Finding Jesus in the Tension

 

A few days ago a dear young friend named Deshaun committed suicide. He was in the youth group which I helped lead in the States. This kid was always one to make you laugh. He was in middle school so he could also make you get irritated. So much energy wrapped up in a small body will do that to you. He was also loved to serve. When it came time for me to leave for Uganda he came to help at my fundraisers. In the background, he baked cookies and tied bows to help get me here. He used to love to grab a microphone and rap. Didn’t matter if the microphone was on or not, he just loved to do it. What a sweet life, now gone. Yet the pain remains, it has simply been transferred to different hearts. I know this isn’t your “normal” Merry Christmas letter. But this morning as I was sitting in my prayer room I began to journal about the piercing pain in my heart and I told Jesus how confused I was about this season being about hope fulfilled. A hope that a people group called the Israelites had for a Saviour throughout all time that became fulfilled through a King who came as a baby. There is such a pain on one side and such a joy on the other. Is that not so much of this life? Every time I sign onto Facebook, I feel this tension. So many friends posting photos of weddings, babies and what they ate for supper. And so many other friends telling me how they survived a shooting but lost friends, that another rebel group has attacked their village and they are scared, friends dying of preventable/treatable diseases. I live in this tension. My heart is so filled with joy being in Uganda. I know I am right where I am supposed to be and I feel so fulfilled and content. Yet within the same moment, there is a pain in my heart of what I see every day that never seems to go away. As I bring this tension to Jesus and ask Him why, His response is this. ‘That is why my arms were spread wide open on the cross. Because I hold all things in those hands. And sometimes they stretch so wide it doesn’t seem that one person could hold it all. But when you come to the center of the tension, you find My heart. My arms are stretched wide so that when you feel you are being torn in two from the chaos, you fall into them and I embrace you. You are meant to live in My heart, not the chaos.’ I don’t know if this is a traditional ‘Merry Christmas’ season for you of joy, lights and carols. Or if this time of year brings painful memories that don’t seem to go away. For me right now, my heart is breaking. So come join me in His arms. That is where we find peace. Which is what this season was truly meant for. Our hope has been fulfilled.

 

Arms Wide Open  Misty Edwards   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxG_0Ea6-fs   "What does love look like?" is the question I've been Pondering "What does love look like?" "What does love look like?" is the question I've been Asking of You  I once believed that love was romance, just a chance I even thought that love was for the lucky and the Beautiful I once believed that love was a momentary bliss But love is more than this All You ever wanted was my attention All You ever wanted was love from me All You ever wanted was my affections, to sit here at Your feet  Then I sat down, a little frustrated and confused If all of life comes down to love Then love has to be more than sentiment More than selfishness and selfish gain  And then I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at Me I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me He was looking at me, looking at Him, staring through Me I could not escape those beautiful eyes And I began to weep and weep  He had arms wide open, a heart exposed  Arms wide open; He was bleeding, bleeding  Love's definition, love's definition was looking at me Looking at Him, hanging on a tree I began to weep and weep and weep and weep  This is how I know what love is, this is how I know What love is  And as I sat there weeping, crying Those beautiful eyes, full of desire and love  He said to me, "You shall love Me, You shall love Me You shall love Me, You shall love Me"  With arms wide open, a heart exposed With arms wide open, bleeding, sometimes bleeding  If anybody's looking for love in all the wrong places If you've been searching for love, come to Me, come to Me Take up your cross, deny yourself Forget your father's house and run, run with Me You were made for abandonment, wholeheartedness You were made for someone greater, someone bigger, so Follow Me And You'll come alive when you learn to die

Arms Wide Open

Misty Edwards

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxG_0Ea6-fs

"What does love look like?" is the question I've been
Pondering
"What does love look like?"
"What does love look like?" is the question I've been
Asking of You

I once believed that love was romance, just a chance
I even thought that love was for the lucky and the
Beautiful
I once believed that love was a momentary bliss
But love is more than this
All You ever wanted was my attention
All You ever wanted was love from me
All You ever wanted was my affections, to sit here at
Your feet

Then I sat down, a little frustrated and confused
If all of life comes down to love
Then love has to be more than sentiment
More than selfishness and selfish gain

And then I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at
Me
I saw Him there, hanging on a tree, looking at me
He was looking at me, looking at Him, staring through
Me
I could not escape those beautiful eyes
And I began to weep and weep

He had arms wide open, a heart exposed

Arms wide open; He was bleeding, bleeding

Love's definition, love's definition was looking at me
Looking at Him, hanging on a tree
I began to weep and weep and weep and weep

This is how I know what love is, this is how I know
What love is

And as I sat there weeping, crying
Those beautiful eyes, full of desire and love

He said to me, "You shall love Me, You shall love Me
You shall love Me, You shall love Me"

With arms wide open, a heart exposed
With arms wide open, bleeding, sometimes bleeding

If anybody's looking for love in all the wrong places
If you've been searching for love, come to Me, come to
Me
Take up your cross, deny yourself
Forget your father's house and run, run with Me
You were made for abandonment, wholeheartedness
You were made for someone greater, someone bigger, so
Follow Me
And You'll come alive when you learn to die