I’ve been reading in a few of Paul’s epistles lately, and am so thankful for the wisdom and truths that are so wonderfully hidden in those precious words. I’ve been hit, once again, with the reality that I can read and understand God’s Word in my own heart language – one that communicates to the very depths of my soul and connects me to the Heavenly Father in a way that nothing else can.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Chirst who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
I have been living here in Paraguay for 5 MONTHS (Woot, woot!!) as of today! I remember very vividly the excitement, fear, anticipation, and anxiousness that was flooding my heart the moment (and many moments leading up to this one!) as I stepped off that plane when I landed.
In the past 5 months I have been studying Spanish and Learning Paraguayan culture, along with working on building relationships with the Paraguayans in my church and community. There are so many factors involved in doing this, and it is so easy to get caught up in the “daily grind” of life here. It is easy for me to focus on the plans I need to make for this week, the words and phrases I need to be learning, the studying that needs to be done, and the evaluation I have coming up. While these things are the task at hand and need to be thought of and considered (and worked hard on), I realized how easy it is to make them my “goals” for the moment or for the day (or even for life!). How easy it is for me to loose focus of why I am really here! Instead, I would desire to have these things be my goal:
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to life is Christ and to die is gain.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the importance of learning Spanish and the Paraguayan culture. It is necessary to live life here. I am praising the Lord, however, that this is not all there is. I am learning these things for greater purposes! 1. So that I can be relevant to those around me, just as Christ was relevant to mankind. 2. To use as a stepping stone – I desire to be a part of planting a lasting, functioning, God-glorifying church in a tribal location here in Paraguay so that they, too, can know God and have His Word in their heart language. By learning Spanish and Paraguayan culture, I am gaining tools, wisdom, and knowledge that will be invaluable in that endeavor. But ultimately those goals are a part of this even larger goal: to glorify the Lord and play a part in His eternal plans.
Praise the Lord – there is so much more to life than what I can see right in front of me! God is desiring that all men, from each nation, would come to know Him! He has given me a part to play in that — a part for which I am SO incredibly thankful and grateful for! — here in Paraguay. Praise the Lord that He uses us despite our botched efforts at “doing things” in His name, when in reality we have neglected to see His purposes. Praise the Lord that we have Christ’s life in us and are able to glorify the Lord through our frail and short lives.