Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is Joy?

I've spent much of today in tears, either letting them roll down my face or trying desperately to hold them in for fear if another slips out I will end up know, the ugly cry. From the first words spoken this morning until the last before we broke for dinner, my prayer of wanting to be stirred during this time was answered. To say that my heart has been stirred today doesn't sound goes far beyond being stirred. Today, my soul has been rocked.

You can hear something a thousand times and often never really hear it. If you do hear it, you may never really "get it". Sometimes you believe something so strongly that you can't even put it into words. You go along feeling so passionate about this, always looking for the right words to explain it, but always feeling like you just can't get it out right. And then someone says exactly what you feel and you know that there are no better words to describe it.

"Total joy comes not from total togetherness, but from utter brokenness." ~ Emily Richards

According to the dictionary, the word "broken" means reduced to fragments, reduced to submission, rough or irregular, not complete or full. As children, do any of us want to grow up to be "broken"? I doubt any of us would have been OK with not feeling complete or feeling reduced to fragments. But as an adult, I want nothing more than to be be reduced to fragments for God and to sumit completey to the Lord. I want nothing more than to be seen as "irregular" in hopes that more people will see just how good a "different kind of normal life" can be. And while each day I feel a little more complete and a little more "filled up" by God, there is always room for more and that room leaves me longing for it which means I am never completely full. I am broken....I'm slipping away from the ways of this world, "the norm", and am being broken and pieced back together by God.

I have been so excited about the Summit, but didn't know exactly what to expect. The moment I walked into the church this morning I was hit with the feeling of overwhelming joy. For the first time EVER, every where I turned, every person I passed or spoke with, every person there was just like me. No one thought anyone else was crazy. No one thought that what we all have been led to do is too much for us to handle because we all know that it's not about us and that if we take even the smallest step of faith, He will make sure that His work is done through us. And we all know that none of us really have a special calling to provide orphan care. This isn't something special that only a few of us have been called to do. It's not something that only a few churches should be working on. We are ALL called to do this. During the beginning of the day, I was hit hard knowing that I was sitting in the middle of the body of Christ. THIS is what He wants....for individuals, organizations and churches to rise up to care for His children. He doesn't care about the name that is on our letterhead or the logo on our shirts. It makes no difference to Him where we came from or who we think we are. All that matters to Him is that there are children, HIS children, suffering. He made it clear...this isn't an option. James 1:27....we all know it. He doesn't ask us to do this. He doesn't simply hope that we do. He commands it. We must care for widows and orphans and not let the world corrupt us.

Did I believe all of this when I walked in this morning? Yes. Did I hear any thing today that I've never heard before? No. Did it feel different? For some reason, yes. Maybe it's because I needed hear all of this in a different way and to be surrounded by people that believe the this moment. Maybe I needed the encouragement that says, "You're on the right path. Keep going." Or maybe I needed to see that there are so many people, organizations and churches that are REAL....that are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that these children are cared for. Today, we all knew that what we do doesn't matter. The title we hold, the amount of time we spend working, how "big" or "small" our organizations doesn't matter. I've come to learn that so many organizations say that it's not all about them, but they actually make it that way. We CANNOT be the hands and feet of Christ if we are concerned about making a name for ourselves and making ourselves out to be more than we are....we aren't the saviors....He is. If every person working in orphan care would come to the realization that the children they are working with aren't "THEIR" children and if we would all realize that we NEED each other to truly care for these children of God, maybe there wouldn't be so many children going to sleep hungry tonight and fewer would have died today from things that could have been prevented.

"Believe God for too much, rather than too little." - Dennis Rainey

How long have I said this same thing in my mind? To hear someone say out loud in these's striking. How can you believe God for too much? You can't because there is nothing He can't do. It's easy to believe that for others, but don't we all question whether He can really do such big things through us? He can and He's waiting....He's waiting for us to say yes and open ourselves up completely to Him....He's waiting for our surrender. Can you imagine what that would look like....Christians around the world rising up, forgetting about their differences and joining together to truly serve God by caring for His suffering children?

"We're never closer to the heart of God than when we care for someone who can give nothing back to us." ~ Dennis Rainey

It speaks volumes, doesn't it? There is nothing I want more than to be as close to the heart of God as possible, but to get there, I've got to give it all. Today started off with me being physically exhausted from little sleep and is ending with still being physically exhausted, but now emotionally drained. I heard the truth today and it was loud and clear. This is it. This is the life He created me to live. I've known it all along and I stopped questioning it a while ago, but today was a reminder that this is the right path. To serve God in this way......there is nothing I would rather do.

1 comment:

jajbs said...

Now I don't have to make a post about today... u said it so well. I've only known u for a little while, but am in awe at what I have and still am witnessing God doing in you and through you. The transformation is amazing! I consider myself privileged to work along side of you while we do the task set before us by our Saviour.

There is no doubt that He is up to BIG things and today's cofirmations prove it. I am now ready to follow "wherever He may lead" us...

love ya!