Less Than Nine by Glenda Bell



Close your eyes.


Now,  close them again for 30 seconds.

Uncomfortable? Did you want to rush to open your eyes before the 30 seconds? Also, did you begin speeding up your silent counting method because of the uneasiness of the experience? Honestly, did you? What was it like for you?

Dark?


That's what I've felt over the course of this past month. Darkness. It's as though I went to bed and woke up with a type of grief that I had not experienced before. My eyes became heavy, my shoulders tightened and I desired to fall on my face before God, but I cried instead because of my physical inability to do so. I just laid in bed weeping.  I wept to the point that I felt as though I could not breathe. You're probably wondering what happened that caused me such grief? The tragic murder of my friend's daughter, not even a year ago, was now met in my heart with yet another senseless murder. The murder of George Floyd.

I watched the video of it all. In all my days, I had never witnessed anything so tragic, so up close and personal, but because of today's access to digital media, I saw a man take his last breath as he cried out for mercy. Although George Floyd did not speak the word mercy,  it was his cry. As I watched, I cried out for him. Mercy! Even knowing that as I watched it it was not in real time, I still cried out as though the police officer would hear my plea and STOP! By now, we all know that George Floyd closed his eyes and breathed his last breath that day in well under 30 seconds. Less than 9.

Dark.


As I wept, the flood of my own dark personal experiences started running through my memory as recent as only a few weeks ago. One. After. Another. I began to pray and ask God to do what only He can do. Although I did not immediately have a praise on my lips, God met me in my despair, in darkness. Right as I opened my eyes, my lips began to sing the words of the song, "Great Are You Lord" written by All Sons and Daughters, repeatedly singing the chorus so loud that if my windows were open I suppose the neighbors would have heard me. Here are the lines of the song I sang on repeat as my eyes focused up and by now I was dancing in my kitchen (what I call dancing anywho).

You give life, You are love You bring light to the darkness You give hope, You restore Every heart that is broken Great are You, Lord

It's Your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise We pour out our praise It's Your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise to You only

You give life, You are love You bring light to the darkness You give hope, You restore Every heart that is broken Great are You, Lord

It's Your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise We pour out our praise It's Your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise to You only

It's Your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise We pour out our praise It's Your breath in our lungs So we pour out our praise to You only

The more I sang and the more I worshipped, my heart began to reflect on God's Word and what He has to say about His breath. "Then the LORD God formed man of the dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being." Genesis 2:7 NASB

Life.

How can man take from another that which he can not give? Breath. Thank You God for preserving Your Word that one day all who desire would read it. It is You who breathed into all mankind's nostrils the breath of life! Praise God! You have no idea how the remembrance of His Word grounded my soul that day! Even after I had studied, as you may have this very Scripture, today it jumped off the page and restoration began in me.

I couldn't stop there!  I began searching the Scriptures even more to hear God's voice and drown out the darkness that the enemy would have me to compound over and over in my mind about what my eyes had seen, what my ears had heard,  and the darkness of this world. 

The bible tells us that Job was "blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil," Job 1:1. Job's sons and daughters were killed by a great wind that caused the house they were in to fall on them, only Job alone was saved from this tragedy right before his own eyes. If Job can suffer great loss of all of his children and witness it up close and personal, and live to open his eyes and see beyond what's before him, what then am I to do? Well, what Job did. Job "fell to the ground and worshipped." Even Job's wife told him to "curse God and die!" Here it is again Glenda,  do what Job did. Here's what we can all learn from this man who had a reverential fear of God and who lived a lifestyle of turning away from evil. You ready? Here's what Job did. The Bible says, "In all this Job did not sin with his lips." Job 2:10 

Guess what else Job didn't do? Job did not waiver in his faith walk with God even with his friends. Without having all the answers, Job continued on speaking these words to them from his lips, Job 12:10,  "In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?"

My life, your life is in God's hands. Our time here is but a breath and God has written the days that were ordained for us in His book. That's not all. Psalm 139:16 goes on to say about our days, "When yet there was not one of them." What a blessed assurance that God alone numbers our days. But wait, I've studied this verse and shared these very words in times of comfort to others and for myself in the past before, I really have!"What is so different now? God is growing me in and through this great tragedy that my eyes saw up close and personal even if it was through digital media. I believe  He is revealing to me the tragedy of lost souls. Souls. I need to grieve, to lament over what matters to Jesus. 

Love God. Love People. Period.

God changed every thought I had as I began drafting this writing. So much has already been shared. God needed to awaken me again to return to my First Love and sound the alarm that we, the church,  must do the same. I sat in on a bible study that was written compelling believers to repent and return back to your First Love.  I told the woman who wrote the study that I feel as though God had her to write it and teach it just for me! Yes, I feel that strongly about how He used her gift to pen a message from Him to me in this season. It is through all of what I have shared, that God has turned my weeping, my mourning into a call to stand on what He says about all matters. No time for silence. We must press in hard,  ramp it up! Press on, hold fast sharing the whole gospel of Jesus Christ  to a world in darkness who is without hope without Jesus.

The Light.

So sisters, there's a call today. May you be light wherever you go, as you go. Make it your ambition to show others how you Love God and Love Others. 

May we today apply what Paul's message was to the church of the Thessalonians: "Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another."

Don't miss what Paul is saying to the church about the church! He doesn't stop there. He goes on to commend their love for practicing love toward all the brethren in Macedonia. Let's interject here and apply this commendation to our church community that meets on Sundays where we gather together. Paul goes on to say, "excel still more." 


By Glenda Bell

 

Glenda and I had the pleasure of meeting back in February while on the Love Like You Mean It cruise by Family Life Radio. We instantly bonded over a love of Jesus and His word. I was so inspired by her that I knew we would be life long friends.


I hope that you are as moved by this post as I was. It truly brought me to tears. My heart hurts with all those who have been affected by the death of George Floyd. I believe that all God's children matter and my prayers are for unity in the body.


"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him." 1 John 3:1

With Love I pray for each of you.

-Gwen


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