Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

An Incredible & Convicting Experience

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Something incredible happened to us tonight and I really felt it was worth sharing, so here it is. My family and I had been working late on a project, so we went out to eat a late dinner at a local restaurant. We shared the restaurant with only one other group. A few tables away was a man and two women, and I could tell from the moment we sat down that we perhaps should have chosen a different location further away.

The reason I say that is that the people were drinking quite heavily and speaking so vulgarly that it was hard to even enjoy our meal. The words out of their mouths were disgusting. The “F” word was used in every sentence and for every possible meaning. It wasn’t just the cursing but the topics of their discussions that were offensive. I wouldn’t even want to repeat what they talked about but I will say the majority was them making sexual plans as a group and so forth. They were loud about all of it, even knowing that my four year-old daughter was sitting there with us.

I tried to distract my daughter and we focused on speaking about the Lord, praying and enjoying each other. I tried not to look at their table, not wanting to catch their eye. I just prayed they would leave, and I admit that my heart was filled with judgment and disgust. I had not one ounce of compassion or grace for these people who were polluting our meal with filth. I didn’t see them as anything but a nuisance and a problem. I say this with shame and regret.

About ten minutes before we were done, they got up and left. Before leaving the man stopped and smiled at us and gave Tabitha a friendly smile. We smiled back but gave him little attention. He and his group then left and there was finally peace. We finished up and I went up to the register to ask for the check and pay. The waitress apologized for the way the people had behaved and spoken in front of our daughter. She then told me that our dinner was covered and already paid.

I was surprised. Assuming the restaurant owner had decided to bless us with a free meal because of the disturbing circumstances, I assured her that it was fine and that I was perfectly happy paying. That’s when she stopped me and told me what happened. I couldn’t believe my ears.

The man, whom I had been hating in my heart, had paid our bill and the woman with him covered the tip. I was in shock! How could this be? Why would he do that? I wasn’t kind to them or even friendly. I’m sure that the expression on my face showed clearly my feelings about their behavior and language. Why would this man decide to bless us this way?

I was moved to tears. I couldn’t even speak. My emotions were so mixed but the predominant feeling was one of conviction. I realized without a doubt that the Lord had used this man and his party, even in their sin, to convict me of my own. I felt instantly blessed and convicted all at the same time. God had spoken to me clearly and visibly because He knew my heart and loves me. My Father had corrected me with an act of kindness.

As I reflected on what had happened, I saw myself in retrospect and how cold my heart was towards these people. I looked down on them with disgust. I didn’t see them for who they really were…lost people who desperately need Jesus. They need Jesus! They are dead inside without Him! What do we expect from the world? They live their lives this way because they are empty inside and need Jesus, and I have Jesus. I have what they need, but instead of being kind, merciful, graceful and lovingly showing them Jesus, I hardened my heart. That’s why God had to break it, and He did. Tonight He broke my heart.

Being broken can hurt, but it can also be incredibly uplifting. As I sit here, still in tears over the events of this evening, I thank God that He loves me enough to have reached out to me tonight. He reminded me of who I am in Him, how He wants me to see the lost and that I never want to pass up an opportunity to shine the light and love of the Savior into the lives of hurting people who need Him. I’m so grateful and so blessed.

I don’t mind confessing these shortcomings because I know fine well that God is not finished with me yet. I am a sinner and I need Jesus every hour of every day to walk according to His ways. I know that these corrections make us stronger in the Lord and I am so very encouraged that God would bless me and my family in the very unexpected way He did tonight. Thank You Jesus and I pray now for the salvation of the man and women we encountered tonight. I pray that they will come to know you, repent and be transformed by the washing away of their sins and their new life in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

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Finding Mercy and Grace in Times of Need

“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Confession time…I’m a a worrier. I tend to struggle with anxiety, stress, worry and even panic from time to time. When times get tough, this woman right here turns to mush. I don’t really have a tough bone in my body. The good news is I don’t need to be strong, independent or tough when the attacks of the enemy and the darkness of this life get me down. I can approach that glorious throne of grace with boldness and find the only mercy that truly ministers to me.

What a blessing is the mercy of the Lord! What a treasure is His peace!

I find very interesting that the verse above says we can enter the throne of grace in times of need to receive this ministering. I think we can all agree that coming to the throne of the Lord Jesus Christ is such an amazing and awesome privilege. Notice, however, that the scripture specifies we come in time of need. Isn’t it so very true that the times we recognize our need for Jesus the clearest are those times when we are suffering or facing diverse trials? The sufferings of this world make our hearts cry out for Jesus even more. The pain of sin, sickness and death remind us how much we need Jesus.

I love the song, “Lord I Need You” by Matt Maher.

“Lord, I need You, Oh I need You. Every hour I need You! My one defense. My righteousness. Oh God how I need you!”

I don’t know about you but I need God every hour of every day. This world is full of hard choices, temptation, struggles, pain and suffering….without the Lord we are going to fail and fall hard. I’ve been there. I know. When I begin to lose heart, and the world around me starts to look like it’s going to consume me, I remember the throne of Grace. I remember that God calls me there so that I can lay my needs, my fears, my worries and my pain at the feet of the One who conquered every evil thing with His death and resurrection.

I come boldly to the throne of grace. I confess. I repent. I surrender. I am forgiven. I am freed.

What I love so much about the Lord is His compassion and understanding. Sometimes when we go to friends and family, even brothers and sisters in the Lord, we come with our weakness and receive disappointment, judgement, disregard and piety. Yet when we come to the throne of grace, our Lord offers us mercy, love, forgiveness and compassion.

“For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” Hebrews 2:18
 
We have a High Priest who understands our suffering, our temptation, our trials and our pain. He has suffered the same and worse, yet without sin. He overcame and defeated sin, and He is so very able to help us in our weakness. He does not despise us for it, but covers us in His perfection. He clothes us in His righteousness. He welcomes us into His throne room with love and mercy. The very thought of it moves me to tears.
 
Praise the Lord who loves us in our weakness. May we run to Him and remain in Him every moment of every hour of every day until He returns or calls us home. Amen?
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Covering Our Sins

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

Covering our sins leads to failure, but confessing our sin leads to mercy. It’s funny that so often we refuse to see or acknowledge sin in our lives. We think that by ignoring it, keeping it a secret and pretending it just isn’t there we can get by. We think we can fool God. It seems that this vain attempt only makes us the fool. I’ve been that fool many times.  I thought that by covering up my sins, and not allowing others to see what I was struggling with, that I would escape consequences and correction from the Lord. I would be filled with conviction, but still unwilling to face it.

Thank the Lord that He is loving, patient and full of mercy. All we have to do to shed those heavy weights of guilt and shame is to confess our sins, forsake them and prepare for a mercy shower. We hide in the dark and we suffer, but it is when we allow the Light to chase away our darkness that we find mercy, peace and forgiveness. Oh, we torture ourselves so! We suffer needlessly! All we need to do is confess and turn from our sins and it’ll be over. We receive the new mercies of the Lord, sweet and unwavering. We feel His presence renew our hope!

As women, we love to talk. We talk about this and that. We love to share about our emotions and our thoughts and our opinions. We chat with our husbands, our friends and sometimes even strangers! Yet when it comes to confessing sin, we tend to leave that one alone. We talk about the weather before we admit we’ve been struggling with a sin issue. Ultimately every one of us wants to be thought well-of by our friends. We are afraid of being judged and looked down upon. Yet, we know from reading God’s Word that no one is without sin…including that one lady at church who just seems to have it all together! She’s fallen short of the glory of God too sisters! It’s just the way it is.

Now I’m not saying we have to confess everything to our friends or family. We can confess our sins directly to Jesus to receive forgiveness. What I am saying is that the New Testament church and the epistles tell us that confessing to one another and praying for one another in areas of sin struggle is a good thing. There is something about confessing that secret, dark sin that causes it to lose it’s grip on you. We let the light expose the darkness and the darkness hides! We also are able to help one another to walk through areas of struggle. We can be accountable to one another. We can bear each other’s burdens.

Sisters, we are a family in the Lord. We are called to help one another grow in Him. Let us no longer keep our sins covered, but rather confess, be transparent, forsake our sin and allow the mercy of the Lord to heal our brokenness. He wants to bless us. He wants us to do well. He wants us to confess so that the chains fall off and we are free. Do it now. Don’t wait. God bless!

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