I am a happy person (crazy, silly, insert whatever upbeat adjective you desire...). but honestly, most of the time, my heart absolutely aches. Very literally, it physically aches within me. It is truly the joy of the Lord that keeps me going which comes in many forms! My favorite of which is the encouragement that my dearest sends my way in his prayers over me at night.

But if you have ever spent any amount of time actually investing in me as your friend, sister, daughter, or even mere acquaintance, you will have found that my heart breaks easily [and largely over the sin and brokenness in our world and its devastating ramifications on the lives of God's precious creation]. (I can't even read the story of Jesus' birth at family Christmas without breaking into tears!) I am so thankful for His [heart-wrenching] perspective shifts. I am reminded of God's Word and His promises of provision for our lives through His stories in her and her. (Note: reading these stories will take time and a tissue.) And even His story in her. Soli Deo Gloria.

But let me entertain your thoughts with an analogy set before me personally yesterday morning. After reading James 1.2-4 and 12, God quickly allowed me to put my faith in action. On my way to help a friend clean some houses, my car died just as I was pulling up to an intersection. I quickly flipped the hazards on, turned the car off, then cranked it again in time to get through the light and make it a safe distance away to pull over. My small trial as it was slowly faded in my mind while I stood on the side of the road and watched countless numbers of cars drive past. (Ok, I'm sure there were over 100.) However, the more I watched, the more I noticed the people noticing me and their expressions or the lack thereof. Some tried very hard to act like I wasn't there as they passed. Others gawked, while a few did express a look of concern. But out of all the cars that passed only 3 actually stopped and the one because it was his job as he worked for I-DOT. (This story sounding familiar at all yet?)

My mind started racing as the Spirit brought back flashes of memories of passing people by feeling pity for them but doing nothing. I thought about conversations had discussing the threat of safety when you help "people like that," and how those conversations WREAKED of self-preservation and comfort. Like Francis Chan points out in his book Crazy Love, we with good intentions (and in our western frame of mind) find ourselves praying for safety, when in True reality a heart that is ablaze for the glory of God only requests that they be given a glorious occasion to make Him known. God will always allow circumstances to come into our lives giving us the opportunity to choose between claiming every shred of right of pride, dignity, and safety (that we don't have) or claiming Him no matter the cost. Is your heart ablaze?

I’d rather have Jesus than men’s applause;
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause;
I’d rather have Jesus than world-wide fame,
I’d rather be true to His holy name.

Than to be a king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway,
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.