Years ago, our children would go away to camp for two weeks. The camp advertised this time as, “the best two weeks”. As a working mom I fully embraced this slogan as Ray and I had a two-week vacation from our darling children! One year upon his return, our son Nick, brought home a “friend” that spread through our entire household that summer. We were doing some serious, literal nitpicking. Have you had this problem in your household? Wash everyone’s sheets and towels every day. Comb through hair several times a day. Look through every strand of hair several times a day. Ughhhhhhh! Yes, definite nit picking. I was seeing the whole head of hair but looking for those tiny, tiny nits.
So here I sit, years later reminded of this childhood malady and realizing anew I’m living the same nitpicking life. I see the whole Bible but only want the tiny parts that directly affect me. I hang onto these truths:
God loves me
God forgives me
God gave His only son for me
God heals me
God is with me
God is my redeemer
God is my hope
However, as true as these statements are for each Christ-follower, Jesus taught and commanded much more. What about:
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
"Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men." At once they left their nets and followed him.
…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
How have I translated, “God so loved the world”, into only meaning, God so loved Kathy? I realize again that I am so self-centered and self-possessed that I nickpic the scripture to those that make me feel good. Those easy ones that heal me, love me, choose me, die for me, live for me, call to me, welcome me home, speak to me. The other I gloss over. I lead myself to believe “the world” is my family and friends. I hide from the fact that God does indeed love the entire world and wants relationship with every person and that I am called and privileged to be a part of His work in the world.
You know, Jesus prayed for us in John 17. Christ Himself as He was about to suffer great torture took time to pray for his disciples and the WORLD they would reach for His glory.
John 17 (Jesus praying)
As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
"My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.
Recently, we’ve been going through some family struggles and a friend told me, “Kathy, we’re all-in. Whatever happens, wherever the road takes you – we’re here for you and Ray. We are all-in.
Can that be my prayer today?
Lord, whatever happens, wherever you lead, wherever in the world, I’m all-in. No more nitpicking of the Word….all in.
P.S. For those of you praying for my mom, she is doing really well. Thank you for all your notes of love and prayer.