Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 John 2:6
I have just spent the most incredible week at Catalyst. It always seems to breathe life back into my marriage, my work goals, my desire to be a better mother – in short – it revives me! Catalyst is always very challenging as my mind and heart is challenged with every sermon I hear and every moment of worship I have with my Lord.
This week’s session was going along pretty good for me. I was feeling like I might be ahead of the curve for once and actually not be as unhealthy as I normally am when I go to these things. And then… Francis Chan had to open his mouth! As I sat through his sermon, I found myself thinking less and less of myself. (I’m terrible at comparing myself to others.) You can actually read about Francis’ sermon by following this link: http://willfjohnston.com/2010/10/07/francis-chan-catalyst-2010/
The reader’s digest version is that one of the most successful ministers of the modern evangelistic movement in the United States has decided to leave his church, his home, his salary… everything and pack it up and move to Asia to serve God. He has nothing lined up. He has no plan B. He’s just going. Convicted by his own sermons about helping the needy and walking like Christ – Chan is going!
Hearing this I should have been the first to stand up and say “You go!” But actually I began internalizing every word he said and it began to convict me. This man is on fire to serve in a foreign land. Yet, I serve there every day and don’t feel that fire. In fact, sometimes my firewood feels like it’s under about a foot of water. I’m tired and weary which normally is accompanied by worried and cranky.
Many of you have been emailing me to write more – and I have honestly had to take a bit of time just to digest this sermon and make sense of the feelings it garnered from me. And this is what I’ve come up with…
#1: I am overjoyed that there is a brother in our midst who would serve the least of these and sell it all.
#2: Been There, Done That, Got Malaria 😀 My sister had to remind me that I did that too. I told her my dilemma of feeling blue and depressed and she very nonchalantly reminded me that I was like that too when I first went to Haiti. Jose and I were following a dream, we had loaded up everything we had, and had even asked that instead of folks giving us wedding gifts – that they help us build our home in Haiti. She shared that at that time after being in her own ministry for ten years and following God’s Call for her – that she felt like her wood was wet too.
#3: It’s OK to have wet wood…that’s when God really shows Himself! 1 Kings 18 is the story of Elijah who himself was a pretty worn out prophet defeating the prophets of Baal. The most exciting thing is to see what God can do with some wet wood! I Kings 18:38 – Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. Elijah had brought a sacrifice to God that was drenched much like the way I feel from time to time. And yet when he called upon the Lord – the altar lit!
I know I should have learned long ago to quit comparing myself to everyone around me. There will always be a better writer, speaker, missionary, toilet bowl cleaner, mother, wife, … the list could go on. But as I leave Catalyst, I have come to know one thing –I am assured that I am walking like Christ. And, even Jesus had a lonely walk at times. Even Jesus who knew His mission, wept. Even Jesus, who knew the power of His God, filled the night with prayer. As I leave Catalyst I am walking like Christ with my heart sold out to Him and even if my wood is drenched in sorrow, regret, or just plain fatigue – He will light my fire!