Sunday Worship Gathering 11 AM @ North Community Lutheran Church
114 Morse Road Columbus, OH 43214 (Map)
There was a point on our drive from Siliguri to Kalimpong that we were stopped on the side of the mountain waiting for a landslide to be cleared. I'm not sure why, but of all the potential dangers to be scared of, landslides were what terrified me the most. I think it's because all of my other worries - food, getting sick, contracting a disease from mosquitos, etc. - are all things that, to a point, I can control. I can bring protein bars and take medicine and bathe in garlic and bug spray, but I can't control when or where a landslide happens. So there we were, sitting in our cars, staring up at the massive amount of land above us and the huge drop below us, just waiting. And there I am, sitting in my car, having an internal freak-out about the reality that we could be pushed off the cliff and fall hundreds of feet into the raging river by a ginormous landslide at any moment. I know that sounds dramatic, but at the time, that was playing out in my head. I was straight-up worried, and there was nothing I could do about it. It made me start to think about what else I worry about. We worry about things that we care about most, and chances are we invest into those things.
So what do I care about most? What am I investing in? I started asking myself questions like, "What am I pouring my time, treasure, and talents into?" And, "Am I investing in myself, or into being a blessing to others?" Ultimately I want to make God famous by loving him and loving others, but I have to ask myself from time to time - is that what I'm doing? I wonder if sometimes I make more of an effort to make my thoughts and opinions famous rather than my God? Honestly, I still haven't figured out the answers to these questions. I'm excited to be home from India now so that I can sit down and evaluate where I'm investing in light of a wealth of new experiences and a new understanding of how much of the rest of the world lives. Something that I do know now, is that I want to be investing eternally.
There were a few times on our trip when I felt like I got a glimpse of what heaven will be like. We encountered a lot of different languages in India, which was exciting and confusing and humbling all at the same time. While the language barrier was sometimes difficult, it was amazing to see how gospel-centered love transcends breakdowns in verbal communication. One moment in particular hit me really hard - At church on Sunday, there was a time for prayer. Pastor Nandu, the Director of Asia's Hope India, began to pray and then one by one everyone in the congregation began to pray out loud, all in their own language - different Hindi dialects, Nepali, English, and even tribal languages. An entire room full of people, children and adults alike, praying to and praising our Savior at the same time. And God hears every single one, in every single language. How incredible is that!?
Revelation 7 says: "After the vision of these things I looked, and there were a great number of people, so many that no one could count them. They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language of the earth. They were all standing before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches with their hands. They were shouting in a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." I got to catch a glimpse of that! People from all different countries, tribes, languages, and cultures standing together praying out loud to God. I felt like I got a glimpse of what eternity is going to look like, and it was so beautiful!
That's what I want to invest in. I want to invest in making sure that every child under Asia's Hope's care knows that they were made in the image of a God who loves them more than they can ever imagine, and that they were created to be part of a family that will NEVER abandon them.
What exactly that looks like in regard to my time, treasure, and talents? I'm still trying to figure that out for myself. But God shifted my focus on that mountain from investing in my worries to investing in Him and His kingdom purposes. I am so thankful that we have that opportunity to join His story of transformation, renewal, and hope.
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