In the Kingdom of God, the way to success leads us in directions that often run crossgrain to what society popularizes.
Since God is after the best for me, not what He can get from me as I have thought in times past, it would seem the best course of action would be to trust His processes over my own.
We are required to put a little “sweat equity” into this walk of faith. Sometimes this journey is harrowing, fraught with impossibilities – but that’s where God comes in.
We sing songs saying, “God take control” but the moment He tries to take over, we recoil.
It therefore was a foreign feeling to me when it became clear that our next assignment was going to bring us back to Burundi. I had become so used to being the one who would go scratch something out of the ground that even considering a return made my head spin.
When a fisherman spends more of his life on shore than in the water, his very value comes into question because fishermen are meant to fish.
The Kingdom of God isn’t at all as it seems to be.
In this “line of work” there is little we can do to prepare for the unseen as what is unseen here is far beyond what we can imagine. Someone coined the phrase, “where truth is stranger than fiction” when trying to describe the challenges we face on the continent of Africa.
No one likes to be excluded, left out, or ignored. We actually go to great lengths to be accepted; everything from clothes to speech and friendships gets filtered through the test of cultural acceptance. This happens gradually, so gradually that we may not even be aware of its importance to us until exclusion stares us in the face and challenges our decisions, accomplishments, and values. Those things that vie for our attention, time, and approval, demand that we bow to the pressure of their “importance.” Without the appearance of certain things in our lives – money, popularity, and security – we risk exclusion from those groups that are esteemed in society. To get included, it’s amazing the lengths we go to the “sell” ourselves and seem “worthy” of acceptance. I remember there was a time in my life when I was part of a group where each person was expected to refer and have people be referred to them by
The moment any of us think outside of the realm of ourselves, we will quickly find the extraordinary taking place in our lives.