This post is pretty random in nature; please forgive me for that. But, I still felt like I should post it. Learn more about the God who I speak to in this poem, here.
Hi Friends & Readers,
While this may sound random and/or irrelevant to the Chibok girls, I felt today that Jesus wanted me to pray for Talinda Bennington, the wife of the late Chester Bennington, lead singer of the rock band called “Linkin Park.”
Talinda Bennington spoke a lot about her late husband’s passing, as well as about his mental and emotional health, at an event called Canadian Event Safety Summit, which was created in wake of Bennington’s passing. my knowledge, Chester did believe in “the next life,” but he never confessed to knowing Christ, and his wife Talinda has also not confessed Jesus. As Talinda Bennington is now dealing with, and grieving for, her husband Chester on a daily basis– while raising their three kids– I know that Christ hurts for her. If she has not already come to Him for Help, I know that He yearns for her to do so.
With this in mind, I read through John 6, where Jesus says that He is the Bread of Life.
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
(John 6:35, ESV)
Reading this, I think of how hungry this world is for Jesus. How thirsty it is for Him, His Presence, for His Salvation. Chester Bennington committed suicide; and while we may never know what exactly was going through his mind as he made this awful decision, Talinda Bennington spoke to many people about how Chester’s struggle with addiction and depression caused him a lot of shame. Perhaps he desperately wanted to be better, but did not have the power to truly overcome his addictions.
While Chester Bennington– and so many others– may not be physically bound and in captivity to the darkness and to evil, Chester was, in many ways, bound emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. As spoken about in this post, we, as Believers in Christ, not only have the duty, but the amazing honor, to tell others about Christ– the only One who can set them free.
It is obvious, in a very literal and serious sense, that Chester Bennington had his own share of demons. He, and all of us, had an enemy that loves to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10)– which is exactly what happened to Chester.
And now, the lives of the rest of his family, friends, and truly, everyone who loved him, have been destroyed, too.
Let that soak in for a second; take to heart the damage the enemy has done in the life of Chester Bennington, and so many other people.
It is real.
It is dark.
It is painful.
But even out of something so dark and painful as this, Christ can bring life and beauty.
It reminds one of Genesis 50. It tells an incredibly important part of Joseph’s story. Joseph was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, who told his own father he had died; after this, he is wrongly accused of raping a woman and spends two years in prison– spending thirteen years in slavery and in prison, in total.1
After all of his suffering, he interprets a dream of Pharoah that foretells a major famine happening in the lands of Egypt and Canaan, today’s countries of Lebanon, Syria, and Israel2 (Genesis 47:14). Joseph, greatly favored by the LORD, is made second in command because of this interpretation and foretelling– and gets ready for the seven year famine. Led by the LORD to collect enough food for the nation and the land of Canaan to get through the famine, Joseph reunites with his brothers, who have come to Egypt seeking food for their starving family in Canaan.
Here, Genesis 50 tells of the reuniting Joseph has with his brothers. When they find out that the second person in command in all of Egypt is the brother they sold into slavery and lied to their father about, they expect him to be vengeful. Yet, his reply to their apology is profound.
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.“
(Genesis 50:20, NKJV)
Christ used Joseph’s suffering to save hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people from starvation– including his family, who would later be the ancestors of the nation Israel. Like Joseph’s story, Jesus can even use the death of someone to bring others to Himself, the Bread of Life. And this is my prayer.
Because Jesus also says something very encouraging and profound, right after proclaiming that He is the Bread of Life, in verses 37 and 38: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” Those who come to Christ– no matter who they are, where they have been, or how ungodly they may have acted– will NEVER be “cast out,” rejected by Jesus. EVERYONE who comes to Jesus Christ will be saved. Simple as that.
So, as we pray for Talinda Bennington– and so many others who may not know Christ, and think that “knowing Him” is only for those whose lives and pasts aren’t “messy” or “dark”– let’s show all those around us the Love that Jesus has for them– and that Jesus will never cast them out, if they come to Him. For, He is mighty to save, and is the only One who can do so.
Do you know Jesus?
In a world where the name of Jesus is more common as a expletive than as a Name treated with reverence, many people believe they do not need Christ: either because they don’t believe they are sinners in need of a Savior, or because they feel that they have “gone too far” as a sinner, and could never possibly receive such a gift.
Both sides of this pendulum are dangerous lies. All have fallen short of God’s standard, as Romans 3:23 says. “Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins” (Romans 3:24, NLT).
There is no valid excuse. We all have a choice. Whether or not we believe we need Jesus, it is the Truth. Learn more about this Loving, Compassionate God– who wants you to come to Him, just as you are– here.
Please pray for…
- Talinda Bennington, Chester Bennington’s wife. Pray for her salvation; for her to be able to come to know Christ personally, and deeply. Pray this knowing Christ will change her entire life.
- Each of Chester’s children. Please pray that his children would come to know Christ, and that Jesus would walk with them through the process of grief and emotional healing after their father’s death.
- Lila Bennington
- Lily Bennington (twins with Lila Bennington)
- Isaiah Bennington
- Jaime Bennington (his first born son)
- Draven Sebastian Bennington
- Tyler Lee Bennington
- The rest of Chester’s loved ones.
A great, evil darkness is controlling many of these people’s lives, especially Chester’s fellow musician-friends. Please pray that the darkness surrounding them would be flooded with light as those who know Christ love and share the Gospel with these lost people.
Thank you for your prayers!!!
*WARNING: TRIGGERS CONCERNING SUICIDE*
According to this article, a freed Chibok schoolgirl, Lugwa Sanda, has tried to commit suicide. She drank “a copious quantity of Jik, a concentrated liquid stain remover,” in protest to going to a school chosen by the Nigerian government for them to go to, owned by the former vice president, Atiku Abubukar.
Many of the young girls do not want to go to this school, because of the school’s location. It is located in Adamawa state, which has been the target of recent Boko Haram attacks. These young women are rightly afraid of being near Boko Haram again, and fear that they could be re-kidnapped.
This is obviously a huge trigger for these young women, who are still battling PTSD, among a plethora of mental, emotional, and spiritual health issues that have been inflicted upon them by their kidnapping on April 14th, 2014. Please pray with me, that these young women would find true healing in Jesus Christ– and especially for Lugwa Sanda, as she is in the hospital being treated for her suicide attempt as this post is being written.
We cannot imagine the amount of pain and fear that these young women are currently going through, but You can.
We pray, in Your Name, that You would hold Lugwa Sanda tight, right now. You are near to the brokenhearted and those whose spirits are crushed, Lord Jesus (Psalm 34:18); please be near to Lugwa Sanda, today, and show her Yourself.
We pray that You would continue to heal and restore these young girls. We thank You for this.
In Jesus’ Name we pray,
Thank you for your prayers. Please keep praying for dear Lugwa. ❤
Do you know Jesus?
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
(Psalm 34:18, NIV)
Perhaps, because of whatever is going on in your life, you are crushed.
Your heart is broken. Your life is in shambles.
You may just want to… end it all.
But I am asking you this, friend: Please do not give up. Please.
I don’t want to feed you cliches, even Christian ones. “There may be pain in the night, but joy comes in the morning” may honestly fill you with disdain. I don’t know.
What I do know is this: There will be pain in this life. But there is a God, who promises to be with you throughout all of it– and that He has already overcome all of the pain, trial and sorrow one could ever experience (John 16:33).
He Loves you. You are Loved. “He saves those who are crushed in spirit.” There is Hope to be found in a relationship with Jesus.
Learn more about, and meet Jesus, here.
**If you are feeling low, and need some prayer or just someone to talk to, please feel free to contact Annalee of ISAIAH 62 PRAYER MINISTRY, here. YOU ARE LOVED!!!**