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Saturday, January 22, 2011

This treasure in earthen vessels

Whenever a Bible passage comes my way from two directions simultaneously, I know it is time to pay attention.  This week the day my New Testament reading landed on 2 Cor 4, a friend from America wrote to say she was praying that for me.  So I have just stayed there the last few days, soaking.  

For we do not preach ourselves . . .oh, right.  I've been so discouraged by my inadequacies, running smack into the mountain of things I don't know.  But I'm not here to prove that I'm competent or smart or worth listening to.  I'm here to point people to Jesus.  Easy to forget in the more formal "consultant" teaching and pontificating role here at Kijabe.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God an not of us.  We are hard pressed on every side . . . Realizing our fragility and emptiness, our clay-pot-ness, does not mean smooth sailing.  We're still pressed.  As always Bundibugyo is the epicenter of hard pressure.  January means that the school year is about to start, and this has probably been the roughest pre-school month ever.  The Johnsons have had to make some hard decisions about staff in a culture that is indirect and non-confrontational and secretive.  That's their story to tell, maybe in a week or two when things settle out, but it's part of our story still too.  Our hearts are there, and as earthen vessels we trust God to fill us with spiritual wisdom in our advice from afar.  Today there was a pretty firm confirmation that something we sensed in prayer a year and a half ago God might do for the school will come into being.  Perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed. . . 

Therefore we do not lose heart . . . Paul speaks of the unseen weight of glory that accumulates through our light affliction.  Perhaps the church in Mundri is beginning to hope for this, sensing that their suffering prayers have led them to victory over war and destruction and hate and fear.  The initial tally of the referendum shows 98.6% in favor of secession.  

That grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God . . Last night a state of grace descended upon our house, for no reason other than the faithful shouts of "the many" spreading grace.  Caleb invited two classmates for dinner at almost the last minute, I had enough food, candles were lit, my experimental cooking turned out well with a little borrowing from neighbors, there was fellowship and camaraderie.  It was the most relaxed and "normal" we've been yet.  So, thanks, and keep praying, particularly that the Johnsons would get a similar evening at the end of a stressful weekend.

For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

2 Cor. 4 was one of those chapters I kept getting brought back to in BGO and likely will throughout the rest of my life! thanks for bringing me back one more time, such reminders never get old! "...we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are not seen." AMEN.