September 12, 2012

Silence, Grace and the Gospel

It seems it's been quite some time since I have posted...not because I had nothing to say but because I didn't really know where to start...I have been in the US now for 5 months and in some ways I am still adjusting to being home.  While I know that God will use me anywhere I go, I also know that there are some places that need me more than others.  What I wanted to share today, though, is what God has been teaching me for the last 18 months....

Choosing to move to another place always comes with some uncertainty; choosing to move to another country, culture and language takes that uncertainty to new levels...But we go where we are lead, and believe me, the doors God slammed shut, hurt - even if they didn't actually hit me on the way out ;-)  But as He often does, other doors opened and I found that my path had taken a detour to the western third of a tiny island in the Caribbean.  From decision to go to departure was slightly less than 2 months...things moved really fast and the next thing I knew I was spending my annual family vacation in Michigan doing things to get ready for my flight to Haiti in under two weeks... Things moving fast, helped me not freak out about leaving EVERYTHING familiar behind to go live in a strange place with people I had met and known for a week. There were moments where I thought I might be crazy.  But sometimes God calls us to do crazy things for Him.

Grace.  For years, the idea of grace was tied to the cross...and by that I mean a point in time event that had little to do with daily life except as the motivation that took Jesus to the cross.  As I began to prepare to move to Haiti, God began to show me that His Grace is so much more.  Every bump in the road that was resolved was grace. The man who carried my suitcase across the airport in the rain: grace.  Michelle meeting me inside security at the Port Au Prince airport: grace. Mark and Will's luggage not arriving on time and therefore the warm welcome in the airport parking lot upon arrival. Kyle being in Port Au Prince for Kirby's hearing tests and therefore someone to ride all the way to Jacmel with me: Grace.  The people who supported my trip making it possible for me to go: grace.  All these things were blessings I didn't earn or deserve, but God orchestrated all kinds of circumstances to give them to me anyway.  There were moments of grace in daily life.  This is where we like to stop...we all say "Amen" and feel good that we have learned to recognize God's hand in the little details of life.  Pat ourselves on the back and feel like we've grown...which we have, but that's not where we stop.

The harder lesson to learn is that when the bottom falls out, when people disappoint you, hurt you, abandon you, and you are left with pieces of your life all around you, that is God's grace too. Tension, hardship, and conflict that came along with changes in leadership: God's grace.  Because storm clouds while dark and violent, bring refreshing rain that replenishes the earth.  Conflict and trials bring greater dependence upon God and a deeper (and closer) walk with Him.  This too is something we don't deserve, this relationship, we haven't earned it, deserved it, even known how badly we needed it, yet He offers it to us.

Tied to His grace is always the Gospel - God's plan to redeem and reconcile His people - each situation for the glory of God the Father.  The Gospel at work in our daily lives is visible when we remove ourselves, our pride, from a situation and allow God's light to shine into all the corners of our messy, sinful hearts and let God work. To get out of the "looking holy" business and into the being made holy practice.  When we are open (but not glorifying) about our struggles, we allow God's glory - His grace - to be seen by be experienced by those who might not otherwise be looking for Him in daily life. The Gospel doesn't end with repentance but it is essential in our daily lives...

1 comment:

  1. I love the way you articulate things. Thanks for your transparency, encouragement, and your frienship! Miss you!!