Tuesday, December 18, 2007

c & c

Last night I was able to share about Africa at my college and career group. It's really nice to tell the people you love, who have supported and prayed for you, what you have been doing in hopes that they might be encouraged.

Before coming home I was a little nervous about the possibility of culture shock or a general feeling of weirdness towards the world around me because I have been displaced for the past six months. But I happily can say that I have experienced none of that. I'm just happy to be home.

I'm blessed with a great family. I'm blessed with great friends. I'm blessed with a great church. I have had the Word of God carefully and graciously poured into my life. I'm surrounded by people who have a passion for Christ and His Holiness. And at the center of the our fellowship and worship is the cross. An acute awareness that Christ was beat to a bloody pulp, that His sides bleed and His lips quivered, that He sweat great drops of blood because He didn't want to die; He didn't want to be separated from His Father.

The cross brings purity, passion, boldness, and conviction into the lives of believers. Elevating their lives above the realm of do's and dont's and into a deep love affair with Christ that realizes the Holiness of God, the deep price of sin, and cannot stand to enjoy or touch or take pleasure in the sin that put Christ on the cross. It does not boldly proclaim it's liberties, but humbly admits it's deep need for more of Christ's love, His passion, and His Holiness. It is deeply concerned with the salvation of an eternal soul rather than temporally soothing a physical thirst that can never be quenched in this life time.

It's so nice to be home.


tyronebcookin said...

Yeah, just thought i would let you in a little secret...culture shock or re-entry usually doesn't happen to you when you are expecting it to, or if you are just home for a break and then go back...

It usually happens months down the road when you figure out you are back to the same ole' grind and you start feeling like what you do now, was not as important as what you did back when you were doing missions...

sometimes it is a few weeks for people, sometimes it can set in months to a year later when you realize you are back in that work to eat, eat to work cycle and church just doesn't seem to fulfill you as much anymore after your experiences with missions.

then things start getting to you.

megan petock said...

I don't strive to find my fufillment in what I'm doing; satisfaction and fufillment are found in simply knowing Christ not; in doing things for Him.

Psalm 62:5 says, "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him."

This is the goal, to make Christ our souls expectation and nothing else. To learn with Paul who said,

"for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungary, both to abound and to suffer need. i can do all thigns through Christ which strengthens me." (Philippians 4:11-14)

Our lives as Chrsitians are about glorifying GOd in whatever way He chooses. I feel privledged that for this season God has chosen to glorify Himself through me by sending me to Africa but it is no more worthy or important than letting Him glorify Himself through working hard as a college student or being faithful at my regular job. Some of the most beautiful displays of GOd's glory I have witnessed have been in the lives of people who endured great trial and hardship and held steadfast to their faith.

Hebrew 11:36-37 says

"and others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (of whom the world was not worthy)"

We never choose how God will glorify Himself in our lives, but I don't think it's too much to expect that He will satisfy our souls at every moment, regardless of our state, place, or condtion, if we are willing to surrender to Him.

One of my favorite quotes is this from Charles Spurgeon
"Frail flowers of the field, do not reckon upon blooming forever. FOr this is a time appointed when we will glorify God through sickness and suffering and not by our earnest activity."

tyronebcookin said...

Hahaha, great answer!

Your preaching to the choir...

I was just explaining (in a simple way) that usually when we look for things to happen they don't always manifest or become present in the way we think...

Even in our fulfillment in following Christ there are still bouts or doubt and inconsistency in our walk as is times of struggle and persecution as in the verses you quote...the Apostle Paul knew this also, but he commended us 'to be' meaning its action to stay in that state.

I was merely stating these things often come when we least expect it, and as you have pointed out Paul has given us wisdom in how to deal with it, and how he has dealt with it. It was something he said he learned to do...

So I do apologize if my comment struck you wrong, or if you read more out of it then I intended.

These are just things I have learned or heard from other people in Mercy Ships (or missions in general) when they talked about the struggles or thoughts they sometimes dealt with.

Again, I apologize...the comment was a reflection of experience not a 'charge' against you.