Naïve…

The other day, I was reminded again just how naïve I am… And I’m struggling to decide whether or not that’s a good thing. I was talking with one of my friends the other day and was shocked about some of the things that she saw in her neighborhood and some of the crimes that she had been a victim of. And she was talking as if it was an everyday thing. I forgot how much sin and pain and anger there is around me, and when I realize it, I’m not sure what to do about it. Many of the missionaries around me have the right attitude: don’t condone it, but also remember that it’s sin, no worse than anything you or I might do daily. The problem is, when I hear about this abuse and that attack and this reality that someone has to live with, I ache inside for them.

Now, my question is… is that a bad thing? Should I be happy that I didn’t grow up experiencing life in a way that would harden me? Should I feel protected and cherished because I can’t understand some of the things that my friends are sharing with me? Should I feel bad that I don’t understand most of the crude slang out there, or I don’t look at a person and immediately understand that he’s completely stoned, or she’s high? I don’t think I should. But then, when I create a relationship with someone and they’re sharing their struggles with me, how do I encourage them and help them if I can’t understand? How can I hope to go into a place where sin like this is commonplace and treat it as such?

I struggle because I know that these are things that God never created nor intended for us to experience. These are things that our sin has created and things that are fed by our enemy, Satan. I struggle because I shouldn’t have to understand this junk, because that’s not what I was created for. But on the other side, I know that each and every person around me is a precious son or daughter of God and He adores each of them, no matter what they do. So how can God use me to bring that truth to them, if they know that I’m extremely different than they are, I have lived a different life, and I can’t relate. As much as I want to say I understand… It’s impossible for me to understand the depth of some of the things that these people go through.

And then I hear God say: “Anna, step back. Who is God in this relationship? Who is sovereign and all powerful? Who is King and Lord of all? I AM! And I can use you in places that you’d never dream you could be in. And I can use you to encourage these children of mine, and give you the words to say. Words that you would never be able to come up with on your own. Trust me.  It’s as simple as that.”

And I realize that I’m struggling with the position that God has given me in life. It’s not like I can control my circumstances like that. I’m trying to play God and wishing that I could understand what was not given to me to understand. I need to be thankful that God has protected me and allowed me to live my life and trust that He will prepare me for whatever task He has for me in the future. And it’s ok to be saddened by the hurt and pain that I see around me. God is saddened too, so why am I trying to harden myself to the “facts of life”?

Prayer Requests: That God would continue to bring me to the place where I need to be: humbled and softened for Him. Ready to serve Him in all circumstances, knowing that I can’t in any way do it on my own.

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