Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Lost in the Light

Hello Faithful Friends and Supporters!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying a mild winter. Honestly, I would love to be cold right now—not freezing—but cold sounds great. I would wear a scarf and a sweater and curl up my hands in the sleeves and drink hot tea. I would watch the early evening light lower between the tall, naked trees. I would listen to the quiet of crisp air, and I would be still in my very soul.
But instead, I am here in Portel where the heat often feel like a smothering lover. You long for space and a refuge from it. A sacred place, but none exists.
I will take this opportunity to be unusually candid with you. This can be a hard place to live. There are so many demands coming from so many different directions, and you never feel “on top of it”. It is always on top of you.
I was asking the Lord last night, “Are you sure you picked the right person for this? Am I really cut out for this?” And he took me to a passage in 1 Corinthians 2:3-5 where Paul states, “I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.”

The truth is that I’m not the best missionary. I’m not like the ones you read about in books. I only have a cup of water to give away. I am not feeding the masses. I am not saving thousands in orphanages. The Holy Spirit doesn’t bring everyone to their knees when I walk in the room. My service is simple and incomplete. I still have to fight with myself. I don’t live in the place of perfect peace and perfect trust in God. I get just as impatient waiting in line as the next person. I have nothing to offer God. I came here in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
And sometimes, I feel so spoiled. Maybe it’s just complete apathy, but the people I see everyday do not seem to be nearly as up in arms as I am about their circumstances. They live in the same harsh world that I do, except that often, their plight is much worse than mine. And of course, they have nothing else to compare it to. I, unfortunately, do. I have a whole world of luxury to juxtapose my daily experiences. And these lost comforts call me, and I want to listen.
But I didn’t come here to be comfortable. I can spend eternity being comfortable. I gave up comfort for a simple dream. I wanted to see the Kingdom of Heaven. I wanted to watch God work and move in the Earth. I wanted to see a demonstration of the Spirit’s power. But do I have enough strength to let go of myself long enough to see it?
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” 1Corinthians 1:27-29

I am a foolish and small and weak thing, so I guess I’m qualified. My only hope is that in all this emptiness, God would reveal himself. I can’t tell you how much my heart aches daily to see the Lord. I long to see him move tangibly in the lives of those around me. I long to see them overwhelmed and overtaken by the true lover of their souls. I long to watch them fall in love. It is this desire that has so directly positioned me in the place of weakness and fear.
Won’t you come with me? Won’t you enter into the place of your own heart to find the darkness there? Won’t you allow the light of a new hope to shine in there? Only when all other lights are dimmed can we see the One that shines the brightest…. 

We die a thousand times

And then you bring us back to life.

We die a thousand times

And then you bring us back to life.

Dig our bodies from the grave

Take us from the sweat and mud

Cleanse us with your refreshing blood

Wipe the lies from our eyes

And we see for the first time

Though we rested in the belly of destruction

You birthed us again, naked with redemption

What mystery is this that we could tell the story again?

What path is this that we could share what we have learned?

Only you and I know

Only our feet walked it together

I cannot walk it for another

Take them down the road

Lead them into the lonely wilderness

Let them smell the fiery smokes of hell

Let them taste the decay of their flesh

Let them hear the whisper of your tenderness

Let them feel the hint of your breath

Let them sense the weight of your presence

Take them into your arms again

Pick them up from the miry pit

All is new all over again

All is new all over again.

Breathe, veins pump blood.

Rich again, well again, free for the very first time.

We die a thousand times

And then you bring us back to life.

Love, Allison