It's not easy for me to write a first blog post. I try to make them as entertaining and enjoyable to read as I can, but it doesn't come naturally to me. I've been thinking for a while now about this first post. A blog has to start somewhere, right? And I knew mine would have to start eventually. I pondered on what to write about and worried about what it would say about me. I'm not perfect, you see, and I've long-since believed that people who uproot themselves to spread the grace of Jesus are, or at least they're more perfect than I am.
I've learned a lot in the past six months since this journey began, not the least of which is this: it doesn't take a perfect person to hear the call of God, but a listening one. There are many stories about the flaw-filled people who were called by God to do all sorts of things. Moses & Aaron always come to mind first for me. Two humble-to-a-fault individuals with glaring inadequacies of their own are the ones God used to free the nation of Israel. That's no small feat.
But when you read through those accounts, besides occasionally arguing with God about fears and concerns, Moses and Aaron did a pretty good job of obeying Him. A better job than I do most days. I mean, I try, but there are definitely moments and days when my own selfishness and pride get the better of me. And how do I reconcile that? How do I reconcile my disobedience with fundraising and a move to Scotland? It's not easy. I've wrestled with it a lot these past six months, and for me it comes down to God's sovereignty.
Before Paul wrote half the new testament, he persecuted and killed Christians in the name of God. And just before Jesus left the earth, this happened:
So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him.
Acts 1:7-9 (emphasis mine)
Then enters Paul. He's chasing them down, persecuting them, killing them, and what are they doing? They're running. They're running out of Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and into the ends of the earth. And as they run to and through those cities, they're sharing the knowledge, love, and grace of Jesus, and making believers out of complete strangers. Paul's persecution provided an opportunity for these believers to meet and share Christ with people they probably never would have otherwise.
It's hard for me to fathom how someone can be both extremely selfish and doing His will simultaneously, but Judas did it, right? It was God's purpose for Christ to die for us, and someone had to betray Him. So if Judas can betray God and accomplish His will. And Paul can persecute Christ while inadvertently spreading His name. Then, well, then me in own futile attempt at humility and servant-hood that will often fail and even offend; certainly someone like me who truly loves God and wants others to know Jesus for no other reason than that they would be wholly satisfied and God would be ever-glorified; certainly someone like that can hear the call of God and trust that He is more sovereign than any failure that resides inside of me.
And that's how I reconcile it. I remember that God's not an idiot. He knows I'm imperfect, that I'll mess up, fail, be selfish and offensive, and still in all of His sovereignty, He called me into this new place.
So here I am. Writing a blog post, on a website with a name God gave me, moving to a country God called me to, so that I can shine the light He placed inside me. As my favorite pastor often says after reading Jesus' words on salt and light: salt always preserves, and light always illuminates. I am the salt and the light. I'm taking that preservation and illumination to Paisley, Scotland and would so appreciate your partnership in prayer and support.
Thanks for reading & Happy New Year!