Most of you know that I participate in a global “Five Minute Friday” event.
If you haven’t guessed already, I kind of missed the deadline.
I promise I didn’t forget… I just couldn’t think of anything to write about for the prompt: “Red”. I usually try to write about things on my heart, but nothing seemed to have anything to do with red. I even glanced at other writers’ blog posts, but nope. Not a blip.
Until, of course, it was a bit too late. As in. Saturday.
So, this is my Five Minute Saturday, with the prompt, “Red”.
P.S.: It’ll be way longer than five minutes.
We could have stayed in Pittsburgh that weekend. We could have listened to an amazing sermon on a difficult Romans passage, we could have caught up with our church family, we could have spent the afternoon with my godly parents, we could have gone to the insightful small group led by one of our elders (and my boss). We could have walked away from church convicted of Christ’s sacrifice.
But we didn’t. We were in Ohio, the state that bleeds Buckeye red.
I love Ohio. It’s really not that bad. I mean. It’s flat. But it’s not that bad. For a visit.
But we were church searching. Why on earth were we church searching in Ohio while living in Pittsburgh? Because there’s a possibility we will be living in Ohio. Why would we even think of living in Ohio? Because Mister has a business opportunity in his home county. Because I encouraged him to write his business case every day he came home deflated and unfulfilled in his job. Because his business idea will rocket in that small-town Ohio county. Because I love seeing him excited about it.
The church we visited was alright. We didn’t disagree with anything the pastor said, really. But it was fluff. We walked away thinking, “That was a nice tutorial on life” instead of “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
I know we won’t find an identical church. I know that. I hate when people remind me of it. But can’t we find a church that’s remotely similar? That takes the word of God seriously? That doesn’t croon mindless love songs or rock out about how “awesome” God is and instead sings praises of conviction and hymns that proclaim the gospel? That attracts families and men who not only love the Lord and His word, but articulate it so well and apply it to their lives and study theology just to learn more about it?
Can’t we find another church like that?
I left the weekend in Ohio in a cloud of bitter dust. I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving the church family we have in Pittsburgh for a yet-to-be-found church family in Ohio. How could I raise my children around Mister’s unsaved family when I’d rather my children learn from the godly example of my parents and the godly teachings from the elders and leaders in our church? Why is this the calling the Lord has for my husband?
I complained acridly to my mom, expressing my resentment towards the red state of Ohio. And then, ever so calmly, ever so quietly, the Lord spoke to me through her words:
Why should you be so blessed at [Three Rivers Grace] while [Mister’s] family flounders and drowns in their error and self-destruction?
That was a smack to the mouth. Almost instantly, my eyes smarted with tears of shame.
She was right.
Was this our calling? Is this why doors for Mister’s business are swinging wide open? Is Mister’s business idea a guise for our ministry to his lost family?
I finally saw the bigger picture.
Why, then, should we smile and wave from our wealth of biblical knowledge, wisdom, and fellowship while my husband’s family doesn’t have a clue?
The color of the fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins. The color of His blood availed for me. The color of the Buckeye state that seems to be the destination of God’s ultimate plan for us.
My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim, to spread through all the earth abroad the honors of Thy name.
Three Rivers Grace blog: 3RG Blog
My mom’s blog: Surprised to be a Guest