3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Haggai 1:3-4
Dear Lord, It has been a long time since I posted just simply because I have so many things going thru my head and I am trying to hear correctly. Sometimes being quiet and having less distractions helps to hear You better.
This past Sunday I taught a wonderfully written lesson by our youth minister from the book of Haggai. Basically the whole 2 chapter book is talking about a people that have beautifully decorated homes, but the temple of the Lord was in ruins. Chris made lots of great examples in the lesson that I was to expound upon and did so with much conviction. (I'm not sure the students got much out of the lesson, but I was forever changed after that hour.)
You see, the Lord of course knew before time began that on my way into church I need to be appalled by the amount of grass and weeds that had been allowed to grow up on our sidewalks. When I saw it I immediately began to place blame and get angry at what a terrible representation this was of our church. I was ready to make heads roll - ha ha! I remember even peering down the sidewalks to see if our street neighbors' sidewalks looked like ours - nope!!! UGH!!
So as I began to teach, very loudly to much of the other classes dismay, I could feel the conviction of the Lord sitting heavily on my heart. It was if I could be preaching to the kids and a conversation going on at the same time in my head with the Lord - quite surreal.
At the very end of my class I was so burdened by the lesson that I told the kids - "I'm not just up here preaching to yall in hopes that you change your life, etc... This lesson has impacted me in a huge way." I went on to explain the sidewalks and if it were my house that would never occur. I don't even want a weed in my flower beds or near my shrubs. So why would I sit by and let my church, the Lord's house look this way? Why would I let the more important place be falling apart while my own house is shining. - Haggai 1:3-4
So I had to take action. I marched myself up to the church and bent down and begin to pull weeds on Monday. I tried to do it after school was in so that less people would see. But my lands it is on Main Street and there is no way to cover up this deed. Oh my stars - my hams are so sore, my fingers want to fall off, and my arms can hardly be brought over my head!! It has been so interesting the looks I have received, suggestions made, and also the help.
One wonderful lady - Debbie - sent a text thanking me and then met me there the next day to help. Many cars would give me a little toot as they drove by. One man in his work truck, Donnie, stopped by to give me a shovel and stayed for a few minutes to help as well - in his work clothes!!! Another stopped by, Bryan, to tell me he would just spray it and then weed-eat it. And still others would look quickly at me and then kind of shake their heads as if to say, "wonder what she did to get put on work release or community service hours?" ha ha
You know - it was great to have help, I could easily make a roar about why this is not done, I could just spray and let time and the wind take the ugly away, but that is not what any of this is about. This is about me responding to the Word and conviction the Lord Jesus placed in my heart. This is about obedience. This is about living out what I know to be truth - the Word of the Lord!! This is about doing what I was called to do...this week! This is about not taking the easy way out!!!
I wrestled Monday and Tuesday because I knew the Lord wanted me to write about this. I was not embarrassed to write about it, I was scared people would judge me and say I was looking for applause. That is why the Lord and I have argued much of the time out there. But I relented after Him playing over and over in my heart - Leigh, this is about me and You. This is about obedience. This is about making sure My house is taken care of. This is about people learning from conviction. You tell this story and encourage others to take a look at their place of Worship. You tell this story so others can see that My Word is alive and living and still convicts. You tell this story in hopes that others will turn to my Word to receive a Word. You tell this story as an example. You tell this story - because I say so.
So I want to end by asking for forgiveness. Lord, forgive me neglecting Your house. Forgive me for by-passing certain parts of Your Word subconsciously thinking it may not apply. Forgive me! And I want my own church to forgive me for not doing my part in taking care of my church! I have not done my part and please forgive me for not acting sooner. Forgive me!