Recently I wrote a book, and by the look of my Facebook page and messages the story seems to be getting across clear to those who read it, some people are thanking me for being honest about the struggles, and open about my “at times ill driven motives”, others are going all out on attack wondering why anyone would ever back work by someone as messed up as this. I want to kiss them! And then I want to write back with one word.
That is why we are all here, and if my story is just a bit to raw, and a bit to real that is because am sick and tired of christian leaders/authors who try to paint themselves as anything other than in desperate need of His grace.
We all are, isn’t it time we just came out there and said it?
Truly, the reason I wrote the book had nothing to do with trying to elevate myself because I had figured it all out, but rather to show that God uses messes like me to do things for his glory, it is those who admit our need for Him who can finally be filled with Him.
In a way faith is a lot like the culture here in Ethiopia. When we first arrived we asked a million questions, then a few months later we were pretty sure we had it all figured out. Then, three years later, we have come to realize that we know less now about the culture here than ever!
You see what I am saying here?
The journey that comes with having faith in Jesus is all about humility, all about pointing to Him as our source of life, and all about learning, learning and more learning. In the same way that no one person can fully grasp the culture of an entire country, we can never fully grasp the love of the one who created us. I am not saying that we can never rejoice in our faith, but when we do, what we are rejoicing in is His beauty, not our own accomplishments.
I heard an African proverb yesterday that I think fits well here.
“Truth is like a Baobab tree, it takes more than one person to wrap your arms around it.”
Several years ago Jessie and I both got a word tattooed on our backs.
It is written in handwriting script with little arrows pointing out each stroke of the pen on the letters, like a child’s school book. We had just gone through a horrible struggle in our lives, financially we were in ruins, my brother had just killed himself after a decades long struggle with drugs and alcohol, and we were beginning to climb back up onto God’s great big lap and ask Him to come in to the void that was left by all the pain. What we kept realizing in that time was that although we had once thought we understood the greatness that was God, we had hardly scratched the surface. Instead of thinking that we had it all together we needed instead to keep striving for truth, keep looking to understand more of him through his word.
If you get a chance I would be honored if you would read the book No Greater Love, but before you do I want you to know going in that this is not a story of someone who has it all together, but rather it is a story of hope that God can use anyone, no matter how much of a mess you (and I) are. In-fact I think He is looking for messes, so that He can be glorified through us.