Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The real deal...still

This post was originally published on 10/23/06. By way of update, I received an email from our friends last week. They have arrived in Puerto Rico and it is hot. Unbearably hot. Demoralizingly hot. They are finding the transition to be more difficult that anticipated. They are feeling the weight of spiritual battle. Yet...yet their email was also full of names of neighbors already met, names of those they are already burdened "for their Hope and Happiness to be in Jesus alone." What fervency in face of fatigue! As you read, perhaps you will pray that God will grant them perseverance as they seek to advance the Kingdom of Light and Life!

Sunday night we shared a meal with our friends who are real Christians. Not that my husband and I are fake Christians, but our friends' faith is so vital and so authentic and so passionate that you know they are the real deal. It's not cultural with them, it's not just the way they were raised, and it's most definitely not a religion. Their faith is life and breath; it's real.

They have followed Christ to the former Soviet Union where they administered God's grace and shared the good news with Muslims. They followed Christ to an inner city neighborhood in Minneapolis where they administered God's grace and shared the good news with their racially and culturally diverse neighbors. They are now preparing to move to Puerto Rico where they will be involved in training national missionaries to administer God's grace and share His good news with the unreached peoples of the 10/40 window.

They don't just profess faith; they live it.

As we talked and shared over Mexican food, amid the antics of our children (their four, plus only two of ours, made for a wonderfully noisy meal), they spoke of their work with such passion and fervency and vulnerability I felt as if they were scuba diving in the depths of God's goodness and grace while I was sitting in a floatie in the kiddie pool, drifting along letting life just happen to me.

I know you cannot compare callings ("What is that to you? You follow Me!" Jesus says to Peter, and to me). God calls us all, but to different tasks. Some of us will carry the gospel literally to the ends of the earth. Some of us will serve Him as ordinary housewives. Both are significant. As our friends said, we are partners in the gospel. One goes. One stays. Both pray.

Yet their fervency exposed my lack. Their faith to step out in risk believing God will provide revealed my preference for the safe and comfortable. There's nothing easy about packing up your children to live in a foreign country to share the gospel. That's radical faith. That's a holy calling.

But there's nothing easy about living out an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ in the midst of a materialistic culture of excess and self-indulgence where Christianity is marked by mediocrity rather than authenticity. That is a holy calling. That requires radical faith.

I pray for the fervor and zeal and boldness of my friends. For the faith to leave my floatie behind and dive into the depths of God's grace and provision...
Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.

Ps. 42:7

1 comment:

  1. It kind of put things into perspective when you hear about the hard times they are having and I might dare complain that it is hot, or that we don't have something we think we "need". We just had one of our missionary couples over who are home for a few months and are in an unreach people group in the "bush" in Africa. It is amazing to talk to them and see how much they have to step out of their comfort zone. Sometimes I just find myself thinking "Wow, glad they can do it." THEY can't do it...not apart from God's power. He can give me this same power to step out of my comfort zone. My comfort zone is too narrow...I need to make it a little wider.