1 Thes 3:3 (TEB) ... None of you should turn back because of these persecutions. You yourselves know that such persecutions are part of God's will for us.
hmm.. doesn't sound too cool does it? God wants us to have persecutions and trials? Yup, sure does. (the "Gold star explanation"-so we experience His grace and goodness all the more-but only a few people "get that") I speak on some authority on the subject, but have to confess to you... after the trial, it is SO easy to return to old ways. I don't know about you, but just 1 year later (short of my physical scars and bulging belly)-one might never know what 2012 brought into our lives. My memory of the entire event is skewed. I know i was crazy sick, and it took 13 surgeries to fix me, and lost a year of "life", was in a coma, almost died a few times, etc... Much of what happened, i don't even remember-as that is the side effects of the narcotics they had me on. That which i do remember was contrived in my mind whilst in a coma(and that is the scary and dark stuff that i really want to forget). Yet, today is just another day, i have gone back to my old ways of life.
So many people think that missionaries are these amazing examples of Christ in the modern day. Let me burst your bubble RIGHT NOW- THAT is SOOOO not true. We simply followed the path He had for us, just like we pray you are doing now. Neither is easier or harder than the other. Ok, bubble popped? Yup, we are pretty normal and human, we watch movies(sometimes they have bad language), we are frustrated, sad, and get angry. (sound like you?). OK, enough rabbit trailing. I am writing about returning to our old ways.
Christ talks about "the new self" in colossians and ephesians, and for me, that is always a struggle. My "New" selves(yes i made that plural) are always short lived it seems. Something happens in life around me, to me, with me- and it brings about change... but old habits .. OLD habits creep back up so swiftly. I do not want to be one that dwells on the hardship, but truly want to be one that relishes in the newness and keeps it new. I DON'T have the answer to that.
Was fumbling through DVD's last night, and found a white, blank labeled disc. hmm, what is this? put it in and it was my dear lovely friend Pastor Ron from our home church in South Dakota, Elva Frye(musician and missionary), and my mom and dad... it was the video from a benefit concert that i did not know existed(barely recall the news of the concert). As the emotion blasted me like a jack hammer, i could do nothing but weep. And not the cheesy little bit of tears.. the UGLY cry kind of weep where you contort your face and a lump so large is in your throat you can't swallow. How quickly we forget what we have been through and return to "life as normal". I thank God for this nugget of reminder through video as a Joshua 4 moment- a STONE of remembrance... perhaps that is what it is all about.. as we get back to our old ways- look back at the stones and remember God's AMAZING faithfulness. I find myself SO loving my dear friends and family back home...this doused with a touch of homesickness makes for a bit of an emotional fella (and now pushing 220 lbs(i need to lose some weight)-this is quite a thing to see). I wish the stones of remembrance were in front of us instead of behind us- so we are forced to keep that on the forefront of our minds
I have not told you lately- I LOVE YOU, I AM SO GLAD GOD BROUGHT YOU INTO OUR LIVES, WE ARE BETTER BECAUSE OF YOU! Please forgive us for forgetting that from time to time.
Thanks for being in this Journey with us, we are grateful to be in yours.