I wrestled with the title of this entry.
This is partially because of this statement’s self-evidence, but also because of its potential to reveal the self-serving nature of the author. There may be few things more loathsome than displays of personal vanity housed beneath a nauseating veneer of false humility. I’m sad to say I have plenty of it to spread around, and it’s easy in a medium such as this to paint a picture of myself, and my family in the most favorable light possible.
Though this may be natural, it is vital to come to terms with the fact that though pride is pervasive in this life, God is gracious enough to reveal it to His children and draw them back to Him. This is eloquently stated in John 1:16 which reads, “And from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” My pastor recently pointed out from this passage that God’s holiness is a grace, but His forgiveness of our unholiness is a grace in unto itself. We are right to refer to it as amazing, yet I can’t help but think that this is somehow the mother of all understatements.
I have thought about all that the Lord has done since we began this journey. Who is it that led Compassion International to a dot on the map in Tanzania? Who led us to then one day pick up the phone to ask if there was a place in Africa where we could help raise funds to start a Child Survival Program? Who is it that prompts and leads your heart to give so that others living a world away might live and hear the name of the only one who can truly save them? The identity of that person certainly doesn’t belong, to you, me, or any Christian organization. It seems absurd to point this out yet I am appalled when I think of how many times I find myself taking some type of credit that was never mine to begin with.
No, it is essential to be simply reminded of what David wrote in Psalm 24:1-2, “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.”
The God we serve is the same who preserved and promoted Joseph, rained down fire from heaven at the prayer of the prophet Elijah, steadied the hand of David to kill Goliath, saved Daniel from the treachery of men and the mouths of lions, raised Lazarus from the dead, rescued Peter from the hands of Herod Agrippa, saved the Apostle Paul from shipwreck and venomous snakebite, fed the 5,000 and then walked on the water, and then ultimately raised His own Son from the dead, conquering the curse of sin forever.
The list goes on and on. How often do we make God a prisoner of our own expectations and attempt to seat ourselves in His rightful place? Too many times to count, I’m afraid. Still His grace alone sustains and lovingly guides us, and as He uses you and me to glorify Himself while He provides for His children, I lack adequate words when I think about these tremendous gifts.