Challenged. To be like Christ. To live a life worthy of the call. To trust. To follow. To love. To have a heart, that is like the heart of God. Matt (her husband) preached yesterday about having a heart that is like God's. At the end of the service he showed some pictures and talked about the mass murders and devestation in Nigeria done to the Christians there, about how those who lived did not curse or hate those who did the deed, but instead forgave them and gave glory to God for his mercy. What a testimony to us, what an example of the way we ought to revere and praise God for his plans, his power, his grace, the list could go on.
Jesus says in the fifth chapter of Matthew "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." The Nigerians seem to have that figured out, that we are to see people through the eyes of Jesus, that we are to love with the heart of God, selflessly, and without judgment.
It's funny, sometimes, the places and the vehicles God uses to teach us. Two weeks ago I went to a junior high camp in the middle of western Kansas on a lake, with one of my dear friends and past roommates, and seriously was just as challenged as those students, and really probably more. Among the sweat, bugs, foul smells, and sleeping on the ground, I saw God, and I was pushed and challenged to become selfless, sacrifice for those around me, see people through His eyes, and serve with my whole self. Teaching and encouraging the younger girls was such an inspiration to me to better do the things we expected out of them. So often I found myself frustrated, annoyed because they didn't seem to be getting it, didn't seem to grasp the concepts, couldn't look past their own needs and desires and see the world outside their own. Sounds kind of like God with us, huh? He teaches us, encourages, gently prods us, and yet we are so self-absorbed and blind to him and the lives around us that we miss out on so much growth, experience, awesome God-filled life that we could be having! What are we doing?!
The worst is that we know. So many of us have experienced and known God in such incredible ways, but are so drawn to serving and living for ourselves that we exchange the AWEsome, Christ-centered, rewarding, JOYful life for a second-rate, self-fulfilling, empty life spent searching for ways to fill a void only He can fill.
Big things are happening. I feel like God is on the verge of some seriously awesome work and movement in my life and hopefully the lives around me. Lord, fill me like a vessel so much that I would overflow; use me to reach those who do not know the greatness of your love.
Oh and ps: Nick and I are great, marriage is great, fun, hard, and rewarding. I love my life, am content with my location, and really feel like God continues every day to reveal himself more to me and grow me closer to him as well as to Nick. Praise the Lord!