Have you any idea what it is like to look into the eyes of a person you have just touched with the gospel and watched Jesus set them free? Have you ever seen the countenance of a student brighten when they finally discover that they have real and abiding Hope in this life – and the next? Have you ever experienced the joy in bringing water and food to those who just might die without it? Have you ever heard the whisper of His answer when you cry out in prayer, “Oh how I Love you child!”?
~ Makala Barnabas Doulos
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw Him they worshiped Him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
~ Jesus, King of The Universe, in Matthew 28
Oh beloved, it is true. We, those who are His, are already in eternity. We are in His arms, and there is no way out of them. But even if there was, where would we go? We have found the Strength and Hope and Purpose and Love we were looking for.
And beyond the joy of know Him, there comes a delight. Actually, it is a light. It is His Light in the eyes of others who are His. It is hard to explain. But, just like we recognize our relatives in the flesh, we know our brothers in His Arms.
This fool of a writer was sitting on a bus in Inner Mongolia a couple days ago. I was tired. There were 14 of my students and a talented co-worker on the bus as well. They are wonderful international students, but we had just travelled from the East coast of China, overnight by train.
It is in moments like these, that I get a little too tired, and sometimes begin to wonder just what the heck i am doing out here flung all over the world. The logistics of trips like these are fluid, and details fray more quickly than we can usually patch up the edges.
This day was no different. Trains and busses and traffic had put us hours off the scent of anything really resembling a schedule. We were inching through Hohhot to pick up some Mongolians who wanted to go play baseball and football with us out on the plains outside the city. I did not know what to expect.
Nothing I could have imagined would have prepared me for the moment though…
The bus stopped, and onto the carriage flowed about eight of the brightest-eyed 20-somethings i have seen in a long time. They flowed, and laughed. I had never met Mongolians, and it turns out they are a hardy people with strong hearts and bodies and appetites of all kinds – delightful! But this was different.
This troupe was from another Realm.
The leader caught my eye, and I instantly understood. We have been brothers forever. Language, time, space, distance, politics, economics, and everything else had nothing to do with it. He (and all the others who had climbed aboard) were simply coming to an impromptu Family reunion.
And as the afternoon unfolded, I found myself, on Pentecost, playing American football with Mongolians on the plains of northwest China. It was rich and full. We fumbled more than anything with language (much of them spoke excellent English though) and balls and culture. But, it only got better as we got to eating and playing and later singing and standing around a large charcoal fire making s’mores.
However, beyond the fun, i got my answer as to what the heck i was doing in this place.
“H_____” is leading a fellowship of believers and they need training and resources and literature. I had just “happened” to bring an older electronic device with about 125 of many of the important books on many of the subjects where they need assistance.
And the next day we spoke at length about some of the dreams and aspirations this powerful young man has to get to work in the fields very white unto harvest in Asia. He is humble and strong and smart and funny and brightly Lit with His Presence.
We chatted about the pitfalls of the flesh, and the power of walking in His Spirit. We wept as we listened to 1000 year old music played on horsehead fiddles and the drums drove a beat to which a couple of men were throat singing. We caught it. The beauty of it all. The utter simplicity and beauty of what we were both now about. We live and breath HIM. And this will never end.
We got to the end of our second day with each other, and found a way for me to quietly pray for him. Where we are is none too hospitable to any attempts by guys like me to bring materials into the area. And it is even less hospitable to H______ doing what he does. No matter. We deeply respect the need for governments to govern, but we will obey our King above all.
It was quite a couple of days.
We will, One Day, sit at table with our Brother and King and learn about how our “chance” meeting was arranged. It will be a moment of worship for us, and Joy for all in the room. And i, again and again, am simply amazed at how amazingly AMAZING Jesus is.
Might this fool preach for a moment? Are you wondering what the heck your life is about too? Maybe it is not Destined to be lived out like mine. But, are you willing to look around for your brothers and sisters and see just how AMAZING He is in your life too? Tonight is your night. Time to live in Delight.
We refuse to so strive and should not be surprised at the lack of God’s mighty stirrings. Is it not amazing that we have no problem with people wearing themselves out in sports for pleasure, work for money, politics for power, and programs for charity, but think it fanatical to so pray for souls? We would die for national freedom, but never for progress in the Kingdom of God. Is it any wonder we see so little of God’s great working? Father Nash (was the man who prayed “under the stage” during Charles Finney’s revivals) would pray until he had to ‘go to bed absolutely sick, for weakness and faintness, under the pressure.’ The world would have no problem with such dedication except that it was due to prayer for souls. Why should it be such a strange thing to the Church?
~J. Paul Reno