After being on two mission trips to Haiti and one to Detroit, I am often checking on a lot of the wonderful people I served with. On our second trip, I said more times than I could ever count “how you feeling?”. This was said because I didn’t want to say “you ok?” and just get a “yes”. Being on a mission trip is difficult, and it’s easy to go from “I’m good to a mess”.
I feel like I said a million times in the last few days of every trip “cling to Jesus”, “read your bible”, “stay close to Jesus”. At some point I was expecting people to say “WE KNOW” but maybe that’s because I work with teenagers and they say what they feel (good and bad).
Today I was thinking about Jacob, and how he married Leah when he wanted to marry Rachel. Oh Jacob, you worked for Laban for SEVEN years in order to marry the beautiful Rachel, and for just a minute, you took your eyes off the prize… and married the wrong girl… and then you had to work seven more years in order to have your prize. (Gen 29)
How many times have I done that. I take my eyes off the prize for just a minute (or what seems to be only a minute) and then I miss the prize, and have to start all over. Oh boy. Today, I walked out my front door and looked at an area of blackeyed susans, I looked at my horrible grass… and thought “you took your eyes off the prize”. Now, my house is not what most people in our area would call “a prize”. It’s a humble place, perfect for my perfectly imperfect family. I asked for just a few things when buying my house.
A bungalow – just like my gram
A big backyard
Well, I got what I wanted, except that I don’t have a big back yard. Well, God knew… He knew that someday He would call me to serve at a church and love teenagers, and I just wouldn’t have time to take care of a big backyard.
When I bought my house… my yard was a pit. And I worked really really hard to get it looking nice… and then… I took my eye off of it… and it began to be crazy over run with weeds, and these disgusting weird trees started growing… and it is awful. I have done some work (well, really had it done) to make some cool gardening places.
Well, the other day I drove up and thought “ugh, I have the worst yard on the block” so I started talking to my friends about my plans to do some different things to the yard. One of them to take out all the crazy plants and just keep the black eyed susans and get rid of everything else. I think I blogged about my horrible yard.
And then I was reminded… the body of Christ. How we all work together to love and serve others, and EACH other. We show love by loving. My friend Lindsay sent me a text yesterday… she was at my house… pulling weeds. And I came home to a beautiful empty slate to plant more black eyed susans, but mostly I came home to the feeling that I am loved. That where I am weak, He is strong in someone else.
Here I was thinking about how I had worked so hard, and then took my eyes off the prize. And how hard I was going to have to work to get what I wanted under control… and because of Jesus, I didn’t have to. Jesus and His grace (through Lindsay) covered me so I didn’t have to work for seven years to get my prize.
I am overwhelmed by the grace of God.
2 Cor 4:15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
1 Cor 9:24-27 24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.