I have been reflecting on the last 4 years of our adventure and am overwhelmed by the things we had to un-learn. So many of the things we thought we understood about who God is and how he behaves had to be re-framed. I now know how Paul could say that he counts all of his former knowledge as rubbish in light of gaining Christ. Paul’s dedication to the scriptures was not bad, it was just framed incorrectly. He allowed the truth of the scriptures to be interpreted through the lens of anger and fear. As a result, Paul was willing to kill in the name of the god he served. I do not believe that Paul was saying that his dedication to the scriptures, and his pursuit of God were of no benefit. He was indicating that once he had experienced God, first-hand, he could clearly see how his former knowledge was based on human reasoning, not on Spiritual revelation.
With this in mind, I looked back at my early blog posts. I saw that as I began to realize that my truth was skewed, my writings became very bold in pointing it out. I became a crusader, burdened with what I saw as the responsibility to reveal the skewed truth to everyone that would listen. I often threw tact and diplomacy to the wind in favor of a direct approach. I now see that I was probably pretty annoying…sorry about that. I was seeing the goodness of God like never before and that revelation allowed me to experience more joy, peace and freedom than ever before, yet I chose to share the revelation in a harsh and often degrading way. I truly want to ask for your forgiveness and assure you that it was never my intent to hurt or offend.
We have also learned things over the last four years. Most notably, for me, has been the revelation that you can actually have peace and rest, no matter the circumstances. I have always marveled at the Bible’s account of Stephen’s stoning. He was not looking forward to the “end of this season” or wishing the pain to pass quickly, he was at rest in the middle of the most horrific situation. In the last eight months of our homeless season I learned to rest and truly be at peace, regardless of the situation. A lesson that Jenny and the kids had learned much earlier in the journey. I firmly believe that God asks his children to do hard things and intentionally puts them in challenging situations, but he does not intend for us to experience the stress and physical strain of those experiences. He offers peace and joy while we are in the training, not just when we make it through.
That is why we are excitedly looking forward to the next part of our journey. We are grateful to be in a house and have enjoyed the comfort of that experience, but we do not feel like we need to rest and recharge our batteries before the next season. As Paul stated in Philippians 4:12, we know what it is to be in need, and we know what it is to have plenty. We have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. In the last week we have gotten some very specific words from God regarding our future and are excitedly looking forward to where God is taking us next. Stay tuned for more detail on that.
As for me, I am going to focus on loving people. I now realize something that had been hidden in plain sight before. That is the fact that perfect love casts out fear. I am called to wake up sleeping giants and fear is the one thing that is currently holding that group back. Fear of leaving their current religion, lifestyle, friends or comforts. As far as I can tell the only way to conquer that kind of fear is with love. That is why I am so grateful for my bus driving job. I can not think of a better group to teach me about unbiased love and abundant forgiveness. It truly is a ministry, not from me to the children, but from the children to me.