Monday, March 22, 2010

Universal Church

God is so incredibly huge.

If nothing else, that is surely the reality He is repeatedly throwing my way. I have been really deeply moved by so much lately. Sometimes in positive ways and sometimes not.

Recently I have been reflecting on how to accommodate the intense love for those in Nigeria.I went to Nigeria in 2007 and though I don't often speak of my experiences, they are continuing to shape me. I think of them often and sometimes, the people I met stay in the forefront of my mind all day long.

God is such a great big Lord who breathes life into us in America and cares about us stressing about a disagreement with a friend...and yet breathes the SAME life and hope and faith into an African village who wonders, but never gives up, where their next meal is coming from. Who join together in worship and raise their hand to the Lord and marvel at the marvelous things He has done! It's amazing to attend something like Mass too...and see the universality of the Church...and people who have so much hope when things appear so lost. Who hug and laugh and cry and smile and high five just like anybody-but with a passion for life I have rarely seen.It's like prayer is the fuel on which they run by-and that is how I want my life to be....

You can never really explain feelings like really begin to understand what matters and what doesn't. To worship with those who don't speak your language and to immerse yourself in the beauty of another culture. Where people rely and fully depend on the God we sometimes choose to thank for the blessings He gives us. Like for so many I met, their DAY is like a walking prayer. Their life is on loan from the Lord-and they know it. They live in service to Him and it's evident in every single thing that they do. Being around them makes you want to be closer to God. They make you WANT to spend time with Him. It was like a window into the very path to the heart of God. I seem to spend a lot of time wondering when the victory is coming and how i can get ready and keep fighting and I read the most awesome thing is the "Utmost" devo today. The victory IS here...the battle is still here, too...and the fight but we are not fighting in order to win...the fight comes when we surrender our wordly weapons and accept what the Lord gives us with which to fight! The fighting is to get over ourselves and our wills and our consistent desire to have things our way and to choose NOT to hear God's voice. Instead of shutting us out when we do that, God allows us to strengthen our hearts but fighting through-with a guarantee to win. And yet somehow we still get so discouraged and so brokenhearted at the sight of us potentially losing-forgetting that Jesus already won EVERYTHING!

And also, its amazing to me to see how inadequate I really am to be a soldier for the Lord. I mean, humans are so broken and weak. All of us...and yet the more I read the scriptures...the more I realize that Jesus spent so much of His time with the inadequate. And God never raised up the perfect human specimens who would do everything right the first time and wouldn't doubt and would trust and love others like He did. He took people....and makes all things NEW! He turns broken into whole, messy into clean....despair into hope. That includes the people who followed Him. We don't have to be down on ourselves and eat the scraps from His table. Instead He invites us to have the place of Honor (crazy, right?) next to Him. He says "You are my BELOVED!!!!" Wow, man. Psalm 147:3-5:

3 He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.

4 He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.

5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.

There's so much in my life that screams PURPOSE but I have noooooooo idea what the purpose is. I'm learning how to keep trust and high spirits even when I feel like collapsing and/or crawling into a teeny ball. God is so very much on our side...and He cares so much-even about the small stuff. Such a faithful, extremely beautiful God...


AJB said...

I love it. Utmost is my favorite devo. I grew up reading that thing year after year, but gave it up at some point. You've inspired me to pull mine back out. Thanks!