I love snow. I just cannot help it…there is something incredibly peaceful about how silently it falls. How pure and white it is…how perfect, yet individually unique. I am literally giddy when I see perfect snowflakes and all of their points. And the world is so quiet when snow falls, especially when it falls at night…it’s a God moment for me. It’s as though, if God whispered…I’d hear it crystal clear.
Last month on the van as we drove way from Velikoretakoye orphanage…I was caught up in the emotion of the moment, and needed to put into words how I was seeing the heart of God in action. It just so happens that I was struck with the irony of being surrounded by the snow I find so peaceful, yet struggling with the inner emotional turmoil of what God was doing in my heart as I drove away from my Russian family. It’s just not ‘normal’ to love kids so much that you only see for 6 days out of the year. We find ourselves struggling with our human side that says it’s impossible to love someone THAT much especially when you barely know them. The outpouring of love, when you are choosing to do so on behalf of our Christ, is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. You surrender to God, he fills you up and you release it all onto kids who rarely receive God’s love through hugs, encouragement and time well spent.
And just to be clear, when the heart of God collides with your heart…it hurts. At least it sure doesn’t feel good most of the time. But it is also one of the most beautiful, most pure, incredible things we will ever have the privilege to to experience. When you find your heart, or be blessed enough see anyone else’s, merged with God’s…it’s overwhelming and most of us are ill equipped with what to do, not only in that moment, but afterwards, too.
This doesn’t just happen on a bus traveling away from some phenomenal kids…it happens anytime someone serves God. It could be an amazing team He threw together that against all odds, accomplished so much for Him. It could be when students ‘get’ what the Bible is talking about, and get so passionate you could never hold them back. It could be sitting at the side of a loved one when you know time is limited. When you pray for your heart to break as God’s heart breaks…that’s when you are going all in for His kingdom and embracing the joy and pain that comes with it.
What I keep trying to tell myself is…
When we feel hopeless, God is faithful.
When we feel broken, God is whole and we are made whole in him.
When we are scared, God has already won.
When we see no way out, he is the way out.
When our earthly family is not enough, he is Abba.
When our plans don’t go our way, his plan is still evolving and in place.
When we see no light at the end of the tunnel, he is the light.
When all we see is despair, he sees it all working for His good.
When all we can do is let our eyes leak, he counts each tear.
When we feel unlovable, he declares our name, counts the hairs on our head and says, ‘You are mine, and my love is ever flowing and unconditional.’
The heart of God is the mission of God…they are inseparable. Mission is connecting people to God’s heart in such a tangible way that they cannot go on without acknowledging him in their life. The mission of God doesn’t exist to be a department of a church, the church exists as a means to fulfill God’s mission in this world. Mission exists because of God’s love for each one of us. That is the whole reason we are celebrating Jesus’ birth…God sent perfection into our world so we would know how sacrificial and complete his love is for us.
Does that always mean I am hopeful? No.
Does that always mean my faith is strong? I waver when things don’t go the way I thought they would.
Does that always mean I have the answers? Hardly ever.
Does that mean I need to be reminded why I am here? Of course.
Does it make my passion for God’s coming kingdom and his mission any less passionate? Absolutely not.
Do I constantly have to listen for God’s words, his guidance…his whisper?
Every day…maybe even in a still, quiet night as snow falls and my heart collides with the heart of God. Shhhh…I’m listening, are you?