Struggling With Good Things

-Part of the Six-Months-Later Series-Written Summer 2010-

Q went on his first mission trip last week. He took a group of middle schoolers to do construction work in Memphis, Tennessee.

Uhuh. He went on a mission trip.

with middle schoolers.

to Tennessee.

Yeah, I was jealous. There was a certain element of jealousy there. It was sinful, but it was there. I can’t quite explain what about him getting to do those things was hurtful. I think partly because I wish he’d had those experiences before we were together, think he could have understood me better.  Which translates to, partly, i believe in something other than God’s sovereignty.

I mean, he’s living things that were HUGELY instrumental to shaping me when i was his age. (Q is three years younger than I.) And man, three years in a life like mine, that’s a huge difference in who I am. If what I can see is any indication, I think they’ll be huge for him, too.

I pray they’ll be huge.

No I mean it, I literally pray they will. I pray for his growth, his strength, his boldness and courage every day. I used to pray this one prayer over and over. “Oh God, please restore to him the Joy of your Salvation.” When he told me about his trip yesterday he said, “You know that verse about returning the joy of salvation? That’s what happened this week.”

So, God, as always, answered prayers. If he answered that one so specifically, how can I NOT continue to petition on behalf of others?

I want him to go to Oklahoma. I want him to be exposed to new things, challenged, poured into, grown, not because I see something lacking in him, but because I see so much that he can do. When a man excels in so many things, when he has so many potential influences, I confess I pray more for him: I want even more for a man (person) of that type to be absolutely rooted in the Lord. To know Him more and more, to love and obey Him in ways they would not have known if not challenged. Because I know this: every interaction I have is better used when those interactions are influenced by the Spirit and the training he has graciously lavished on me. I’ve been blessed to go to new continents, live all kinds of lives, meet people of so many tribes, tongues, and nations. And God has used those things to give me even more chances to be useful for the Kingdom.

Leaving what you know changes you. Doing new things changes you. It refines you, makes you more of who you were meant to be. This man, Q, he is already a good man. He is kind and hard working, creative and contemplative, funny and good looking (I’m just saying- good looking people get talked to). He’s not a man for whom the Lord has menial plans, he’s a man made to be used for the Kingdom in mighty ways. And though he’s being used now, I pray for more opportunites for Him to see God’s work in and through him.

But I confess, in case you’ve ever felt the same, and so you can KNOW God’s ability and will to use such things, that a part of me, instead of rejoicing, said, “See, i told you so. I told you to get out of your damn comfort zone.”

Yes. my heart is ugly. And my God pretty. And He is working on my heart.

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