Has it really been a whole month since i've been back in the states?! This is honestly baffling to me. The whole concept of time and the reality of how quickly minutes of ones day slip by so suddenly, leading to weeks coming to an end far to quickly..has really got me to thinking. What are my minutes, my days, my life this past year and this new one to come...truly accomplishing...for Christ? No, not accomplishing in the worlds point of view, not in the standards of my fellow peers and even loved ones, nor accomplishments based on my desires for my life. But what am I accomplishing that I will be proud of when I stand before the One who died so I may have life at all. On that scale and measurement of accomplishent...what am I proud of in this last year? How many times do I see I let the Prides of Life stand before or at the tale end of something that all glory and praise belongs to the Lord.
I was reading in my devotions and came across something that made me not only shutter at the reality of such roots of pride, that have sprouted and sometimes affected my potential impact for Christ, all while ministering and living a life that, in the last 4 weeks alone has been called, "Brave" "Difficult" "Admirable" ect.
If I could only be as Jacob was in Exodus, wrestling with God Himself and coming out on the other side, still faithful in the site of God. That life, one of wrestling constantly against my prideful and weak flesh, and choosing Christ's...always, is one thats minutes, hours, and days, will be an "accomplishment" a life of eternal value and joy.
I want to share Spurgeon's words that stirred in my heart the awakening of a spirit that was and is still quick to pat myself on my shoulder and accept the words of admiration and praise that war against the knowledge I know to be true which is, But for Christ, I would be nothing. No Purpose, No Accomplishments, No life at all.
"It will be humbling and profitable for us to pause awhile and see this sad sight. The iniquities of our public worship, its hypocrisy, formality, luke-warmness, irreverence, wandering of heart and forgetfulness of God, what a full measure we have there! Our work for the Lord, its emulation, selfishness, neglect, sleepiness, and vanity, what a mountain of dead earth is there! If we looked more carefully we should find its iniquity to be far greater than appears at first sight. Dr Payson, writing to his brothers says, "My parish, as well as my heart, very much resembles the garden of the sluggard and, what is worse, I find that very man of my desires proceed either from pride or vanity or indolence. I look at the weeds which overspread my garden, and breathe out an earnest wish that they were eradicated. But why? What prompts the wish? It may be that i may walk out and say to myself, "In what fine order is my garden kept!" This is pride. Or, it may be that my neighbors may look over the wall and say, " How finely your garden flourishes!" This is vanity. Or I may wish for the destruction of the weeds just because I am tired of pulling them up. This is indolence ( laziness)." It is so, then, that our desire for holiness could be tainted by evil motives. Under the greenest sods worms hide themselves; it doesn't take long to discover them. How comforting the thought is that, when the High priest bore the iniquity of the holy things, he wore upon his brow the words, "Holy presents before his fathers face... not our unholiness, but His own holiness. O for grace to view our great High Priest by the eye of faith!"
In Ecclesiastes 3 we read about all the ways God has appointed everything under the sun, and but for Him, there everything would be futile, worthless, lifeless. But those things that are done for Christ, they are what will withstand minutes, days and years.
" He has made everything appropriate in it time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end. I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor-it is the gift of God." Ecclesiastes 3:11-12.
God has called me to go and serve Him, has it been scary, difficult, an act of faith, yes, but I am no more brave, courageous, or godly than any other saved by grace follower of Christ, who is trying to accomplish something more...for our Lord. I just obeyed.
Don't get me wrong, the words of affirmation and encouragement have been a source of water, in the area of my heart that had become a little dry and parched over the course of 10 months away. They have always served to remind me that Christ has called me to go, and so I will continue to go. But you, you in your work place, your neighborhood, with your children, with your friends, with the cashier at the grocery store or the waiter who your kind words may be their first in weeks, you can be just as "Brave" "Courageous" and "Faithful". The states is becoming the #1 country that believers from OTHER countries are sending missionaries to. I think there is something to be said for that.
I may be going to Chile, Thailand, Kenya or a faraway land, but you my friends..you can be reaching the unbelievers in our land, America.