Hub & I joined the fellowship at Northeast Bible Church a little over a year ago and have been incredibly blessed in so many ways by the people that comprise this community. It is a family. WE are a family: a family with a mission to reach the population of the surrounding area and share the love of Christ with them.
Hub & I are thankful for each brother and sister walking with us on this journey we call “life.”
One of my first friends at Northeast led a Bible study I attended last summer on the book of Ephesians. I remember that at our first meeting, she asked us to share prayer requests specific to our own needs. Mine was (and is) to share grace with those around me. Looking back over the past 10 months of my walk with the Lord, I believe that moment was when the Holy Spirit started working with me to take mySELF off the Throne and let Him again be the Lord of my life … when the formation of my One Word took root in my heart.
These first 100+ days of 2013 have been an interesting journey: from beginning this quest as an intellectual pursuit of what it means to be compassionate, to sharing compassion with others, to one where I am now searching my heart and waiting for God’s leading on how He wants to use me in situations and circumstances around me.
Hub & I have been talking a lot about God’s will. We both agree that it can’t be a matter of God’s will on our time but waiting and watching for God’s will on HIS time. And this is why Corrie ten Boom’s quote above is so meaningful to me. We don’t know what’s coming up around the bend … when the next trial will begin or when the seasons will change. He does, and He provides all that we need to walk through this journey.
Brennan Manning went home to be with the Lord last weekend. I never met the man in person. It’s nothing out of the ordinary: I haven’t met lots of people. But that’s okay. We’re not called to meet everyone face-to-face that has an impact on our lives.
While I’m eternally grateful for the privilege of meeting some and doing life with others, I meet many of these people through their writings. And this is how I met brother Brennan. I’m reading his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel and am being blown away at every page turn!
Though the Scriptures insist on God’s initiative in the work of salvation – that by grace we are saved, that the Tremendous Lover has taken to the chase – our spirituality often starts with self, not God.
Does this not blow your mind? How many times have I been so impatient with His timing or silence that I’ve taken matters into my own hands?
So … what am I learning about compassion? Compassion & grace go hand-in-hand: it’s not just about the physical activity of loving and serving others, but about the glorious gift of a Passionate Pursuer who gave everything; there is nothing any of us can do to “earn” His love.