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12 June 2010

Living in Grace

We spent the last week in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, at Ridge Haven, the PCA camp and retreat center, attending Living in Grace. What a wonderful week, on so many levels...

We spent the week with others preparing to go out into all the world as missionaries with MTW. What a delight and a blessing, to share such sweet fellowship with those with a heart for the nations, those with a vision and call for His service. What an encouragement, to hear of God’s plan to use these folks! We shared the week with those headed to Ukraine and Spain, Colombia and Chile and Peru, Cambodia and several sensitive locations in eastern Asia and West Africa. We shared the week with singles and couples, young married folk with young kids, and others with teens like us. We shared the week with pastors and counselors and doctors and nurses and teachers and servants. We shared praises and concerns, prayers and petition, a lot of laughs and some tears too.

We sat under teaching that challenged us to look at our hearts, never an especially easy or pretty thing to do.
I realized that there is yet so much that I don’t really understand-
the enormity of God’s love for us.
Or my part in repentance.
How much I have been forgiven.
How much I need to forgive.
How small my faith is, so very often.
I mourn over those things, but I know I do not mourn nearly enough.

I consider and ask myself, how do I stray from the truth of the Gospel so quickly- the Truth of Christ’s death on the cross, the glory of His resurrection?
I can justify so much, until the scales fall and I see that Truth once again-
sinner saved by grace.
Will I ever fully comprehend the glory of the cross?
Of Christ’s work for me?
Of grace, and of hope?

And in the context of working through all that, we rested. A rocking chair waited in front of our door, and I did a goodly amount of sitting. Be still and know He is God- that sort of sitting. One morning I woke up and realized that I was rested.

Just in time to head back.
And finish the packing.
And the leaving.
And the next thing.
Flannery O’Connor pens my thoughts well,
In my stumbling attempt at being a Christian, I have discovered that the scope of the gospel is far larger than I had ever given it credit for. The gospel changes everything. In other words, we can find hope in the discovery that our world is more broken and more in need of a redeemer than we originally thought.

That I am more broken and more in need of a redeemer than I originally thought.
That is a hopeful place to be-
Pressing on.

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