Keep Out

Lately I’ve noticed something in my heart that bothers me. It’s this innate reaction to keep people out. What is that causes me to put up a “No Trespassing” sign on my life?

In theory, I love people. And, in theory, I desire to be used by God to love people. But in reality, I shut the world out. I close the blinds. Don’t answer the phone. Look the other way.

Why?

Because I am afraid.

I’m afraid of meddling. Of butting my nose in where it doesn’t belong.

I’m afraid of not having the answers. Of being overwhelmed with the depravity of deep wounds.

I’m afraid of letting you down. Of letting you see my mess.

I’m afraid that I’m not good enough.

But then I read of one who wasn’t afraid. And one who was.

Jesus had no fear. He also had no walls. He loved people. Touched people. Meddled in their business.

Then there was Peter. He was afraid. He denied Christ. He ran away and hid.

And yet… Jesus called Peter. He sought him out. He appointed him as one to carry Hope into a Hopeless world.

And he did.

The man who denied Christ on the eve of his death, is the same man who proclaimed Christ on the day of Pentecost. The man who was quick to draw his sword in the Garden of Gethsemane is the same man who proclaimed to the cripple “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

And therein lies my problem. My focus is on what I don’t have. And I easily forget what I do have.

I don’t have wealth. I don’t have a clean kitchen. I don’t have the right words. I don’t have it all together.

But I do have Hope. I do have Peace. I do have Life.

A few years ago God called me, like Peter, to proclaim the Good News. In fear my heart clung to Jeremiah 1:5-9. Today I was reminded of those words.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

Before you were born I set you apart.”

“Ah, Sovereign Lord” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.”

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child’. You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you” declares the Lord.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.”

The Lord says to me today…

Do not say,

I am afraid

I’m not good enough

I do not have

You must go. You must speak.

But don’t be afraid. You don’t walk alone.

I will rescue you. I will put my words in your mouth.

Tear down the “Keep Out” signs. Unlock the door to your life.

I know you. I set you apart.

Now… go!

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