Isaiah 40:31 (New International Version)

31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rainstorms bring rainbows....

I have been MIA for a while.  I have had so much to say, and so little to say all at the same time.  Some of you already know that I felt as though I was in a storm recently, a storm I thought would never end, a storm I felt so much guilt about going through because I had talked so much about this place, talked so much about my passion for people, I thought I had failed.  The storm has ended, but that does not mean that I feel like I am now skipping through a field of roses singing blissful songs of praise, on the contrary, I am lonely and desire often to beam myself home. 

I was reading a book that a dear lady gave to me before I left, a book that I must confess had not one ounce of attractabilty to me, but when you are in Africa and feel a bit bored because it is raining outside and there is nothing else to do, you read books that don`t attract you, believe me!  Anyway, through this book, I realized that my emotions, lack of inspiration and irritability with this place is normal.  In fact, this is a quote that a seasoned missionary to China gave to a group of young women on their way to the mission field; "Girls, when you get to China, all the scum of your nature will rise to the top".  Strong words, but I must tell you, so very true.  Many things about my nature, my character have come to the surface since I arrived, things that I don't like very much, but I know that in order to be changed by God, I must see and admit that there are areas in desperate need of change.  God says that He is the potter and we are the clay for a reason.  I am in the molding stage, and I have to tell you something else, IT HURTS!!!! 

Yes, like a piece of precious pottery I am being formed into what God wants me to be, now this is exciting, despite the pain.  God is revealing things to me that make my heart skip.  For now though I am going to savour the time that these things are only between Him and I, sorry people, in due time, in due time.  I know without a doubt that God called me here, that He has a plan in all of this and so I rest in that truth.

Now, onto something else.  After reading "Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne (yes, I do a lot of reading!!!) I was inspired and would recommend that you read anything by this very gifted man, but one part jumped off of the page.  Shane was writing about Matthew 25 and asked his readers this: (I have paraphrased)

In this passage did Jesus say "When I was hungry you wrote a check to the United Way, and they fed me; when I was naked you donated your clothes to salvation Army and they clothed me," NO, He said YOU fed me, YOU gave me something to drink, YOU invited me in, YOU clothed me, YOU, YOU, YOU. 

I am not saying that giving money or donating your clothes are not good things, don't misconstrued this, I am asking however, that on top of that, what are YOU doing?  God is looking for more than distant charity, something that our nation has become good at.  Don't short change yourself by remaining a safe distance away.  Get to know the poor and suffering of the world, look into their eyes and touch their hands for yourself.  Mother Teresa used to say "come and see", when people asked about her work. 

Claiborne also said this "The great tragedy is not that Christians don't care about the poor, but that rich Christians don't know the poor".  Strong words....I wish that I had said them!!!  Don't ask God to use your feet and your hands, if you don't really mean it, if you are not willing to go into the world.  Do you want to be like Jesus?  I do, that is why I am here, being molded, being shaped, even though it hurts.  I am nothing extraordinary, but God can do extraordinary things through me if I choose to let Him.  I want people to see Jesus in me, I want to be less so that He can be more.

One more quote to leave you with....

"In God's perfect workings, the instrument is forgotten. It is the blessing of Himself that is remembered"

Blessings,

Cheryl

1 comments:

Mandi said...

beautiful post, can't wait to hear more! Praying for you. :)