Saturday, December 4, 2010

When Grace Convicts

When we first felt God leading our family towards adoption, my feelings ranged from excitement to uncertainty, questioning to control, and an amazing sense of awe as we watched God unfold a corner of His plans.  This week has been different – in a hard, convicting way, yet I’m thankful for God’s sweet grace that holds me while I grapple with things that my finite mind is desperate to understand. 

I’ve been wrestling with conviction about how I’ve spent the past several years and how I’m going to spend the next.  There’s an exterior picture of faithful wife, devoted mother, and fairly decent citizen, and believe me when I say that much energy has been expended to find the perfect balance for these spinning plates.  Through God’s grace, He has accomplished things in spite of my weakness.  But because of grace, He is opening my eyes to so much more that He can do. 

Far too long, I’ve had a major blind spot, or maybe worse, it’s been just pure disobedience.  With a billion people in this WORLD who are living in poverty that I can’t even begin to imagine, and 26,000 children dying EVERY DAY because of starvation or preventable diseases, I have somehow managed to remain indifferent.  It's an indifference that shows up by how tightly I’ve held on to my plans, my possessions, my security, and even my family.  Even though I’ve donated money and supplies and taken missions trips abroad, for the large part, my life has revolved in a fairly tight American bubble with a focus on needs right here (don't get me wrong - I'm also called to meet the needs right here in my own backyard).  But my ignorance and indifference to the rest of the world have come at the expense of precious lives that Jesus loves just as much as He does me.  This reality has unsettled me to my core. 

You see I’m no longer content with balance. With a pretty picture. With control.  Because following Christ is none of those things, but instead it’s a messy, risky, dangerous place to be.  Jesus didn’t give His life for my American dream; He gave it as a ransom to save me from getting caught up in that dream.  Following what the world looks at as success leads to emptiness, but following the Savior is our ultimate reward. 

The amazing thing in joining God in His work is that it doesn’t earn me merit points or salvation for that matter.  It’s because of what God did through His gift on Christmas morning, that I can follow His example.  I’m not adopting a child because I want to be a rescuer, I’m adopting because I’ve been rescued myself and His grace calls me to get involved in His work.  Adoption is just the tip of the iceberg for this global call.  I don’t want to play games on this journey.  I want to jump in with both feet knowing that if we have to give up all our earthly comforts, it really won’t matter because there’s so much more to life than the here-and-now.  God has called us to not just declare His Gospel, but to live it out visibly.
So how does that play out for this TJMaxx/Starbuck’s/Vacation-loving, soccer mom in 2010?  What can I sacrifice to truly obey him?  I’m honestly asking myself that question every moment, every day.  I want to wear out my life on earth getting dirty for what matters for eternity.  It’s a daily war within my soul, but I have no doubt that God will keep pouring out grace to fight my flesh and embrace His journey.  I know it begins on my knees and in His Word, and I have confidence that He will direct me from there.

P.S.  God must be trying to get my attention with this video.  It came across my computer screen in three different ways yesterday so, yes, I want to share it with you!

1 comment:

  1. Jessica,

    You have summed up exactly what I have been feeling for awhile now. How, exactly, can we answer the call? What should we be giving up? If you haven't read David Platt's book Radical, I highly recommend it!