I am humbled, brought low in my own 'self esteem' - 2 times in one day God spoke - definitely I need to attend to His voice.
First, in seeing a news story on the actions of a member of another nation, I harshly declared "He is an evil man."
Then, just hours later, I was irritated by a next door neighbor's loud music out in his yard, right by a bedroom window where someone was sleeping - preparing for an all night job. I was really upset. Well, livid would more accurately describe my feelings. I imagined going out and screaming at him, or better yet, at midnight, cranking up some loud music in my yard, to let THEM (now the enemy) see what it was like.
Suddenly, I felt the scalpel of God cut through to the very core of my being. His question?
"You judge others lives and behaviors. What about your own heart?"
I saw my own heart revealed. Though I maybe only thought of revenge, the hatred was in my heart, and colored my future responses and actions with my actually, innocent neighbor. He would not even know why I was being cold or uncaring. And what's more, I saw a pattern of my 'judgment of others' behaviour march before my eyes. It's very hard, to get a true glimpse of myself, but I praise the Lord for His love in action.
I am so very blessed. I have been redeemed through the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. God's love called me to salvation because of his resurrection. Moreover, I was born in a home, and in a land where God's love was taught, which made that call easier to hear, and respond to my Redeemer.
But, how many that I have 'judged as evil' have lived in spiritual darkness, never having heard of God's love. Many who were taught about a god who is in truth, the god of lies, and deceit and destruction. What about exchanging my judgment to praying for that person's darkness to be penetrated by God's light and God's love.
Then, later, the same day, while grieving and praying, no it was more a scream of anger and despair about a situation I felt was wrong, wrong, wrong. I felt if I accepted it I would splinter into a million pieces.
I even thought, fleetingly, that if I could give up my own salvation, and guarantee it for another, I would. I'd barely thought it when I knew, as much as I loved the one I was grieving for, I was not willing to sacrifice my salvation for another. I could not bear to think of an eternity separated from God, not even for one deeply beloved of me. And my heart broke that I could not love more.
And in brokenness, I remembered a man, the son of the Most High God, who chose to suffer separation from His Father for my sin. Not only separation but a separation caused by the sins of all mankind. He chose to take all sin and evil into himself, and that bringing death. The stygian darkness, the overwhelming cesspool of absolute evil. Oh God. How could anyone love me so. But you do my Father.
Through his death and resurrection all mankind was redeemed. Forgiveness for our sins was paid for. Those sins I think of as 'very bad' sins, and also those I think of as 'nothing much' - just a piece of dust on the window of my life. But, for that DUST, Christ suffered and died!
I cannot fully comprehend God's Love. It is greater than I can even imagine. Not just in my own story, but I saw that God' love is greater than the darkness, greater than all the evil conceived, greater than my worst fears, greater than Satan's plans for the Creator's creation.
That Christ chose separation from his father, that I might not have to be separated from my God and Father is beyond my true understanding. But I praise Him for giving me a glimpse of His great love. That I have been given life in place of death. And, the God who called and bought me, is the only hope for all mankind. And know this, He is up to the task.
So, I can release my anxiety and stress about those I love. My judgment will not bring their release - I am not fit to judge. But love will show forth the power and wonder of God's love.