Many are the moments on this journey where we have looked at each other and said, ‘this is crazy! We are crazy for doing this!’
Many more are the moments where other people have thought and/or said that as well.
And yet, isn’t this what we are called to? We talked yesterday in church about what it means to be a slave. Today the weight of this term is lost to those of us in the Western World. If we were to ask any person in Jesus’ time they would have given you a serious answer. Today, ask any man, woman, or child the world over who is forced into labor, prostitution, debt-slavery, etc. and they will tell you that slavery is obedience to an alien will. It means putting aside your thoughts, desires, plans, comfort, feelings, etc. for the desires of another.
That is what we have been called to, people. The Word tells us that, the Spirit tells us that, Jesus lived and breathed it.
Think about how often common sense is thrown out the window when it comes to serving the Creator.
I don’t want to this to come across as self-righteous bragging or holier-than-thou at.all. but this is what it currently looks like for us:
We give up a nice house and a secure future in the States to come here…to a country at war.
Carrying on the family farm is replaced with teaching people where to poop properly.
Having our kid grow up with cousins and grandparents and friends and family is replaced with a handful of (wonderful) friends and angel khAla who pulls him around the house on the vacuum cleaner.
Instead of packing for a weekend trip to see family and friends, we pack an evacuation bag and leave it by the front door…just in case.
Instead of weekly reports on crop prices, we get weekly reports on roadside bombings across the country.
Instead of going for long, leisurely runs through cornfields, we lift weights in our kitchen.
Instead of asking Dad to bless our kids as they go to school, we ask Dad to provide a teacher so they can keep going to school…so that their parents can keep working here.
Our weekly gathering consists of very loud off-key singing and a traveling bag of song books.
Ice cream is a figment of our imagination.
There are times when we look at that list and look at each other and ask, “what are we doing here?!?” Why are we in the middle of a war-torn country, working with people with hard hearts and blind eyes, wondering if fruit will ever come or if people will ever learn how to poop right? Why.are.we.here???
The obedience to an alien will.
We have wrestled and wrestled with these questions. We have asked and sought and reasoned and pleaded with the Most High (as have our families) about our place in His plan for this country and these people. We have suggested other people would be better. We have tossed in our nominations for other countries (always with better food and beaches of course…). We have asked noisily and delved into long periods of silence.
The alien will…
Like a moth drawn to light are God’s children drawn to His ways when they earnestly set their hearts after His ways.
We don’t always know
We don’t always want to follow
But we can’t help but move where He leads.
Matthew wrote it this way….
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One who is most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world – your mind and heart – put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.”
- Matthew 5 Sermon on the Mount from The Message Bible
And so blessed we are.
We have plenty to eat and a roof over our heads.
We have a great team here who are dear friends, great support, and our biggest cheerleaders (as well as wonderful babysitters).
We have family who sees the value in the work we are doing and love and support us in it.
We have a beautiful little boy who makes us smile…a lot.
We have the love and friendship of each other that gets sweeter as the days go by.
We have work here that is challenging and meaningful.
We have a yard full of crazy kids who are amazing role models for little t and are so good to him.
We have angel khAla and kAkA who make life easier and help us find joy in the simple things.
We have HOPE and TRUTH and LIFE.
Truly we are blessed in these days.
Is life easy? No
Would we want it to be? No
We are so thankful for the things that Dad is allowing us to be a part of, to see, to experience, to smile at and to grieve over. How could we turn away from being a part of His work?
The alien will of God can be painful, or frustrating, or mysterious, or intangible. But, it will ALWAYS bring blessing. ALWAYS.
It may not be the blessing the world would place their money on. But like Matthew describes:
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”
Everything that can’t be bought: HOPE and TRUTH and LIFE, MERCY and GRACE and PEACE. LOVE THAT WILL NOT LET ME GO.
This is the alien will of our great God.