Love and Jesus… Sometimes they are related….
Sorry it has been a really long time. I have been waiting till I thought that I had something to write about. Something inspiring, something important, something worthwhile, or something that didnt make me feel like a hypocrite. How can I write about the Greatness of God, when Im not always sure what that looks like.
So before I really start I want to say what I have been up to lately. I have moved around a little bit since August. I have lived with family and with friends. I have had jobs that I loved and jobs that I despised. In the grand scheme of things none of this is important. In 10 years no one is going to ask how many different places did you live in? How many times did you work for corporations that you dont believe in? What I hope people ask is why do you believe in your God? When people ask I hope that my answer is the same as it is today. I have no choice but to not only acknowledge God but to serve him with everything that I am because of everything he has done for me and that I have seen.
For about 6 months I lived with one of my best friend’s and his family. It was truly beautiful. I saw 2 aspects of love that were only theoretical for me. The first was between he and his wife. He and his wife aren’t perfect by any means. (They would be the first person to say that) Yet it is evident how much he loves his wife and how much she loves him. Everyday I would sit and watch interactions that were of no value and almost not worth mentioning except that I was able to appreciate the depth of their relationship. The second were his kids. He has a now 6-year-old girl and now 4-year-old boy. They both would express love in such really beautiful and simple ways. If I was sitting down reading or playing on my laptop the boy would decide that meant that I needed to be climbed. The girl would come and sit next to me for no other reason than to be close and to take part in whatever I was doing. Both of these small acts were beautiful pictures of just being present. Very pure and simple. I just want to spend time with you and be noticed by you. Which pulls me back to Jesus. It was interactions like these that helped me to really start to understand why God uses a wedding as a picture of his love for us. I have believed for many years that love is a choice and now I have seen it in practice. Something that you willingly go into and embrace. It is something active and dynamic. It is not something that will thrive if you just let it sit without nurturing it. Yet if you give it room to grow and you foster it, it grows into something much bigger than it was when it started. I am starting to get a really good picture of what Paul means when he writes, “Love is patient, Love is kind, Love does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV) Saying that I appreciate what Paul wrote does not mean that I am perfect either. (If anyone questions how perfect I am let me know and I will get you in touch with my sisters. They should be able to squash that misconception in about 30 seconds) So I want to finish this section with a question. It is really easy to say that this is the way that God loves us. But how do we love God? Do we look at God and question why he has blessed someone else? Do we hold God accountable for hurt in our lives? For not giving us the life that we think we deserve? Or are we embracing God with everything and trusting that what he has is good? Love always hopes, trusts, and perseveres.
So that is some of the past lets now discuss some of the future. I have been preparing to go back into ministry. When I came back from Kenya I felt like I had failed. Like I was somehow not good enough to be the missionary that I was called to be. I felt like a fraud. I questioned everything I believed. How can I be a missionary if I am starting to have very serious doubts. I contemplated many options. All of them were running from God’s work in chase of “my work”. I want a legacy. I want honor and I want prestige. I want everyone to recognize all of my greatness. I was chasing after something that is not only fleeting, but unobtainable. When we seek to promote ourselves we perform an epic fail. When we promote God with the hope of promoting ourselves we perform an even more tragic epic fail. When we step out-of-the-way and let God promote his own greatness with truly humble hearts, something beautiful takes place. It is so much better than anything we could have hoped for. About 5 months ago. I was getting ready to sleep. I saw my self in a place that was uncomfortable. I saw myself doing work that was hard. I saw myself changing my dream from going back to Kenya to going somewhere else first. To spending time in a place that goes against my core beliefs with the hope of being Jesus to people who may not have the opportunity to see him elsewhere. I thought that this was crazy. Why would God use me a broken and jaded individual? The more that I prayed about it and talked to people the more real it became. everything started falling into place without me doing anything. When I questioned God all he said was “Am I not enough?” Yeah but God you dont understand… Thats not where I want to be, that’s not what I want to do. “Am I not enough?” Ok, but Im going to need some serious help. I went there last week. To kind of set some stuff up for this summer. My first day there I had a horribly evil dream. Clearly not of God. There was some writing in a language that I didnt understand. In my head I knew what the word meant. So I went to google translate and typed the word in english. Sure enough it popped the word from my dream. A couple of days later I got really sick. I had a fever, chills, a migraine, I wanted to throw up, and I couldnt eat. (Me not eating should show how serious it was) My friend and I prayed and I was better instantly. I was immediately reminded of the sovereigness of God. God is everywhere even in the places that we dont expect him to be. If he can protect me and heal me he obviously has my back and is telling me to go. At this point I would be stupid to try to argue God out of it again. If Im not careful he may send a whale to give me some time to think about questioning God again. So what does this mean? I think it means that God can redeem anyone. Even those broken and tired of doing what they think they should do. Those who are weary and tired of fighting its much easier to go with God than against God.
I feel like I should say something to conclude this. So I will try and tie it all together. First I think that we should all examine our lives and see if we are actively loving God the way he actively loves us. Second… Well I think the second is surpassed by the first. If we love God with everything that we are, we wont be afraid to go where he tells us to go. Without that love though we will be running in the wrong direction. I feel like this is really intense and I want to leave this on a little lighter note. I am in Mexico as I type this. I just want to give everyone a little advice. Although the green salsa is amazing and delicious, and you just want to have more and more. Moderation is key…. Trust me you will thank me later… Be blessed…