He executes justice for the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, he lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves those who live justly. The LORD watches over the immigrant and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked. -Psalm 146:7-9
Sunday, December 21, 2008
What I Didn't Know
In her book A Thousands Resurrections..Maria Garrett, in the introduction, speak about the things she didn't know she would learn while being involved in urban ministry....Here are mine:
I didn't know that I would live among people who spent most of their time smoking drugs, & being incarcerated. That I would spend many nights cooking dinner for teenagers whose parents are either on drugs, dying of a decease, or just don't have money themselves to feed their family. That my heart would be drawn so deeply for the adoption of a little girl who bounces around from house to house because her mom is involved heavily with drugs and prostitution...That I would watch young girls search for significance in sex, and babies and not understand that at the end of the day their hearts would still be empty.... That many bullets would be shot in the back of my house and not one ( yet) would hit my house... That my heart would be filled with such love for those whom i have never met.....
I didn't know that I would joyously watch my husband and BK follow the Lord's calling to serve their neighbors and become apart of their community and then be called "cops", "fake ni**a", "who don't really care about how others feel" by one of the teenagers who was upset because he could not drive our car....
I didn't know I would see Jesus in the Hood... I didn't know that I would witness my own resurrections...that teens would count the cost and trust Christ to be the treasure that He is..That my neighbors would teach me humility, love, and compassion through their own lives... That children as young as 5 would rejoice in knowing that they were created in God's image, and that they too could have eternal life with our savior...That a 16 year old would miscarriage in one of our homes and the LORD would use that circumstance to begin a bible study with 10 other girls...
Life..Life is what the Lord wants and will bring back to our hood, I am such a believer of that..Addictions will be broken, fathers will return to their homes, young girl will remain pure, young men will learn to lead with justice and compassion, those that steal will steal no more but work, those that lie will begin to speak the truth, instead of being lovers of self, people would be lovers of Jesus...
Romans 11:33-36 have been my meditation for the past month or so, I have struggled and struggled with this verse, mainly because my flesh did not want the LORD to be responsible for all the depressing things I see go on around me from day to day..
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! 34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” 35 “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” 36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
John Piper in his sermon on the scripture above states:
"All things are from him and through him” means that there is no explanation for what is or what happens that is deeper or more decisive than God. This is what we mean when we say that God is absolutely sovereign.
The devil is not co-eternal with God, and he is not ultimately independent of God. His existence and all that comes from it—so much of the evil in the world—depends on God’s willing him to exist and allowing him moment by moment to do what he does. God sees it coming and he permits it to happen. And since he does nothing aimlessly or capriciously, there is always a purpose for what he causes to happen directly and what he permits to happen indirectly. So in that sense we can say that even the evil and the calamity of the world (e.g. Romans 11:7-10) are included in verse 36, “All things are from him and through him.... ( except sin: Sin can be from God and through God in the sense of ultimate and decisive cause, but not in the sense that sin comes from his nature or character)
So though, I know that we have stepped foot onto Satan's play ground...he still has not power over what the gospel is doing around us and through us...
It blows my mind to know all that we have seen in our hood was under the Lord's sovereign hand...it will be a year sense we have lived on westcott and really it seems as if it has been years. What resurrections will the new year bring?? What lives will be changed for the glory of the Lord?? I don't know... but I am certain that he who began a good work in me will complete it, as the ones that I came to serve show me things about the savor that I have yet to see.
Lord, show me your glory, and help me to live in such a way that makes others see you as the treasure you are. I pray that the goepel is soo appealing to all those around me that they cant help but find themselves drowning in the security of it.