What an encouragement in faith to hear Chas’ message this past Sunday at LIFT! His transparency to share that although raised in the church, as an adult he at one point found himself in a “dark place” feeling empty in faith and not feeling the true presence of God. He then shared and challenged us to truly meditate on God’s Word and be intentional to focus on God and His Word as to renew our relationship with Him. He revealed how he finally understood what God’s “grace” is and how the following verse has truly impacted his walk with God;“…those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” Romans 5:17
He even shared photos of the village and hillside where he would withdraw from the world to pray and meditate on God’s Word and seek His presence. Afterwards, I was reminded of a time in Finland where I too was touched as I prayerfully meditated on God’s presence in my life.
(The blue writing below I sent out in a LIFT update in August of 2006)
It happened again this week, but this time I thought I would share it with others…….. I had one of “those experiences” when I ask myself; “How did I, Corey, a guy from the town of Richland, from the state of Washington, of the U.S.A. get here?” I asked myself this yesterday afternoon while sitting in a Jacuzzi pool, looking up through the trees at the sky at some resort in the middle of seemingly nowhere, way up in the Artic Circle at the midpoint of Finland. With my travels, I do seemingly find myself in different worlds often. At the same time, asking at another question; “How did I get to Zug?”
For many of you internationals, you know what I mean, because you sometimes ask yourself the same question; “Lord, How did I (insert your name) from (your birthplace) get to Zug, Switzerland?” Whether family, a job, spouse, or whatever your circumstance that got you here, I imagine that sometimes you look back and are amazed at how things in your life brought you here.
So much for my moment of pondering on questions of life because “MY LIFE IS NOT ABOUT ME!” (I read this statement in a book once, “It’s not about me” and somehow I have begun to realize the truth behind it.) I can try to get God to reveal to me why He does what He does, and of course, I can try to convince Him to do what I want His plan for me to be, but in the end, it is still not about me, but about Him! And that IS enough! With my eyes, I see what I see, but by faith, I see what God has for me to see through His eyes.
Thus it brings me back to that moment yesterday, just the quick glimpse of God’s beauty of such white clouds rolling in a blue sky, with tall evergreen and aspen/birch trees (very much like those in Colorado where I moved from) moving slightly with a soft breeze and a quiet moment of worship before my God!
After getting home to send this message, I found this Message in our e-mails to Tanya from a wonderful friend. Perhaps it’s God’s way of summarizing the above:
Remember Paul’s words as paraphrased by Eugene Peterson:
Romans 12:1-3 – Place Your Life Before God. (from The Message, The Bible in Contemporary Language)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
We are all “here” for a purpose!
Looking forward to worshiping together Sunday at the Kirchgemeindehaus!
In His grip and grace,