Have you ever been intimidated, afriad, overwhelmed, in over your head and just simply disheartened? Sometimes I go through seasons, situations and struggles that could feel really overpowering – dying babies with Saving Moses, evil people masquerading as helpful, discouraging words from close friends and more. I was recently in some of this kind of quagmire and my husband & I were talking about a few things related to these struggles when I remembered something cool from the New Zealand national Rugby team: the Haka
I showed my husband a video of the Haka & it stirred up a few things in my heart:
nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37)
greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)
Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33)
Jesus holds everything together (Col 1:17)
this lite & momentary affliction is working in me a far greater weight of glory (2Cor 4:17)
One of my favorite guys who did amazing illusion work was Escher. Whenever I look at his work, it always takes me some time to pause and think about what I’m seeing or not seeing. This idea about considering what we are looking at is really important, particularly when we look at people. Jesus was really good at seeing people beyond any optical illusions – He sees directly into our hearts and knows us for who we really are & continues to love us deeply & wholly. Let’s endeavor to see people beyond any optical illusions, filters, false pretensions or misconceptions. Let’s see people through the lense of genuine love
I always enjoy watching the Olympics because it’s the culmination of gargantuan effort, committment, focus and training for the best results possible. As such, it amazes me to see these competitions & it rips my guts out when I see one of the competitors fall, crash, miss a jump or mess up. I know that they didn’t get to the place where they are in the Olympics without having numerous falls, errors, mistakes & flaws. In my thinking, what is extremely noble about each of these athletes is that they don’t quit. Reminds me of Paul in Galatians 6:9 – don’t get weary in doing well for we will reap a harvest in due season. Let’s be olympic in our endurance!
When I was in high school, I had a photography class where we learned how to process film, back in the “dark ages.” I learned about chemicals, processing time, dark rooms, film, etc. It was a really cool experience to shoot a picture & then go through the process to make a print that I could show everyone – particularly if the picture was really cool. The outcome had the potential to far outweigh the process.
The same is true for us with patience, faithfulness, trusting God, maturity, faith, genuine love & all things that pertain the God. The process can get a little harrowing & tricky, but the outcomes are completely divine
We’ve all heard the geometry postulate that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. With this premise, it’s logical to think about the things that we want & make a direct beeline toward these desires. For example, if I want to serve a salad for dinner, I need lettuce, so I go to the grocery store to get the lettuce so I can make the salad. Done.
It seems to me that having a close walk with God is an interesting adventure that doesn’t always seem to follow the same “straight line” thinking. It seems to me that being close to God is a daily journey that takes some unexpected twists and turns. Growing close to God isn’t always a straight line journey – so let’s be open to how God leads us to be closer & closer to God day by day.
Last week, I returned from an extremely compressed trip to Cambodia with Saving Moses and it’s been an interesting return. I thought that because the trip was so short (I was in country for like 48 hours) that I’d have a relatively easy re-entry into my regular home routine (sleep, etc). Not so much. My sleep has been really messed up, my routines have been whacked out & my emotions have been pretty messy. All this can get me even more wound up & stressed out – making things even more intense.
But alas, I find that God is an ever present help and is eager to carry me rather than add on more pressures and burdens. Sometimes we need to be gentle with ourselves and always let God help us in our weaknesses, humanity & struggles
I just returned last night from Cambodia, celebrating the grand opening of our second nightcare – so much goodness! Nightcare is our initiative with www.savingmoses.org
where we take care of the babies & toddlers of prostitutes while they work. Without nightcare, these babies & toddlers are at work with their moms – every horror you can imagine & more. The hopeless part is that I can get overwhelmed by the needs, atrocities & unimaginable devastation occurring every night in these neighborhoods without nightcare.
Hopeless happens in our lives when we stop moving forward, when we fixate on what is dark & evil. Hope is taking a step, doing something positive & loving genuinely. Love rescues us from being hopeless. Genuine love gives the escape
I grew up as a very independent person & felt very strongly that being independent was a noble aim. Now, I’m not so sure. I find myself frequently in situations where I’m inadequate, not smart enough nor strong enough to handle what’s happening. More often than not, the people who are around me have solutions I’ve not thought of, strength I don’t have & poise for the pressures of the moment. And if all of that isn’t enough, I hear that still, small & comforting voice in my heart saying, “I’m here.” I’m finding that we need each other & it’s a wonderful discovery!
If a person talks about prostitutes or sex workers, people have some interesting reactions. Some people get really uncomfortable & change the subject quickly. Some people get really condescending & holy. Some people don’t get too jittery & seem relatively calm. In the Bible, prostitutes were often considered lower class, except by Jesus. When I watch how Jesus treated women of ill repute, He didn’t shun nor shame them. In fact, it says that He was considered a friend of sinners.
In my work with Saving Moses, we look after the babies of prostitutes with our nightcare centers. Without our centers, these babies & toddlers have tremendous struggles which are difficult for us to imagine & understand. I’m in Cambodia right now celebrating the Grand Opening of our 2nd nightcare & was recently told about a 3year old little girl who was helping her mom in the evenings by selling birth control to the customers of her mother. I want to be like Jesus & love people more than shame them, including prostitutes.
“LET GO!!!!!” When I was younger, I went paragliding in China & had virtually no instruction for the paragliding adventure. Whatever training the paragliding “company” did was in Mandarin & my Mandarin skills don’t have any paragliding vocabulary. Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for this undertaking, which of course didn’t stop me – smile. I strapped into the harness thing, proceeded to jump off the mountain and I had this TOTALLY SHOCKING experience, which I later learned was a thermal. I caught a wind gust that was like rocket thrusting me straight up! My mind said, “LET GO!!” and then I thought about my options: let go & fall or hold on & keep going up. I decided that I preferred the lifting experience over the falling experience, so I held on. Let’s make the same kind of decision about Jesus when we get in a crisis. Hold on to Jesus & He will lift us up!
ps – I had an amazing ride with my paragliding experience