"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose". Romans 8:28

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cost of burning

Extreme Peru's main purpose or theme is to "carry the light" into the darkness of Peru. Since being here, I have witnessed that there is much darkness that needs to be exposed by the light and good news of Jesus. I know to be a light that there is a cost. It's not always a pleasant experience, but there is pain that is often involved. However, once God has refined us by his fire, we will shine brighter than we ever did before the pain.

This past week was the climax of my pain. I have been struggling with this pain for almost two months now and was getting really discouraged that I wasn't able to do the things that I used to do. I felt that I had nothing to offer to my team or the people of Peru. I was talking to Cailyn about my frustrations and through our conversation God revealed one of the lessons that I needed to learn. I have always been one to serve others, but never feel that I deserve others service or help. This often hinders others from being servants and demonstrates that I really don't love myself the way that I need to. I also expressed to her my feelings of being useless and then read this in my devotional:

"Light is always costly and comes at the expense of that which produces it. An unlit candle does not shine, for burning must come before the light. And we can be of little use to others without a cost to ourselves. Burning suggests suffering and we try to avoid pain. We tend to feel we are doing the greatest good in the world when we are strong and fit for active duty and when our hearts and hands are busy with kind acts of service. Therefore when we are set aside to suffer, when we are sick, when we are consumed with pain, and when all our activities have been stopped, we feel we are no longer of any use and are accomplishing nothing. Yet if we will be patient and submissive, it is almost certain we will be a greater blessing to the world around us during our time of suffering and pain than we were when we thought we were doing our greatest work. Then we are burning and shining brightly as a result of the fire." Streams in the Desert

I don't think that God could had made it any clearer that this is what he was wanting me to grasp! Just to make sure that I got this, I also received this from my dear friend Rachel Kuhn in a message!

This past week I have been in Lima with Elizabeth Lewis, the Extreme translator, going to different tests and appointments trying to discover what is the source and remedy for this pain. Before leaving on Monday night, my entire Cusco team came to my house to spend some time with me and to surround me in prayer. My other teammates also sent me words of encouragement and I had several opportunities to pray with those back home as well. Elizabeth and I had some great fellowship here in Lima. I was even able to see the ocean at sunset (and many of you who know me know about my love for sunsets and beaches)! We were also able to say good-bye to a few of the Extreme staff members, the Drinkwaters and Leanne Bennett, before they went back home (please keep the Drinkwaters in your prayers as Mike undergoes more test to figure out what is the cause of his illness). Another added blessing to our trip in Lima was that we began our process for residency with my Cusco family who came up from Arequipa.

Going back to the cost of burning and being more of a blessing and all that God is wanting me to learn during this time. I went back to the specialist today and received wonderful news: there is no evident problems with my neck or with my muscles! I know I should have been praising God for this report, but instead I was more upset that there still wasn't a solution to my pain. I had been searching for answers and had put my hope in human hands instead of putting complete trust in the ultimate physician. I might not know where this pain is coming from, but I know that it is there and it is something that God is allowing me to go through in order to be that burning light for him. I appreciate all of your prayers and words of encouragement as I continue learning to be patient and submissive during this time of refining.

No comments:

Post a Comment