "by the way, capital punishment is God's idea." And that hit me the wrong way. The pastor then went on to share about how Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies, specifically referring to setting people free as the Jubilee was intended. And my inner-monologue thought, "Didn't Christ also come to fulfill (or change, I don't know what word to use here?) other Old Testaments ideas, like capital punishment?"
Forgiveness, specifically learning to forgive others, has been a huge theme in my life over the years. And I cling to the notion that Christ wants to give people the chance to seek forgiveness, even murderers.
But, back to my morning. I came home from church and made myself an Americano. I sat down to begin working on school/planning for the week. I am overly stressed about my lesson plans, especially considering how I felt leaving school on Friday. But I got a "nudging" (for lack of a better word) to get my Bible out and read for a while. I realized that I need to have my mind and heart at rest and clear, before I can dive into looking to the week ahead.
I am working on reading the Daily Bible this year (the Bible in 365 chronoligical readings). Right now I am reading Exodus, specifically when the Israelites have just left Egypt and are wandering around the desert.
Two thoughts came to my mind:
1) God takes honoring the Sabbath very seriously. I need to take it more seriously. With the crazy week I've had, and will continue to have, I need to allow one day of real rest, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally. Otherwise, I will have a breakdown before this semester is over.
2) I need to call my brother. He (and his new wife of about two weeks) have been on my heart for weeks/months. There is a lot of bitterness and anger wrapped around my family, and it hurts to be a witness to it. And I need to be more of an advocate.
So, I felt like God was saying, "Melissa, call your brother. "And I kept saying, "But I don't know what to say. I'm hurt that I wasn't at the wedding. I don't know what to say or do." And the Voice laid on my heart, "Call him right now. I will give you the words. Just do it." I opened my phone, pulled up his number, and then closed it. "Do it!" So I called him, and left a message on his voice mail, offering to bring him and his wife dinner sometime (they are extremely busy and also have a one-and-a-half year-old). I didn't know that I was going to do that, but I felt like that's what Christ was asking me to say. Will he take me up on the offer? I doubt it. But I will keep calling and keep trying.
You are the only One that can bring healing and forgiveness to my family.
Help me to trust you to do this work in your timing, and not mine.
Meanwhile, keep me sensitive to your Holy Spirit
and to the work you are doing in me.