Monday, December 3, 2012

Incalculable Joy

By surrendering yourself totally to God's purposes, He will bring you the most pleasure in this life and the next.  Francis Chan

I just turned 36 on Saturday.  It was a crazy busy sort of day; it was the Christmas Fair at HOPAC and I was in charge of the carnival games.  So I was sorting through the supplies and points and tickets and schedules and coordinating teenagers to run the games and the couple hundred hyper kids who wanted to play them.  I was so pre-occupied that I was startled any time anyone wished me a Happy Birthday. 

That night we were to go out to my favorite Lebanese restaurant, and then found out that the traffic was horrific on Saturday (like 1-mile-per-hour kind of horrific, which happens every now and then in Dar).  So I made my own birthday dinner.  Dar es Salaam wins again.  I would have been more upset if I wasn't already used to this kind of thing happening so often. 

Yet as I lay in bed that Saturday morning, thinking of all that was ahead of me, I couldn't help but think that I am one of the most blessed people on this earth. 

It's not an easy life.  Constant heat and power outages and crazy, crazy roads and inconveniences.  Thursday I spent 5 hours searching stores for basic items for the Christmas Fair that could have been solved in one simple trip to Walmart.  Spending Thanksgiving and Christmas away from our families....again.  Recently there have been anxious situations going on at HOPAC that have kept me up at night. 

There have been many days these last ten years when I have been so ready to be done.  Days when I have cried with homesickness or frustration.  Times when the criticism we have received has been intense.  Times of conflict and exhaustion and guilt. 

So why is it, that when I think back on all that has happened these last 10 years, I just feel completely overwhelmed with gratitude and joy? 

Maybe because I live in a place where so many have so little.

Maybe because there's nothing compared to living a life with meaning.

Maybe because the pain and tears and death and beauty and music in this life all make sense with Jesus Christ.  Maybe because the hope of heaven is stronger than anything this life can throw at me.

There is an incalculable, faultless, eternal God who loves the frail beings He made with a crazy kind of love.  Francis Chan

It's worth it. 

It's worth it.

It's worth it.

Risking it all, living a life that is not always safe, giving up what I was going to lose anyway....
It is all worth it.

Our greatest fear as individuals and as a church should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.  Tim Kizziar
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