Christianity

Where is God When We are Hurting?

Life here on Earth can be messy, painful, and stressful. We will all experience some form of struggle during our lives. Of course we know that there can be such joy in our lives, but those bad times can be so incredibly difficult.
We as Christian’s know in our minds that God is there, but in these hard situations sometimes it can feel like God is so far away in the physical here and now.

In all honesty, no matter how often we feel God’s hand in and on a situation there are those other times when He lets our situations grow into a seemingly impossible circumstance. It’s in these times of trial and hardship that we (I know I can’t be the only one) sometimes ask the Father why He would allow this thing to happen to us.

Why do we ask this? I don’t actually believe it is from a lack of faith, but rather because we know who God is, the all-powerful, all-knowing, loving Father- we want Him to intervene in our circumstances and help us.

Unfortunately this can be where the aforementioned lack of faith comes in. When God happens to decide not to answer our prayer the way we requested or expect, we can begin to doubt.

The thing we have to realize, though, is that God sees things on a much bigger (and let’s face it- a much farther) scale than we do. He is not bound by our time table, and certainly not required to conform to our expectations. If He did this He would not be Master, but servant only. Does He love us? Absolutely! Does He want what’s best for us? Always. This means though that what’s best for us isn’t always what we expect.

I have heard people call God callous or heartless because of something very difficult that has happened to them. God is never to blame for what we go through, and yet He loves us so much. He doesn’t want us to struggle or to be in pain. He cares for us.

Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to Him than they are?”

I believe that God allows us to experience some of these terrible things so that we truly believe in His power and love for us.

This brings to my mind the story of Lazarus in John 11. A short time before His crucifixion Jesus was sent a message that His dear friend Lazarus was very sick. His friends sister’s, Mary and Martha were expecting Him (Jesus) to rush to their house and heal their brother.

He said in John 11:4-6 “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”Now Jesus loves Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days.”

So instead of rushing to His friends side, He waited two more days. Why did He do this?

He explains in John 11:14 “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

When Christ finally makes it to Mary and Martha’s home, He discovers that their brother had been dead for four days. Mary is understandably upset, and while crying told Jesus that if He had been there, Lazarus would be alive.

Her belief wasn’t an issue. She knew already that Jesus had the power to intervene and heal her brother. I am almost positive that she was hurt, confused, and heartbroken that Jesus didn’t seem to have cared enough about her family and arrive in time to save Lazarus.

However, Jesus identified and understood her pain, after all- Lazarus was His dear friend.

John 11:33-35 “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus wept.”

By this time Lazarus’ sisters, and the people who had gathered had to have expected that this was the end of it. However, it was then that Jesus chose to act and miraculously brought Lazarus back to life! Through this action He not only showed them His love, but also revealed Himself as Messiah. He chose to do this in this manner so that they would not just know who He was in their minds, but also experienced a life-changing event and believed in His power and love.

It would have been easy for Jesus to heal Lazarus, in fact I’m sure He wanted to. However, by choosing to wait He was able to truly show His power, and gave them faith that no matter what they went through they could trust that He was going to be there for them.

Are you going through a difficult or seemingly impossible circumstance? I just want you to know that Jesus is always there for you, no matter how dark it may seem. He wants to comfort you in the midst of your suffering, and wants to do something amazing for you. It may not be in the way we expect, but His plan has always and will always be better than our own.

He promises to always be there for us, and that He will never leave us. We are not alone. What an absolute comfort!

~Megan~

Does Jesus Accept the LGBTQA+ Community?

Hello lovely people 💖

Today I wanted to talk about whether or not Jesus accepts the LGBTQA+ Community, because as a Transgender Christian- my faith and salvation are constantly attacked and fall under scrutiny on social media. This is not a “woe is me” post, far from it! I think this is something that we need to be clear on.

Before I begin, I am going to show a few examples of a conversation I had with a gentleman on Twitter this week. To respect his privacy, I have removed his screen name. This isn’t about calling him out, but rather discussing this mindset and belief.


 

 

 

Roman’s 15:7 says that we are to “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

We are all imperfect people, and will not be made otherwise until we finally are in Heaven with God the Father. In choosing love, and to love one another, we are echoing the best example we could ever have been given- Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 1:15 says “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners- of whom I am the worst.”

There isn’t an exception made here. He came to save sinners, all of us. No one of us is better than the next when it comes to sin. Yet, despite this, He still chose to save us from it, and to make us perfect and blameless by His death, and our acceptance of Salvation.

Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

God made us, and called us perfect. How does that work with the idea people seem to have that the LGBTQA+ Community are broken, disgusting, and hell-bound individuals?

Ephesians 1:3-6 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption into becoming a child of His through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”

This is perhaps one of my favorite passages of scripture. He chose us to be holy and blameless in his sight! Before the creation of the world he knew that I was going to be Transgender, because he designed me that way, and calls me holy and blameless through Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:21-22 “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”

Read that again. Without blemish and free from accusation. These verses are straight out of the bible, folks. I do not know how to be any clearer than this. We are not condemned, we are loved and accepted by Jesus Christ, and made blameless through His sacrifice.

This post is not going to chance the minds of those who are heartily against the LGBTQA+ Community. Instead, I hope this gives you peace and the ability to know that Jesus loves you. YOU! He accepts you. He made you the way you are, and you are dear to Him.

I love you all, too.

~Megan~

Why We Should STOP using Leviticus as an Excuse to Judge Others

As I mentioned in my last blog post, I wanted to write about the book of Leviticus, and what I have learned during my studying. It is very common for certain verses of this book to be used against the LGBTQA+ community, and to be honest for some time I was struggling to make sense of what I knew about Leviticus and my own identity.

To even begin to grasp the true meaning of the book of Leviticus, we must first understand a little about the time in which it was written. What do we know about it? We know that it was written somewhere between 1200, and 1500 B.C. Right before this, the children of Israel had just endured 400 years of captivity in the land of Egypt- and had been delivered out of it by God, via Moses.

After that long period of time, it isn’t hard to imagine that some of their captors culture had trickled into the daily practices that the Israelites observed. This then is why Leviticus was written.

“Because the Israelites had been held captive in Egypt for 400 years, the concept of God had been distorted by the polytheistic, pagan Egyptians. The purpose of Leviticus is to provide instruction and laws to guide a sinful, yet redeemed people in their relationship with a holy God.” (https://www.gotquestions.org/Book-of-Leviticus.html)

What are some of the laws discussed in Leviticus?

Do not consume blood (Leviticus Ch. 17)

Do not have sex with family members (Leviticus 18:6-16)

Do not sacrifice your children to Molek (Leviticus 18:21)

Do not have sex with a man as one does with a woman (Leviticus 18:22)

Do not turn to idols (Leviticus 19:4)

Do not cut your hair at the sides of your head or the edges of your beard (Leviticus19:27)

Do not cut your body for the dead or put tattoos on your body (Leviticus19:28)

Do not use mediums or spiritists (Leviticus19:31)

These are just a few of the laws laid out in the book of Leviticus, but I wanted to spend some time discussing them, and why they were written so specifically. God has a reason for everything. It is clear to see how He wanted the Israelites to separate themselves from the pagan practices of the captors, in order to focus on Him and to begin living as His chosen people.

1. Do not consume blood.

In ancient Egypt, blood was considered to have healing properties. Because of this fact, it was used in medicines, ointments, and other healing properties of the day.

2. Do not have sex with family members.

It was the Egyptians belief that many of their deities wed their siblings. Geb and Nut; Osiris and Isis; She and Tefnit; Seth and Nephthys. This led to the practice being copied by members of the Egyptian ruling class. One such famous example are the parents of King Tutunkhamen. This trait carried on within their family line, the inbreeding leading to a wide range of defects, infections and diseases. While there isn’t much evidence of the lower classes marrying members of their family, sex with siblings was not considered taboo.

3. Do not sacrifice your children to Molek.

Molek, or Moloch, was the name of a sacrifice requiring god of the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and the Canaanites. Another more familiar translation of his name was Ba’al. It was common practice to offer sacrifices to garner favor from him.

4. Do not have sex with a man as one does with a woman.

This is one of the verses that is most often quoted to me, and one that I struggled for years with before I began studying on my own. Here is what I discovered: the homosexuality Leviticus is discussing is the specific form of male prostitution practiced in the religious rights of the ancient Egyptians. NOT the loving and consensual relationship between two same-sex partners, but prostitution in homage to their gods.

5. Do not turn to idols.

The ancient Egyptians practiced idol worship, as a representation of their gods. These depictions were not meant to be literal representations of their deities, but rather used symbolic images to “properly” show each god and their role in nature and the world.

6. Do not cut your hair at the sides of your head or the edges of your beard.

The Egyptians commonly shaved their heads bald as a sign of beauty, but instead of leaving it without hair, preferred to use wigs instead. Their priests were required to be completely free of hair.

7. Do not cut your body for the dead or put tattoos on your body.

These marks and tattoos were used by the Egyptians for several reasons, to mark a profession such as prostitution, or working class, as well as for fertility and therapeutic reasons. They were also used as a way to honor the dead, which is also why they cut themselves as well.

8. Do not use mediums or spiritists.

The ancient Egyptians used magic or mediums as a way to interact with their gods. They would also be consulted for troubled births, deaths, or various other issues in daily life.

So.. after reading all of this, what does it even mean? God desired that His chosen people be as far removed from the practices of their captors. There was a reason for these laws, and there was a time and place in which they needed to be adhered to and followed closely. God doesn’t do anything without a purpose, and we see Him clearly protecting and guiding His children away from pagan beliefs and ensuring they stayed near to Him.

That being said, this old law was established before Jesus came. Upon His arrival, He established the New law and covenant with His people, and His death created a direct path to the Father. We are not bound by the Old Law any longer.

Now knowing this, it is absurd to think that Christian’s need to use this in an argument against the LGBTQA+ community. We were commanded to Love one Another, and instead of judging, ostracizing, or belittling those you do not agree with- maybe we should work on loving them as Jesus does.

Being a member of the LGBTQA+ community does not mean you are going to hell, it is the separation from Jesus and His gift of salvation that condemns you. He does not reject you, He loves everyone.

I just wish the Church would embrace this too.

~Megan Rae~

How Can You be Transgender and a Christian?

NOTE: I have decided to write this blog post again, as it is important to me and something I feel that needs to be said. I wrote this over a year ago on my first blog, but unfortunately the blog was deleted. I apologize if you have read something of mine like this before, but I encourage you to read it if you are struggling to connect your Christianity with your Identity.

As I child I was always taught that the LGBTQA+ community was nothing more than sinners who were going to hell. I knew from a very early age (I believe around the age of 5) that I was different, that I was not a boy and that something was terribly wrong. I could not mention this to my parents though, because I was terrified about their reactions. (Hindsight: this was a good idea, they would not have accepted this)

I remember praying so hard as a child that God would change me- that I would wake up in the morning and have my body be transformed into the body of the girl that I was inside. I remember waking up and being devastated that this hadn’t happened. I would sob in secret, and be miserable wondering what was wrong with me.

Over the years I would do my best to hide it- because I was raised in a home and church body that taught me that the LGBTQA+ Community was disgusting and an abomination in the sight of God, and so I felt that in order to honor Him and obey Him I needed to be exactly what I was expected to be.

I wore a mask; I buried everything. I prayed, I sang at church, I even helped in the children’s church, but inside I was a hollow shell. I kept returning to this thought:

“If God created me (which I knew was true), and He doesn’t make mistakes, then why is the Church telling me that to be Transgender is a Sin and wrong? Why would being who I am send me to Hell and eternity without God?”

It seemed to me that there as a contradiction being taught. I decided to study on my own. If I was going to be condemned for being Transgender, I wanted to know why directly from the Bible.  I started with the one truth I knew for absolute certain:

John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes in Him Shall not Perish but have everlasting life.” This verse is so often quoted that many Christians take it for granted. I read it over and over, letting it soak in. Jesus died so that ANYONE who believes in Him will have everlasting life. There isn’t an exception- there isn’t an “everyone except that particular group” clause mentioned anywhere. This being the case, and truth, how can I be Transgender and a Christian, despite what the church is teaching?

I have conversations with other Christians all the time, mostly on social media. Most of them (probably all, who are we kidding???) will return to the book of Leviticus every time. I have been quoted Leviticus 20:13 (discusses homosexuality) more times than I can count. I am not going to lie, this verse bothered my for some time, and added to my confusion and uncertainty. However, I chose to read and study. (NOTE: I have done extensive study on this particular book of the Bible, so much that I intend to devote one of my next blog posts to it! Stay tuned)

Galatians 3:21-25“Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.”

I had to read this a few times before it finally sank in. I listened to sermons in the past about the “Old Law”, and that Jesus came to Earth not only to die for our sins, but to establish the “new law” with his people! The old law was put into place to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of Christ, it is as simple as that. The old rules and requirements were stripped away when Jesus came to restore our relationship with the Father.

John 1:17“For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.”

Jesus came to earth to reveal to us God’s unfailing love, His compassion, and his faithfulness. No longer were we bound by the rituals or blood sacrifices as they were given to us (a necessity at the time) by Moses, but to create something new. His death, and the blood that was shed on the cross took over, and covered forever the need for such a sacrifice.

John 13:34“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

This is our new commandment. This is what we are called to do- love one another. Not “judge one another”, not condemn, ostracize, belittle, or verbally abuse others because they may be challenging what we have been taught our entire lives, but to accept and love them.

I have said all of this, to make this point. I am a daughter of Jesus Christ, I am accepted and loved by Him. His sacrifice was as much for me as it was for you. He does not condemn me, and I refuse to hide who I am because it may offend people in the church. I am not the “model Christian”. I make mistakes, I am certainly not perfect. I have simply reconciled my faith with my being a Transgender woman. I am one of Christ’s children, and nothing or no one can take that away.

I still want to honor Him always with my actions. I want to love the unlovable, because I was one of those unlovable people until I accepted Christ. Maybe that is the reason that I am here, why I am going through all of this so that I can share my story, and show that God loves you no matter what you are going through. All I know for certain is that I am not forsaken, lost, or unwanted. I have a Savior who wants me, Transgender or otherwise. That, to me, is everything.

Is There a Reason for our Pain?

Is there a reason for our pain? It’s hard to see clearly sometimes, even if we know that there is a purpose for our life. In the midst of whatever we are going through it is so much easier to cling to the present pain instead of trusting that there IS a better tomorrow coming.

My name is Megan, and I am a Transgender Christian woman. I have blogged before and told my story, and while I will most certainly be writing it again, that isn’t my purpose for tonight.

My hope is that if you are struggling with something this evening, you will read this and be comforted. First, please know that you are not alone- not even for an instant. I promise I am not being cliché, the fact is that our Father in Heaven is always looking out for us.

Psalms 34:18 – “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

1 Peter 5:9-10 “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

Christian leader Jerry Bridges said “God never allows pain without a purpose in the lives of His children. He never allows Satan, nor circumstances, nor an ill-intending person to afflict us unless He uses that affliction for our good. God never wastes pain. he always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His Son (see Romans 8:28-29)”

This does not mean that we will be painless in our lives, nor that we will never experience suffering. What we CAN be assured though, is that what we are going through has a purpose and that He is always with us.

It doesn’t matter what your situation is. The same thing applies to any and all. Please know that I am speaking as someone who has/is/will endured pain. I am not perfect, I do not always remember to trust in the middle of my circumstances. However we serve a God that is faithful, forgiving, and forever with us. How comforting is that?

This is just a short post tonight- hopefully I will have time tomorrow to write some more.

Until then,

~Megan Rae~