Update from the Nations

Here is a little post from Tim who is serving in Asia!  Please be praying for Tim and for our other missionaries who we have sent out.

“Today I found some time to steal away to a little restaurant on the main street of the city. It’s a new building, and it has floor-to-ceiling windows from which to observe the comings and goings of the city’s residents. Outside, through double panes of glass, the temperature hovers near zero and great clouds of breath are extracted into the air from thick bundles of walking clothing.

I look out on the people passing by in the cold, and I wonder what their stories are. What sorrows and joys do their hearts contain? Where are they going? Have their days been carefree or burdensome? Who is tired? Who is excited? Who’s mother or father just died? Who would call on Jesus to save them if they heard the good news of His love and grace?

Today, my heart is in its proper place, but too great is its vacillation from day to day as I look out these oversized windows toward the faces outside.

Some days, I find little in the way of love for these people. My heart is so easily filled with selfishness and wicked thoughts, and I shudder to think how cavalier I am as I interact with eternal souls bound for Heaven or Hell. People walk by, and they hope for a paying job, or a good life, or relief from crushing burdens or an alcoholic spouse, and they find no empathy in my heart.

Other days, when I’m walking in His greater grace, and when I truly recognize my own humble state before Jesus and the evil of my sin— when my mind is set more on things above— the knowledge that nearly all the people walking by this window are separated from our loving Father is crushing. In those moments, no amount of work seems to be enough. Rest? How is there time? Proverbs 24:11 comes to mind: “Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.” Surrounded by people who are indeed stumbling toward the slaughter, I become weary with sobriety.

Cutting through those two extremes is Jesus, our King.

He is the one who healed the hand of the crippled man, who forgave the woman of questionable reputation, and who gave sight to blind men. He healed and loved lepers and dined with sinners. He is the one of whom it is said, “He commands even the winds and the waves, and they obey Him!” He is the shepherd of lost sheep and the seeker of lost coins. He is the Slain Lamb triumphantly resurrected. He saved you and me from the unspeakable horrors of Hell. He is drawing people all over the world to Himself. He is giving greater boldness to my friends Eric and Luke and greater curiosity to my friend Alan. Just as surely as He says, “Take up [your] cross daily, and follow Me,” He also says, “Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the fine, so neither can you unless you remain in me… As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love.”

What is left? That Jesus is more than sufficient. In the troubled extremes of our hearts, Jesus comes. In callousness, He is here, calling us to remember His love. In burden, He is the same. In joy, He would have us delight in His love and salvation.

Today, let’s rejoice and find peace and rest in Him!  And may we take our fill from the riches of His sufficiency so that we may proclaim His glories to the ends of the earth.”