If I could have one wish, it might surprise you what it is.
It’s not a Presidential election that turns out the way I want. It’s not unbridled liberty. It’s not wealth or fame.
It’s one thing.
I would wish for the opportunity to introduce you to a precious woman named Barronelle Stutzman. I could have anything… it would be the opportunity to place a date on your busy calendars to sit for 20 minutes and listen to Barronelle’s story.
I had such an opportunity a few months back, and it changed me.
We’ve all read the book of Daniel. Some of us have pastors and shepherds who stand behind the pulpit to warn us what is ahead for America. While most of our leaders don’t know completely what that means, they know something is terribly wrong in our nation. Many of us have studied the book of Daniel and have seen the daunting similarities to this modern-day Babylon. But for most, there still lingers the question of how we will handle persecution when it comes. The question still remains, “What will God want us to do if we are faced with the option to change our doctrine or stand on the Word of God.
For me, those questions were answered the moment I met Barronelle in a tiny restaurant in Carmel Indiana. I will never forget that day as long as I draw breath. I don’t even know how I was invited to this event… only by the providence of God. That day I was particularly down. I’d just received some hate mail that I let get to me. Bricks were on my shoulders that night. When Barronelle walked in, I knew I had to speak with her. She had the kindest most peaceful look on her face as she shared her story of losing everything.
As God often does, He opened that door for me. One is never prepared to meet a real live Daniel. Unfortunately typical to form, my tears turned into a blubbery mascara-filled mess as it did that night. When I stood up to meet her, all I could do was cry. (you know that embarrassing snort kinda cry) Yeah, I sounded stupid.
I asked her, “Barronelle, how do you stand so tall and gracious through the hate?”
The words that flowed from her mouth for the next few moments changed my life. She said, “Monica, God could wave his finger. He could breath across this nation and fix everything. EVERYTHING. But He chooses ME… a nobody to accomplish HIS will, and to share HIS love to a dying world…that’s how I stand.”
I then asked her how I could pray. Do you know what she said? She said, “Pray for Rob (the man who is suing her) He needs Jesus.”
She didn’t ask for me to pray for a win in court. She didn’t ask me to pray that she wouldn’t lose her home and business… She said pray for ROB.
Friends, I don’t know if I were in her shoes, if I’d be THERE.
That’s why I want to introduce you to Barronelle. That’s why I want just one wish… to introduce you to my precious friend. Can I have your calendar for just 10 more minutes? At the end I want to leave you with a challenge and a plea. But first, let me take you to meet Barronelle.
I’ll wait a minute for you to run and get some tissues.
Do you feel it? Courage and wisdom.
We often question how we are to live in this age. Those questions are answered right here. This is how you stand as a Daniel in modern day Babylon.
We are in the middle of an election season here in America that will forever change the course of history. It doesn’t matter who wins. Persecution is here. We (the church) have allowed our freedom to be taken from us. We’ve stood in silence like a frog in a kettle of now boiling water, and it’s not IF we will be persecuted, it is when and how.
I believe it is time for the church to be the church and decide where they will stand when faced with a choice to go against Biblical truth. I believe it is time for the church to stop waffling and trying to figure out how close they can get to the fire without being burned. We’ve taken too many curtsy lessons, and instead of choosing to stand like the three Hebrew boys, we’ve been learning how to blend in with a nation who is bowing under the new idols of tolerism. It is time we learn how to be baptized with wisdom and courage. Barronelle shows us how its done. You don’t see a micro-cell of hate in her. You see her standing with an unwavering hold to her God.
Church you need to get ready.
You may look at Barronelle with compassion and a bit of relief because you don’t arrange flowers for a living. Think again friend. It is not about homosexuality. It’s not about flowers. It is about Jesus. You WILL be forced to care. You will be impacted in YOUR world no matter what your career is. The devil is a mastermind of individualizing a plan to bring YOU down to your knees. It’s personal for him.
So church, you need to get ready.
Stop changing doctrine to fit your comfort needs. Stop ignoring the train that is coming at us. Prepare for a morning just as Barronelle faced. I imagine when she woke up that morning when Rob and his partner came into her shop, she would have been shocked to know what the plan of the enemy was for her that day. Life can change at the drop of a hat. In a second.
WHERE WILL YOU STAND?
WHAT WILL YOU SAY?
WHERE WILL YOU TURN?
Know the answer NOW. Before you have to make that choice.
The weirdest prayer you will ever pray:
I love this woman. I love her heart for Jesus. I want to KNOW, that I KNOW, that I KNOW… if I was faced with the same fire she’s facing, that I would stand. Before I leave you with a final glimpse into her life, Could I ask you to pray for her? Barronelle’s case will be heard before the Washington Supreme Court on November 15th. Can I ask you an absolutely crazy question. I know her. I know how she would want you to pray. She would ask you to pray for Rob Ingersoll? Pray that as they enter the court room… that something happens. Pray that he sees Jesus and is overwhelmed by His goodness. Pray that Baronelle has a chance to shine, and lead him to the Savior!!!
Can you agree with me in that prayer?
Until I get my wish to introduce you to a living, breathing Daniel… I will settle for showing you this video.
Church… get ready.