I would specifically like to address my readers in the Middle East. Although I do not know who you are, I have been praying for you often, very often, that God will comfort you, provide with hope, with strength, and most importantly with a vision of Jesus.
28 «تَعالُوا إلَيَّ أيُّها المُتعَبِينَ وَيا مَنْ تَحمِلُونَ أحمالاً ثَقِيلَةً، وَأنا سَأُعطِيكُمُ الرّاحَةَ. 29 احمِلُوا نِيرِي [a] عَلَيكُمْ، وَتَعَلَّمُوا مِنِّي، لِأنِّي وَدِيعٌ وَمُتَواضِعُ القَلْبِ، فَتَجِدُوا راحَةً لِنُفُوسِكُمْ.لِنُفُوسِكُمْ.
Lately I’ve been pondering the trustworthy character of God.
Having a dad who abandoned his pregnant wife and several children did not leave me with the impression that I could rely on anyone. He was the foundation of my world, so when he vanished without a warning, my life was left without a foundation.
A variety of other traumas have happened to me, but that one is certainly the one that has left the most permanent impact.
How precious is it to discover that God is different!!!!!!!
A large number of things were prophesied in the Old Testament scriptures, so many years before they ever came to pass. And then they came to pass. This is perhaps the biggest reason why I trust the reliability of the Bible.
With that said, I also believe there is a God because of the existence of life. I work with children and I volunteer with children. The life, energy, beauty, and spontaneity of children always leaves me laughing and marveling at God’s creativity.
I cannot listen to worship songs being sung in other languages, without crying. And if the songs are in my first language (English) but sung with a foreign accent, I will also cry. I can’t help it. It’s too beautiful. I was raised in a false religion, and was also raised in somewhat of a racist environment. It brings me to tears that God’s love is for everyone. He does NOT love white people more than other people. He does not love English speakers more than speakers of other languages. He is not a white God. He is a creative God who creates all skin colors and all languages, all hair types and all eye colors. He is a God of endless creativity and breathtaking beauty.
In addition to believing God exists, I also believe that humanity is in need of a Savior. I believe this not simply because the Bible says so (and I’ve become convinced of the reliability of the Bible) but also because I see sin all around me daily, and in me myself. I see parents disrespecting children, and children disrespecting parents. I see cashiers rolling their eyes at customers, and the other way around too. I see people using and abusing each other. In my own heart, I find jealousy, bitterness, fear, anxiety, lust, a worship of myself and a lack of worship to the only true God.
Sin is everywhere. This convinces me of my need for a Saviour.
Lately, I’ve been quite humbled. As you know, for I’ve shared this so many times on this blog, my biggest obstacle is shame. No matter how pleased other people are with me – I still know who I am. I know the wickedness I’m capable of. I remember the faces of the tricks I’ve turned. Shame is always before me.
So I’ve been humbled lately that as I’ve prayed about difficult work situations and home situations, God has answered so quickly!!! He has provided me with help, with wisdom, with ways to make it through scenarios I did not think I could survive.
How faithful he is!!
Also, as I’ve prayed for boldness to share the gospel, he has provided me not only with people I can share the gospel with, but also the boldness to share with them! He even provided some Hindi gospel tracts, which are coming in handy as I’m primarily sharing the gospel with people from India. They are more receptive to hearing about Jesus, perhaps because they already worship many gods so they do not mind hearing about yet another one! Americans, on the other hand, are bombarded with information about Jesus right and left. They do not know Jesus, but they think they know him, and so they really are not interested in hearing the gospel.
It’s a crazy thing, in my opinion, that God can love a person like me! It’s mind boggling, and yet the evidence of his Spirit living in me is apparent! Other people are quick to notice it. I myself notice it less often, but there are times when I am caught off guard because I respond to someone with love instead of anger,, or with patience instead of disappointment. When I see my character changing, that’s when I fall to my knees in worship, because I know myself. I know I am a bad person. So when this bad person is producing good fruit – that means God’s Spirit is living in me. There is no other way to explain it. This life I am living is not a life I’m capable of living. So therefore, God is with me!
He is trustworthy! He is with me because of who he is. Obviously, he is not with me because I’m a good person. I’ve shared a hundred times that I’m a bad person. So what could the reason be? That’s the great mystery.
To wrap this up, I would like to share some very powerful lyrcis of my favorite Lecrae song with you:
Even though you loved the world so much you shed your blood,
God, I feel I’m too messed up for love.
… I’m scared to ask you to save me; my heart’s so evil.
I got thoughts that’s full of hatred, hurting people.
I thought that first I had to clean up my life;
Now I’m hearin’ I just need to cling to the Light.
I’m ready to do it, but Lord, I pray you understand:
My life is a mess. Will you take me as I am?
Will you take me as I am?
I know the way I’m livin’ is wrong,
But I can’t change on my own, tryna make it alone.
I wonder: How could you love me with my life so ugly?
But you came down and died for me.
…Teach me. I wanna learn
How you can save a wretch like me
Before death says it’s my turn.
I think I finally understand:
No matter my past, you still take me as I am.