The Glory of God
Well this past week has been one of the hardest I have had in a long time. Circumstances and relationships really tested my patience, attitude, and even my faith. In a lot of ways I wasn’t even really living, rather just existing. I was struggling with a lot of internal pain and sin and mentally pushing everything – and everyone - else aside. For some reason God brings these times in my life where he forces me to face and deal with sin in my life. It is extremely painful and emotionally grueling. But he is always doing it for my sanctification, which is ultimately for His glory. And it happens during a time when I cannot escape it, or fill it, with anything of this world. God allows me to feel so totally and completely alone, the deepest senses of loneliness, so that I am forced to run to him. So I am forced to see his love before me. And then on my knees in brokenness and humility he can begin to put my pieces back together and revive my passion for his glory – which is so easily lost. The daily reading above Amy Carmichael from sums up how I was feeling, and what my heart is still yearning for.
In April of 2007 God has gave me an intense brokenness, love, and compassion for my family. By family I mean everyone: brothers, sisters, and parents, but also my cousins, grandparents, nieces, uncles, aunts, everyone. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. All I know is every time I think about them or pray for them I can’t hold back the tears. I don’t know why it makes me so emotional and left feeling torn apart other than it forces me to pray. It forces me to seek the face of God. And the majority of the time I believe that is the purpose. Just like the words of Amy, the Holy Spirit intercedes for my family in me in a way I can feel. I have these deep desires for more. For more genuine love, genuine compassion and understanding within my family. It makes sense. I mean when I think about it before I knew Christ all of my relationships were so surface, superficial, and full of anything BUT love. But through knowing Christ, my relationships have been turned 180°. I now have deeper and more genuine relationships than I ever imagined existed in this world – and it’s all because of the relationship I have with my heavenly Father. But the thing is – sin still exists. Some of my relationships have changed completely and grown and flourished through the lavished love of God over them. Some relationships I had were totally lost when I surrendered to Christ. They wanted nothing to do with him, so they wanted nothing to do with me. And then there are those that haven’t changed. Which I would say mostly exist within my family. These relationships break my heart, because I believe they break Gods. Relationships where because we are family we supposedly ‘know’ each other, when really I hardly know anything about those who are ‘suppose’ to be closest to me. And that breaks my heart. Every day. And so every time I am around them, thinking of them, or praying for them I have this heavy spiritual burden that seems it may never go away. And each new time it is hard, emotional, and exhausting. But each time, and perhaps this last week more than ever, God uses it. Sometimes I don’t even know what he is doing – but I know he is in control.
It is so God that in these painful times, he sends rainbows of his grace and mercy to remind me of his love. During the week I have been reading Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper praying God continues to open and direct my heart for Zambia. Through reading Piper’s views on Global Missions God gave my just enough grace to get through everything I was dealing with. No – he didn’t lay before me a platter with answers (which I would love!) but he blessed me with small rainbows, reminding me of his presence, and pushing me to keep on fighting this war of faith. Everything he writes about missions being due to the absence of worship and Piper’s famous quote, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him” all correlated to the junk I was dealing with. The first chapter of the book is all about the supremacy of God in missions through worship. With the turn of every page I was reminded of the reasons of the hope I have found in Christ. It is all about the glory of God. In missions, in my life, in my family. His glory – that is al that matters. And then the second chapter of course is about the supremacy of God in missions through prayer. About our dire need to fall in love with God, and so with worship, and so with prayer that others may do the same. And that is where I’m at. Praying for God’s glory to reign in my life, in my families lives, and in the world.