Tuesday, February 19, 2013

a reflection of self

Wow, I waited too long and now where do I really begin? hmmm. I guess I'll begin with myself. Sounds selfish, but it's something which I've been learning so much more about as of late. I think it's easy to come to Africa, be overwhelmed and go home be overwhelmed and get over it. It's also easy to come to Africa, be overwhelmed, stay for a long time and allow your heart to become hard or remain hard. It's a common struggle amongst long term missionaries, experience so much pain, then not know what to do with it, so stuff it down somewhere in the cracks of an ever hardening stone heart. We are human beings and somehow in the midst of all of the pain and over abundance of work, (surely we live in a fallen world desperate for a Savior), we become human doings. Maybe it's so we don't take the time to consider the pain that has so deeply penetrated so many of us. If we run from one hurting soul to the next, if we pack our days so full of activity we won't have time to really face the ugliness, the wretchedness of the sin that is destroying so many lives, and could even be slowly ebbing away at our own.  It's only over the last few months, that my eyes have been opened, and more importantly, my heart has been softened by our loving Father, who works in us as much as we can handle. I think I've cried more in the last four months than most of my life put together. I'm learning more completely what it means to suffer with those who are suffering and rejoice with those who are rejoicing. I guess you could say I'm becoming less productive, in order that I may take the time to really feel, and to really hand the burden over to our Father, spending less time talking at God, and more time listening to His heart and how He's moving in the lives of His precious children. So though I may see myself as less productive these days, I'm trusting Father that it's for the best, that He's working things out in me, allowing my heart of stone to become flesh again and experience Him in a new and deep way. I've learned I can work 24hrs a day here, there's always some crisis that I could be a apart of solving, but actually I can be even more productive if I spend more time just listening, listening to Papa and listening to His children, moving with the triumphant Lion of Judah and the tender Lamb, rather than running around like a chicken with it's head cut off. You see the chicken eventually dies and makes a mess in the process, but the Lion, He's eternal and loves rebuilding lives, and though it can get messy He ultimately cleanses us to the depths. Thank you Jesus. So though it's hardest to come to Africa, be overwhelmed, and continue to have a soft and feeling heart, we have a loving Savior who pours His living water into our hearts and continues to bring healing and restoration, and it's easy to enjoy being with Him, He's the protector of our hearts, and He does a much better job than the stone that eventually crumbles.