Saturday, October 22, 2016

Run the Race

I sometimes find myself asking “why” God has chosen me for the road he has led me down? Why he has asked me to let go of things I love and embrace things that are foreign to me? Why has he entrusted this calling to me? It isn’t a ‘why’ filled with mistrust, rather in longing and desiring to dig deeper into his plan and love for me. As I dig, the pain of letting go of things turns into joy, as I am completely humbled by His love.

I have been studying and reading through Paul’s letters to the church and I have found great encouragement in his words. In his life, I have seen a follower of Christ whose heart is to be more like Jesus. His heart is pure as he dedicates his life to speaking the truth of the word of God, and living a life where his actions are honorable to his words. As I study and dive deeper into some of the letters (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians) from Paul, I find myself wanting to underline, highlight, and take notes on every word. As I long for my actions to be more like Christ, I am inspired by someone who not only desired to be more like Christ, but also followed that desire up with action. It was more than talk for Paul. He lived his short life here on earth as a race… a race that he would run as hard as he could until the day that he met Jesus at Heavens gates. He not only understood and completely accepted that his life on earth was for the sole purpose of bringing glory to God, but he was also genuinely grateful for his purpose. Majority of these letters were written while he was in prison, something that I would easily classify as a time of trial.  He wasn’t angry or asking, “why me God”, rather he was prayerful that the season of his life would glorify God and allow more people to come to know Christ. His time in prison was simply part of his race, a race that he was going to run with everything he had. When he was tired and his muscles burned, he would push forward because soon the race would come to an end, and he was going to give it everything he had. I have to ask myself, on the days that seem hard, that don’t seem like as much “fun”, am I still pressing forward and running hard; or do I sit down and pout in disappointment?

I also love how Paul spoke to the Philippians, some of his ‘support team’, if you will. In the last year, I cannot explain how God has worked in my life, touched and humbled me by the people who have chosen to be part of my journey, therefore helping to reach the people of Gulu, and ultimately serving Christ. There is no way for me to express my gratefulness and even begin to show these people the difference they have made in the lives of the Acholi people. I asked God that if he ever wanted me to serve full time, please make that clear to me and I will go. Almost a year and a half ago he made that clear to me, and I knew it was time for me to take the biggest step of faith I have ever taken in my life and trust my finances completely to him. As I walked away from a job that I not only loved, but that also gave me a paycheck and covered me with health insurance, many people questioned my decision. As I took that step, he brought “Philippians” into my life. To my support team, I quite literally could not do what I do without you. You fund me and are a necessary part of this body. You are part of my testimony of God’s faithfulness in my life, and are a witness to all those who doubted if God would or could provide. I would urge you to go and read all of Philippians 4:10-20 (well really all of Paul’s letters), but let me just say that your prayers, financial support, and gifts have been a “sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have now been given to us in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:18-19).  

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