Global Challenge Expeditions Blog Vault: These are real blogs, from real people, bringing real change...
A stormy day, a foolish question and a blanket = GRACE
It is a rainy Sunday in Guatemala today...out of the quietness inside of me I feel this strange urge to write a blog! So with my cup of tea and blanket, I am starting to write something about something that I haven't thought through at all...it's a new thing for me!
But truth is, that is what this whole journey with God has been like for me, up to this point at least! Out of everything, I could not figure anything out beforehand or plan it into detail, I cannot control it or understand it, and in some cases I cannot even explain it!
Take Monday for an example... Luiza and I were walking the 3km home after a day of working with Pastor Ben, all tired and dirty. Somewhere along the way I, deep in thought, realised that my team mate is not next to me anymore and as I turned around I saw her standing at a very man that was very, very drunk, his face full of blood because he stumbled over his own feet just moments before. “I cannot just walk past him...”, she told me. Man, look at that, I thought I loved people! I thought that because I have patience with my Christian brother's mistakes, because I gave up a year to serve people, because I share the gospel with strangers in a foreign country I definitely love people! I thought I that I believed the whole Bible! So easily I passed judgement on people who simply left out certain pieces of God's Word, like Creation or the baptism, but I myself so easily live in a way that exclude Scriptures like the good Samaritan...and I didn't even know it! Somewhere it became acceptable to walk past a drunk man, to rather just look away and justify it with the five-hundred reasons not to stop and show love. The truth is, that yes, there is indeed five-hundred reasons that makes it OK for me to just walk past him, but I will always have one reason to do the opposite! I will always have one reason to love in a way that will get my hands dirty, make some people stare at me with judgemental eyes or even make rude comments about my actions. That One reason, opposite from the five-hundred others, cannot always be explained or figured out, planned beforehand or be thought through…because you see, that One Reason is a Person! His name is Jesus!
So, sitting here, realising that I am so quick to judge and so slow to love...what do I do? I mean, it is not like I haven't tried before, it's not like I don't want to be like Jesus, as if I like being like a Pharisee! I cried out to God and asked Him to just tell me what to do! I cried out, wishing and hoping that maybe this time He will give me a “5 Step Plan” on how to love people the way Jesus does! OK fine, even a “21 Step Plan” will work if it will get me to the point of putting myself last and others first!
Well, let us be honest…He didn’t answer me the way that I initially wanted Him to answer me – thank You for grace Lord, for understanding my dusty nature and foolishness!
Father God, loving took me to Mark 4, the scripture where Jesus calmed the storm. It all starts off with Jesus telling His disciples, “Let us go over to the other side…” He started with a promise! Before they even got into that boat, before the storm or their big freak-out He gave them a promise!!! “I am taking you to the other side! And yes, you will go through a storm and your faith might fail you, I know that. You might even use Me, your only solution, as a last resort, doubt My power and freak out because you do not trust Me, because you think I do not care, that I’m not really there with you in the swamped boat. But listen carefully, hear this: I am taking you to the other side, I promise!”
Now, back to my question that I asked God: “Lord, just tell me what to do?” The answer came oh so clearly: “Just come and rest with Me, come and lie down next to Me in the midst of the storm and be close to Me.” Wow…So now, knowing that I am lacking love and compassion that is all that I have to do! Go and sleep next to Jesus! I don’t have to try anymore or feel guilty, I can simply hold on to the promise that He is taking me to the other side. That the other side is a place where I will fully understand and live out His grace, His compassion and His love for the whole of humanity! And I’ll be able to do it, because He will be doing all that the Father is pleased with through me, through His Holy Spirit in me! All that is expected of me, all that I have to do, need to do is take a deep breath, lift up the blanket and go and cuddle up next to Jesus where He is sleeping in the storm…sooner or later we will reach the other side like He promised!
Some beautiful Scriptures to go and chew on…
Rom 7: 14-25