Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Paris Terrorist Attack: How Then Shall We Live?

If you're like me, you've been watching the 24-hour news stories about yesterday's terrorist attack on Paris, France. 

If you're like me, you were mortified over the news.

If you're like me, you're asking lots of questions...

How can people have such hatred for perfect strangers?

Why do such horrible things happen to good people?

How do we make sense of the senseless?

I honestly don't have answers to these real life questions. And yet, today I purposefully opened my heart to God's voice while praying over this tragedy. 

This is what I heard God say in my spirit...

Carla, you've spent most of your Christian life pursuing comfort and safety. But I haven't called you, or any of my children, to a life of safety. 
Instead of a life of safety, I've called you to a life of meaning and purpose.

Hearing these words from the Lord made me think about The Barbarian Way, a book written by one of my favorite preachers, Erwin McManus. Erwin, who pastors Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, shares these words in The Barbarian Way. (Note: Hang in there until the last word of this quote. It's longer than a 140 character tweet. But it's good...)

Jesus understood that His purpose was to save us not from pain and suffering, but from meaninglessness... Instead of finding confidence to live as we should regardless of circumstances... we choose the path of least resistance, least difficulty, least sacrifice. Instead of concluding it is best to be wherever God wants us to be, we have decided that wherever it is best for us to be is where God wants us. Actually, God's will for us is less about our comfort than it is about our contribution. God would never choose for us safety at the cost of significance. God created you so that your life would count, not so you could count the days of your life.

Amen Brother.

We live in an era when stuff can pop off at any given moment. Threats are all around - threats to our safety, to our children's safety. We are surrounded by the reality that at any second - in a movie theater, in a high school classroom, even in the supposed security of bible study on a Wednesday night - our lives could be taken from us, seemingly prematurely.

But we are still called to walk in faith and love and hope.

We are still called to live and walk in purpose.

We are still called to fight for those with no strength, to speak for those with no voice.

We are not called to count our days, but to make sure our days count for Christ.

And when we leave this world, we can know that we have lived a life of courage and honor and meaning.

We can know that we lived for Him.

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