Alone in the City: Day Three

God is beautiful everywhere.

This simple yet profound thought came to my mind tonight as I looked up at the halfway moon in the cloudless sky, driving back from the most beautiful beach Brazil has to offer.

And I felt very, very small.

But it wasn’t a condescending kind of small, like I was useless or worthless. It was a feeling of peace, knowing that I am small, and that’s good.

It’s safe to be small when your God is so big.

There’s a message that my own husband has taught several times that I came to my mind tonight. (For the record, it’s not fun when the Holy Spirit uses your spouse’s messages to speak to you… it’s a blow to the pride.)

It comes from John chapter 6. To keep it short and sweet, Jesus pretty much lays it all out for the religious elite. He knew their hearts and ignored their empty words, stating they wanted to follow him when in fact all they wanted was what He had to offer.

In verses 26-27, Jesus calls them out, “I assure you: you are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Don’t work for the food that perishes, but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.”

In short, they didn’t want Jesus for Jesus, they wanted Jesus for His stuff.

Tonight, as I looked up at the moon, I was reminded that God doesn’t in fact need me. It’s not as if when I entered the world, He said, “Finally! She’s here!”

He is beautifully at work and His creation sings His praises and I am very small, nearly invisible.

And He says, “I have chosen you. I don’t need to use you, I want to. And that is good.”

But so often I find myself not wanting Jesus for who He is, but rather for what it brings me. Even the good things—peace, joy, love, hope—I want these more than I want Jesus. And that’s where the problem comes.

The missionary life is often deceitfully intriguing to the outside world. Stories of adventures and conversions and living in a far off place fill our minds as pictures of poverty and redemption fill our eyes. And it’s easy to love God there. It’s easy to be passionate and faithful in the excitement.

It’s the mundane that’ll getcha.

“Can you want me in the mundane?” He asks. “Do you want Me for Me, or do you want Me for what I can give you?”

The answer is hard, but I humbly acknowledge that most times I want Him for what He can give. I want the adventure and the passion and the influence. I fumble when life is just changing diapers and washing dishes and cleaning up messes and living the day to day. I am discontent there in the ordinary.

I fail most in the commonplace.

And He says to me, “I am beautiful there, too. You don’t see it because you don’t want Me. You want what I can give you.”

Tonight, I felt very small—just as I should. And I ask Him to help me desire Him for who He is and not for what I desire that He give me.

He is God in Heaven, and here am I on earth.

God, help me want you in the ordinary.

 

 

 

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