Monday, August 1, 2016

Be Poor

2 Corinthians 6:4, 8-10
“but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities…through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” 

God, you have been overwhelming me with the fact that your plans are so beyond my reach, so far above the imagination of my mind. January 2015, when I was sick with a 103 degree fever and missed all of my finals, I began to really wrestle with what to do with my life, and where to go. I remember sitting in bed crying, and calling out to you. Then you gave me this vision: working with special needs kids all around the world. I thought it would be a cool thing to do one day, but never really believed it would come true. I didn’t know that my youth group’s missions trip to Antigua, Guatemala, just six months later, would entail going to a disabled community hospital, and getting to play with and pray over those kids. I didn’t know that you were going to call me back for Ignite Class 10 in January 2016, instead of attending Biola like I had planned. Then I was able to go to that very same hospital, almost every week, for three months. I didn’t know that you would send me to Kenya for six months, where I get to go to special unit every Wednesday. None of this was of my will. If I had it my way, you know that I would have gone to Biola. Certainly that would have been the easier, more comfortable choice, but this was your wild adventure, your journey to bring me upon. I am not the one who is writing my story. It’s not my responsibility, is it? No, it’s yours. I did not carve out this journey for my life, you did. Oswald Chambers says, “We are not here to do work for God because we have chosen to do so, but because God has laid hold of us.” “Not that I have already obtained this, or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Philippians 3:12). It was you, God, who laid hold of me and drew me to yourself. I didn’t lead my feet to stand in Kenya, you did. You laid hold of me. You gripped my heart and said the word, “go.” And what a gift it is to know that I don’t have to figure my life out, because you have already done it. And I know that a life shaped by your hands, is a life filled to the brim with hope and peace, but, that doesn’t mean things will be easy. Without fail, someone gets sick nearly every week, and it’s discouraging. Every day, I am met with new spiritual battles—Satan telling me I am not good enough, or whatever lie he chooses to tell me for that day—but expected to pour myself out for the kids, and at the same time, watch them walk through things I have never experienced before. It’s hard. Sometimes, no, a lot of times, I want to give up. But you say that the time for salvation is NOW. NOW is the time to endure. NOW is the time to hold fast. NOW is the time to love. NOW is the time to give grace. NOW is the time to take heart. NOW is the time to rejoice. And NOW is the time to pour out until I have nothing left. Again, Oswald Chambers says, “The primary word of the spiritual vocabulary is now. Let circumstances take you where they will, but keep drawing on the grace of God in whatever condition you may find yourself…Never hold anything in reserve. Pour yourself out, giving the best that you have, and always be poor.” So yes, there is a constant struggle, but I am certainly not at it alone. God, you do not tell me to serve on my own. You don’t ask me to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. What you do ask me is to be faithful now, and to reach the end of myself. To reach the limits of what is humanely possible, allowing you to do the impossible. Jesus, may I leave this place completely empty. I have nothing to offer, but you, and you are everything. I have nothing, and yet I possess everything in you. NOW is the time to let you be God, and do the unexpected, unimaginable, things that only you can do. There are two months left. Jesus, let these grains of sand count. 

Application: I will write out the word now, and tape it to my wall, so that every day I am reminded that the time to live, endure, and love, is now. 

1 comment:

  1. Charis, I have often found that the Lord empties me only to fill me up again, and then I'm bound to be poured out in the very near future. Thank you for sharing this; I needed to read it as I prepare to begin another school year. I am so proud to call you one of "my kids," Charis, and even prouder to know you are being faithful to our Father's call. Love and miss you, my friend. -Miss Wynia