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Posts Tagged ‘nothing’

imagesAs I sat down to write this post, I was tempted to title it ‘nothing’ because that is what I felt I had to offer … nothing.

Nothing is a place of emptiness, overwhelming, and discouragement. It is a place that each of us finds ourselves in from time to time. It can be a sense or feeling of lack of energy, lack of desire, lack of ability … it is a lacking.

When I think of nothing, I think of Moses.

When God called Moses to be the tool in freeing the Israelite people, “Moses said to God, “I am nobody (the personification of nothing). How can I go to the king and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?

Moses felt the task was far too overwhelming for someone like himself to accomplish. He did not feel that he had anything to give, to offer … that he had nothing to give.

Then “God answered, “I will be with you, and when you bring the people out of Egypt, you will worship me on this mountain. That will be the proof that I have sent you.” Exodus 3:11-12

Basically, I think God was pointing out the obvious to Moses … that this task was not one that God asked of him because Moses was the only way, but because Moses needed to learn to offer himself, no matter how small or how pathetic his offering was … his job was to offer, God would take that offering and multiply it, as only he could do.

That is all any of us is called to … to offer ourselves, our gifts, our hearts … the rest is in the hands of our God who knows the pain that is in the offering.

The following is a post by Brian McConaghy, Founding Director of Ratanak International (Ratanak), whose goal is “to help the Cambodian people rebuild their country and in so doing show them the love of Jesus Christ in a tangible way.” I love what this organization is striving to do, to honor our Creator and His creation … an impossible task, guided by a God of possibilities!

Being Broken
Phnom Penh, 2:45AM, I’m up and wide-awake with my mind racing. So many issues, so many problems, so much hurt in this country it is completely overwhelming. I am once again confronted that I just don’t have the resources to deal with this place. How on earth can anyone cope with being called to serve and love such a country?
It is easier to love Cambodia from afar. Being here the issues, the trauma, the brokenness is personal, up close and overwhelming. The magnitude and complexity of the task is so far beyond any skills I bring to the table.
I get up and kneel to pray for all that is before me – how can I possibly keep loving this place? Tears come quickly as I think on the 23 years of hard work through civil war, poverty and trauma, as I contemplate the magnitude of all that remains to be done. I see the faces of individual lives so in need of hope. Have we even made a dent? Shouldn’t we be farther along after so many years …of struggle? Shouldn’t at least some of the issues be solved?

In prayer my mind stops racing, calm returns as I once again confront the fact that this is not about me or my skills or even my expectations. I am called to serve this place and embedded in this process is the call to be broken for it even as Christ is broken for it. How could I possibly love Cambodia and not know grief? So re focusing on the tasks at hand I bring the issues before God and hand them to Him for it is His skill, His determination, His love for these people that is relevant not my pathetic offering. Yet in this context Christ reveals that He will do more than I could ask or imaging even with my pathetic efforts. Irrespective of how I feel, He counts my efforts as gold and honors even my frail attempts to serve. How I ‘feel’ about my service to Cambodia has absolutely no bearing, whatsoever, on the value God places on it. He is in the business of doing great things with our little. And so, as I re focus, there is a strange comfort in grieving for this place – a strange beauty in the thought that I may just be privileged to share in a tiny portion of the brokenness of Christ for Cambodia. The tears turn from those of grief and hopelessness to those of a strange joy – of being in the fight for this nation – of being counted a warrior by God while being but a child. What a privilege.

I should get back to bed for an hours sleep before getting up to tackle the challenges of a new day. But I’m calm once again, content in my brokenness for this place and resolved to keep going. For Cambodia is not my burden – it is Christ’s.
Brian.

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I have one passion, that, I hope with all my being, I communicate with those around me.

That passion is that there is nothing
… NOTHING …
that anyone can DO that is
so bad,
so evil,
so sinful,
that is unforgivable,
by the God that I love.
And more importantly,
the God who created and loves all people.

I know, in my human frailty, that I fail to communicate this on a regular and daily basis. I hold onto resentments, I struggle to forgive, I bring up things from the past, I walk with one foot (regularly) in my mouth, I think thoughts that are vile. I am a walking, talking example of failure, of weakness … of sinfulness.

But, because I am fully human, I am the perfect material for a God who understands what it is to be fully human. I am the perfect material for a God who can heal and forgive. I am the perfect material for a God who rebirths, who recreates, who reconstructs, who redeems … saves … from myself.

It is so easy to look at our life and our choices through the shadows that our sin creates. It is so easy to look at our life and only see our mistakes, our failures and our sins. It is so easy to look at our life and think that
there is no way that the God of creation,
that the God who sent his own son to die,
would ever take us into his arms
after what we have done,
what we have thought,
what we have said,
who we are.
That is the work of Prince of Darkness … to discourage, to cause despair, to kick us to the curb of life.

Romans eight (Romans 8) is the most enlightening, the most encouraging, the most truth you can find about what God really thinks of us. At the end of the chapter, is the grandest of hope, offered to us”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else (NOTHING) in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (vs. 37-39)

Let me give it to you, in the Carole version:

“It doesn’t matter what sin you committed. I love you, even if you have done wrong with your hands, with your ears, with your mouth, with your eyes, with your mind … to yourself, and even to others. I love you. And all you have to do is accept the fact that Jesus paid for it all. And he did so knowing that, even after you accept my love, you will still continue to do wrong. I love you that much. And NOTHING can separate you from me, once you accept my love for you.”

My version may not be a perfect translation, but, believe this:

NOTHING can separate us from the love of God, made possible through Jesus, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Lord.

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