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“What if I’m an Esau?”

 

“We’re sending you guys to a bed and breakfast for two nights… will even take care of childcare too.”

Our pastor told us this three weeks ago and we were shocked and delighted and so Friday we dropped the kids off and packed our suitcase and drove an hour to the B&B.

It was while standing in the kitchen with our host, Eric, that we knew. We weren’t here simply for a getaway. God had sent us on a mission.

“My friend Woody is here,” Eric told us. ”We won’t get in your way. He stopped by here to say goodbye…he’s on his way out to the mountains of Colorado. He’s got hot spots all over his body and he’s headed out there to die. Alone in the Colorado mountains.”

We tried to connect with Woody all day Saturday.  Mr. Woody made himself scarce.

Come Saturday night, we ordered Chinese take-out and sat on the bed with paper plates and chopsticks and talked about what we should do. “I say let’s go down and just tell them we don’t believe in coincidence and ask to pray for each of them and see what the Lord does,” I suggested.

My husband, he’s more direct. His fire is burning and he wants to just go down with his Bible and lay it all out.

Either way, if we want to talk to Woody, we’re going to have to be obvious and direct. No casual, “natural” opening is happening.

We finish up takeout with fortune cookies and husband cracks open his cookie and reads, “Don’t wait for others to open the right doors for you.” We laugh. There you have it, we have to go knock on some doors. The fortune cookie said so! {smile}

We go downstairs with our Bible tucked under arm and they aren’t inside and the two men are outside talking where it’s dark and cold …and we go out and chat and ask if we can share breakfast with them in the morning because we’d like to pray with them and talk to them about God.

Um hum. We did.

They said sure and it was clear they were just being polite and we wonder if Woody will really show up at the breakfast table. Did we do the right thing?

8:30 Sunday morning the four of us sit down together for breakfast.

“This is only the third or fourth time I’ve ever sat down with guests,” Eric tells us and we share some missionary stories and language blunders and we all laugh pretty good.

Then we get down to business. We ask Woody about his relationship with Jesus.

“You know,” he begins. “I used to have faith. But some things happened in my life that made me wonder if what I had was real. People done me wrong…I’ve lost absolutely everything. The only thing I have left is a guitar and my old truck…and now I have to sell my guitar.

He continued.I read through the Bible in search of some foundation…I needed to know if what I thought I had was real. I came to conclude that I don’t have real faith.”

What he said next caused my eyes to well up and I didn’t really fight against it because it was the love of Christ within me coming out and didn’t he need to see it?

“I think I’m one of those that have to be slaughtered for someone else to be saved. You know…like in the book of Job, all his children were killed for Job to see and know God better. God’s going to do what God wants to do and I’m one not intended for His blessing.”

“I’m okay with that if that’s the way it’s supossed to be.”

…And my heart is shattered and I can’t believe what I’m hearing…

“I’m not one of the elect,” he says.

Eric chimes in. “I feel the same way,” he says. “What if I’m an Esau? You know, ‘Jacob have I loved, Esau have I hated.’”

And husband turns to me and says, “Do you want to share anything?”

Yes, I do want to say something. It’s burning within me. It’s so close to my heart that I’m breathing shallow and my pulse is pounding and oh, I get this.

“There’s a reason he asked if I want to say something,” I begin, breathless.

“It’s because he knows I’ve struggled with the same things.” And I wonder how I can boil everything down to a simple conclusion. How can I talk about stumbling and distrust and wondering if God really loves you…about dark nights when you think you had something with God and then you are shaken to the core and you wonder if you were ever founded on the right foundation?

I take a deep breath. Everyone is looking at me. The weight of responsibility for my words is heavy on my shoulders. How can I ever say the right thing?

“The conclusion I’ve come to is this,” I tell them. “It comes down to knowing and trusting the character of God.”

They’ve read the Bible before, so I explain. “You know John the Baptist? How he spent his entire life preaching Jesus and then he was arrested? And while he was in prison, waiting for his head to get cut off, he sent friends to ask Jesus, “Are you really the One?”

“His faith was shaken to the core. He was doubting and in a very stormy place.

“What Jesus said is very interesting.  He told John to evaluate things on the basis of scripture, not circumstance. But then He said something very important and insightful. He said, “Blessed is the one who does not stumble on account of Me.”

“And I looked up that word “stumble” and did a word study on it, because that’s where I was at: a doubting, stormy, afflicted place in my faith.

“And this is what I found that changed everything for me…”

{Part II of our conversation with Eric and Woody tomorrow}

This post is linked up to Ann’s Walk with Him Wednesday. Today the discussion is faith…

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Comments

  1. StephVG says:

    Once again, I feel like I’m reading my heart in your words! I never put it quite like that — “What if I’m an Esau?” — but I have lived. this. As recently as a few months ago. Motherhood thrust on me revealed so much sin in my heart that I didn’t even realize was there (Jeremiah 17:9-10, anyone?) — and by the way, I don’t think the circumstances of becoming a mother were what did that, just being a mother, even introduced to it gently, would’ve eventually revealed the same dirty, stinking mess — and I found myself doing and thinking things I honestly believed (in my heart) were impossible for me to ever do or think. I was absolutely convinced I couldn’t be saved, and that led me to the conclusion that either Scripture wasn’t true or I wasn’t elect, because I knew the truth, and if it wasn’t saving me, then I was destined for destruction. God has graciously helped me through my husband, the Spirit, and the Word. I absolutely can’t wait for part 2.

    • Arabah Joy says:

      Exactly, Steph! Motherhood reveals depths of our souls and sinfulness we never would have known otherwise. And Satan is right there to twist, distort, and mar our perception of God based on our own sinfulness. Thank you for reading along and sharing your comment. So encouraging to know there are others like us out there :)
      Love you, my friend,
      AJ

  2. Janelle says:

    This is so good! Can’t wait to hear the rest. :)

  3. Crystal says:

    I have wrestled with this very thing for a year or so on and off. And I am always driven back to the Word. What does the Word say about me? Even today though, I woke and prayed, “why can’t I just get it right? Are You hearing my cries for help? Fill me with your Spirit so that I can have the power to fight!” Why do the same things plague me day after day? Surely, if I were His I could have victory. I wavier between trust and distrust. Oh God, help my unbelief. I’m going to be thinking and meditating on the character of God this afternoon. As always, thank you for your words.

  4. So glad I found you through the Practice of Faith linky! I have been wrestling with very similar issues recently and this was such a blessing to read! I can’t wait to read more! Thank you.

  5. jodi says:

    What an amazing post! I remember tearfully asking one of my sisters at church “what if I’m the tare”???

Trackbacks

  1. Scandalous says:

    [...] Eric and Woody were looking at me, listening intently, wondering what exactly I had discovered. [...]

  2. [...] Trust. Isn’t that what it’s always about? [...]

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