As I sit here to write this post I am not entirely sure what I am going to say. All I know is that I was a part of something special tonight. Over 400 leaders came together at Grace Church to eat, hang out and worship with a little bit of vision casting and encouragement just for kicks. I was amazed at how many people are shouldering responsibility in our church and how many people are committed first to spreading the gospel and second to bearing the burdens, hardships, joys and daily life of so many other people. Sharing your life with someone is difficult, but I think it is equally difficult to have someone share their life with you. There is a responsibility and weight that is assumed once a life is shared. One of my professors told me that in China there are instances where individuals will not help someone who is hurt on the street because it means entering into relationship with them and that carries tremendous responsibility and weight and they do not want to enter into a relationship that they cannot fulfill. While I think this is an extreme example, it emphasizes the burden that we must have for those we care about.
Hopefully, this burden turns us to the cross and weighs us down with the magnitude of the burden that Jesus carried, but also frees us and gives us hope in the power of Jesus to carry those burdens that are too great to bear. I think I experienced a little bit of that hope, awe and something indescribable tonight during the musical time of worship. I cannot say that this time was emotional, although it was, but the primary adjectives that I would use to describe it are worshipful, hopeful, beautiful. I know that it sounds trite, but something powerful was going on in that room tonight that was beyond emotion and I can only imagine is a small glimpse into the worship that we will engage in heaven. I wish I could better describe what was going on, but there are truly no words to capture what it looks like to see 400 people wholly engaged in adoration and praise. To those of you who have not experienced the all-consuming (I better understand this attribute now) nature of God, it probably sounds like I am part of a cult. And to an extent, you would be right, but that does not capture the essence of a life lived for God.
In talking afterwards tonight with L, I am convinced that I am in a temporary season of life. To some of you this may seem obvious, but the last 2 years of my life have been blissfully easy. I say this not in a cavalier way, but in recognition that God has spared me many hardships and blessed me in ways that I could never have dreamed of; it looks and feels like God has fit every puzzle piece together perfectly without me doing anything. However, as my mom has already told me, with this blessing I have a responsibility to praise God in the moment, but also praise Him and serve Him even when times are difficult and recognize that times will be difficult. period.
In part, I shudder to think about what is coming because I recognize how richly I have been blessed. In my perfect world I would be able to stay at Grace and be poured into and grow and serve and love and live an “easy” life, but it is clear to me now that is not what God has planned. I don’t know why I am writing this on the blog and I may edit this before posting, but I sense that there are bigger things at work in my life on the horizon that I cannot grasp yet. I guess all of this is to say, please pray for me. Pray for wisdom to do God’s will, willingness to let go of things that I am holding too closely, softening of my heart to what God wants, not what I desire. Once again, I feel like I have rambled and have probably shared too much. Good thing there are about 4 people who read this blog and at least half are family.