Sunday, March 4, 2012

Broken

 

Psalm 51:7-9

New International Version (NIV)
 7 Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
   wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
   let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins
   and blot out all my iniquity.

Sometimes I wonder if people read this blog and think what I used to think about people in ministry and/or missions. Things like "Oh, they must think they're better than the rest of us...super-Christians...holier-than-thou...wonder what they're trying to atone for?". Why else would we go off and make such a radical life change? Either we want to prove we're better or we're trying to do penance for the life we've lived up until now. Or both.

Honestly, I doubt most readers think that, because you're all nicer people than me! But I'll admit I did. Every time God would gently nudge me into service of some kind, I found it easier to criticize the failings of the people serving in whatever ministry I was trying to avoid than to simply obey. 

What I didn't realize is just how much I was missing.

I'm discovering that service is a gift from God for me even more than for the people He calls me to serve. It humbles you, breaks you open in ways you never expected, and calls on you to minister to others from the very places in your history you hoped never to have to reveal. You know, the skeleton hidden deepest in your closet. The character failing you hoped no one would ever know about. What He's showing me is how He doesn't just use us to minister and serve out of our strengths, i.e. "so and so has a real gift for children's ministry, teaching, leadership, organization" etc., but out of our weaknesses. It's the only way He gets the glory and not us.

So if you have ever felt those little nudgings of the Holy Spirit to step into ministry or service but feel completely inadequate to the call, may I say JUST DO IT ANYWAY! Gabe and I are only here out of our own brokenness. I feel no gift for teaching 2 year olds or homeschooling my own kids, but I am learning a lot about myself and my own selfishness and need for patience in the process!  And every time I am humbled to be allowed to minister to a sister in crisis, it is my own story of shame and redemption that He calls me to share. Never my spiritual superiority. As if I had any.

I think it works like this: the more the Lord reveals to us our total inadequacy and need for a Savior, the less tightly we find ourselves holding on to control of what we think we are called to or too limited to attempt. God specializes in using our limitations for His glory. We just need to be broken and available to Him. It is the only way to show His love to a broken world.

Thoughts from the Apostle Paul on just how this world got so broken and God's plan for fixing it:

 

Romans 5:12, 15-17

 

New Living Translation(NLT)

 12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned......
15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. 

Basically, once the first man sinned, it became encoded in our DNA and the world was broken. It had to be atoned for by death. God is holy and perfect and just, so He couldn't have sin in His presence. Yet He loved us so much that even though we sinned and broke His perfect creation, He sent the perfect sacrifice, Jesus Christ, to atone for that sin. So while not everything that was broken in His creation has been restored, the thing most precious to Him can be; our relationship with Him. We can come to Him in our brokenness and He makes us whole again by His grace. Not by anything we can do, but from His perfect love for us.  Can you  think of any better way to find peace? 

Romans 8:18-22

New Living Translation (NLT) 
The Future Glory
 18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 

Good analogy :-) As I anxiously await the arrival of this little guy we've waited 9 months to meet, I can only imagine the joy we will all know when Christ returns and frees this earth from its curse of death, decay, and brokenness. As a final note, if you are reading this and really aren't sure what this Jesus kool-aid we've drunk is all about or want to ask us more about it, please feel free to comment or send us an email. He's worth knowing. Nothing else really matters.


Love,


Bonnie

A few recent glimpses into life around here :-)

Rainier sunrise
 

child labor aka "chores"

sledding day

"Snow Sam"




Snuggles





1 comment:

  1. Bonnie, You have ministered to me in so many ways and all I can say is I am not worthy--but I sure am glad God put us together. This post has come to me at an interesting time. I just had a knock out fight with my sister because my apology to her wasn't good enough. My ego was (and still is) all in it--and I basically told her that I've been apologizing to her my entire life and I'm tired of telling her I'm sorry. Except I might have used an expletive or two. I'm not really a fighting kind of person. Frankly, that's the angriest I've been since that fight I had with Jack's dad in your garage 3 years ago. Again with the ego. At the end of the day, I'm not sure I can surrender enough to continue being my sister's personal whipping post. HOWEVER, your post reminds me to serve first and self later. Although, at the end of the day--knowing who you can serve best is sometimes more important than serving all. Thanks for the reminder. xo -s

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