How many times have I helped others talk about the need for an intervention with a family member? It usually involves an addiction. Often it means carefully presenting to the needy party date and time examples of behaviors which are not working. The reason is for the individual to step out of denial, face the need and get help.
But never had I thought of me needing such a step.
Months ago, when Grace invited me to her place for breakfast, she did it intentionally for she felt it was time for an intervention. She felt that I was too strong in my opinion about what was happening in the world. She sought to provide a way for me to choose a different tact.
Sunday night I found out it was a staged event. She had planned it to help plant gratitude in my heart and life. The bottom line was this: she knew I needed a rescue plan. My heart had been hijacked by anger, even arrogance.
I left that breakfast so encouraged. I loved the new approach to giving thanks daily. I loved the statement:
“Today I commit that
kindness will rule my relationships,
honesty will form my words,
faith will guide my steps,
love will be my theme and
no regrets will be the testimony I leave behind.”
When I realized it was an intervention, Sunday night, I was saddened I needed one.
I have been like a scriptural Pharisee, so convinced of my rightness I had become wrong. “It’s the arrogance,” my Karen reminded me last night. “You come across as if your truth is the only one.”
It is a painful revelation, for that is not what I want to exhibit.
In a conversation with a dear brother after this he said, “Brian, you value truth, righteousness, and authenticity. You are a deception hound. This is something good. We need people like you, the watchman who says, ‘There is an enemy coming toward us.’ I would say your heart is right and your approach has been difficult. Perhaps you have done your work. You have warned. You have spoken. Now, God is saying to you, ‘Brian, I’ve got this. I can make this work. Be faithful to what I’ve called you.’ We are living in a culture where we cannot disagree. But we must be men who follow Jesus in this time and continue to return to him. He is our life. Focus on Jesus.” His words left me with this clarity:
Pray. Magnify Jesus. Believe Jesus.
Stop trying to convince people of my thinking, instead, trust Jesus in their lives. He is big enough even if they have believed one of the lies being propagated in this world season.
I have been reading of Julian of Norwich, the 14th century saint. She lived through a worse pandemic, the bubonic plague. It swept through her city in two year cycles five different times during her lifetime. The first time was when she was just 7 years old. Imagine, not a plague where 1% of the people who get it die, but one in which 50% or more die, often within three days, and sometimes overnight. It is estimated fifty percent of those living in England and Europe died.
As a result of the plague, those who survived the black death hated nature believing it was coming against them. They believed God was judging them.
But Julian instead embraced God. She lived her life as an “anchoress,” living in a cloistered room to pursue God apart from the world. You could say she knew all about what it is like to “shelter at home.” In her pursuit of God, she encountered not despair but hope and joy. She saw the goodness of nature and the way in which God could be encountered in nature. She fellowshipped with Jesus hearing him say in contrast to the times in which she was living,
“It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.“https://christianhistoryinstitute.org/incontext/article/julian/
So, I’m returning to this mantra and a place of trust in the One who is bigger than anything happening in this world.
Jesus is bigger than this virus and bigger than whatever intrigues, plots, plans, schemes which may have been created around it. He is bigger. He’s got this. No matter what, He is at work and all shall be well.