Thoughts from the missions field this holiday season. Finding myself in the dirt digging to get lower, reaching out and feeling so close to the feet of my Beloved Saviour, asking for more of His grace. It’s a dirty place but I know it’s exactly where I should be and lower is where I need to go.
It’s easy to give a present to a family member you love or bring a gift to an exchange knowing you won’t leave empty handed. It’s harder to buy a gift for the person who’s continuously stolen from you or sold what you gave them to buy alcohol. It’s harder to prepare a feast when everyday your ears are flooded with more wants, insults and complaints about the food while the pantry somehow gets magically emptier everyday. My flesh wants to refrain from giving gifts to the greedy heart and feed the complaining stomach. But at the same time I’m consumed with overwhelming love for these people I call my family and desire for them to feel the graceful, forgiving, freely giving, merciful and powerful love of Jesus this Christmas season.
Instead of questioning God over and over as to why He’s called me to love these people and why He’s asked me to give everything I have to these ones, I thank God for the opportunity to love these ones that remind me of His grace for me everyday. With overwhelming hate for my flesh that says they aren’t worthy or deserving, I am reminded that I was at one time neither worthy or deserving. But Gods graceful and merciful heart sent His son to give everything He had without hesitation, with the hopes that I ( His daughter ) would be transformed by such an act of love and be reconciled with my Father , Creator and King. In that place where my heart was transformed, I was selfishly living only for me not aware that I was hurting those around me and did what I had to do for my own self. In that place God still called me worthy to be shown His love and deserving of the gift of life, which cost Him everything.
To give now, should cost me everything. So to give this Christmas season is to be determined not by what I am giving and who is deserving but, by the cost and that cost should be everything. My ability to give everything and anything because of His love for them (because honestly my love only can get so far), because they deserve to know grace, they deserve to know they are worthy and because my everything spent is worth more when it’s to gain a greater need and hunger for more grace, more love, and understanding of what Jesus did for me and my life. It’s worth more when I see hearts softened, hear a thank you and see people walk into the beauty of a new life.
This life should cost me all my time, all my money, all my resources and all my love to give because to give anything less would be to give away a cheap version of the gospel to a valuable child of God.
Tonight my husband spent the whole night awake in the prayer room with a drunk angry man. This man spat out insults and accusations as well as depressing thoughts and threats. For 10 hours he yelled and fought Clem to run out the door. This man has a mental condition and when he drinks he can suffer seizures that can put him in dangerous situations if no one is with him. It took everything not to let this angry guy run loose on the street; believe me, we thought about it. But once again would we have been giving this valuable heart a cheap version of the gospel?
Sometimes God calls us to love the people in our lives that everyone has given up on and make you turn your cheek until your face might feel unrecognizably bruised. Jesus was beaten until unrecognizable and still made His way up onto the cross until His work here on earth was done.
My prayer this New Year is a prayer for more grace and endurance to keep giving and loving, no matter what the cost, until my work here on earth is done.
– JENNY CHEN
via Going Homeward © Jenny Chen