Maybe God doesn’t so much want things from us. Maybe God actually wants things for us.
I was raised in an evangelical missions denomination. The focus was on going and doing. Even as a kid we had summer missions fests where the missionaries from exotic places (cough cough single women) came home and we bartered in play markets and sat on the gym floor eating rice. We had a giant global wooden map on the church wall with small bulbs that lit up around the world when you pressed a missionary’s name. (To this day I can oddly identify Papau New Guinea on a map.) I spent my 20s getting passport stamps for Jesus, poor as a church mouse, with various missions organizations and non-profits around the world. When it crashed due to a medical issue, so did my identity in God. I’m so glad God met me where I landed (very conservative west Michigan of all places—I was mortified). I learned that little lightbulb was above my own head, was inside me all along and not a task or geography to be chased. It took some therapy (and multiple Moana viewings, tbh, with the kids) and some listening to God, but I started to get it in my head I didn’t have to accomplish “going where no one else would go” to please God. I still have the occasional millennial existential crisis about what I am doing with my life, but I don’t doubt God‘s presence in it.
Love your last line, "Maybe all along, it could have been a party." Amen!
Oh, Sarah. From this type-A, competitive, Protestant work ethic, daughter of school teachers, overachieving, can’t just be a Christian without being a missionary in Africa kinda girl….thank you.
My shoulders dropped down, I exhaled.
Wow. I didn’t even realize how much I needed to hear this. And then, there it was. The Gospel. Words of freedom and of love. This is the God I’m getting to know after so many years of trying to figure out the other one who was so confusing and full of contradictions. God is God and God loves us and we keep trying to be used instead of falling into his love. Thank you for this word, sister! Bless you!
Beautiful truth! Some of us almost got used up. How wonderful to be filled up instead. Thank you!
Tears. So many tears. I feel so desperate for this God of the "rescue mission", the "setting-things-right all-things-redeemed mission." So many things seem so unredeemed, and I just really want to see it the opposite. I believe in the God who redeems all. I believe in the God who heals what is broken. I long to see that healing present in my life and in those I love lives. I am just setting my face towards Mother God and trusting.... today is a day I want to believe it all true, and not feel so disappointed, lonely, and waiting.
I also really loved your last line about "maybe all along, it could have been a party." Too true... humans made it less so... as usual. lol.
Free at last , free at last… been weighed down forever with the thought l should be doing everything l do all the time to save people from hell… l just need to let that go and love them the best way l can
This is soooo good! thanks Sarah for sharing it.
I had a thought this morning -- we always hear about Peter getting out of the boat - oh wasn't he brave and we must be bold and full of courage as well. We don't hear about the other disciples who stayed in the boat at the oars rowing. It's okay to stay in the boat! We are not all like a Peter who acts without thinking.
This is a truth I am embracing. It took some time after my upbringing....which was great, but a bit misguided, I now believe. I am not currently in the 4 walls of a church, but I am BEING the church and it is the best thing ever! It is a what I believe to be one of the "party favors" God has for me. It looks like flowers and meals and kindness. I hope to never go back to "doing, doing, doing".
Ah Sarah! How will we ever know who is the best Christian if we’re not tracking how God uses us? The church needs to know - have some metric - to ensure we are hitting our targets and getting our golden stars to sit at the right hand of God (or is that the pastor, I always get that confused) This mindset speaks of love and God but church is a competition to be the holiest. (I never won that contest because I was too busy seeing people as people and not as my current project). You radical thinker you! And God is not all about church…. Mind blown. Thank you for this!!! More people should read your stuff, girl and the world might actually become a better place. Love!
This was like poetry for the soul - and a call to new life !
I think the idea of God wanting "good things for us" without recompense is a little scary in multiple dimensions, but particularly in the idea that if God wants good things for *us* he also wants good things for *other people who aren't us and who aren't like us* which might mean that when we deny other people good things...we are working against the will of God?
When our society is heavily built around social strata - how much money, power, health, property, possessions, influence you have - that's a pretty terrifying thing.
Thanks Sarah! We tend to make things hard and complicated, don’t we? All Jesus asks is the we love God and one another.
Here’s a book suggestion: In Search of a Prophet by Paul-Gordon Chandler. A beautiful book full of hope.
I needed this today. Thank you and I thank God FOR you.
Beautiful! Thanks for, um, using this message again.
Learning this slowly, day by day...