I swear I just got here. This last Tuesday, I donned suspenders and a polka-dotted bowtie for my graduation from Missionary Training School. I’ve learned lessons beyond count and seen God work in even more ways than that. Our merry little band of students (six of us in all) spent five months studying, reading, discussing, and searching God’s word for truth in all manner of topics from the core elements of the gospel to the most effective ways to transform communities and individual families.
All the while, I’ve been struck again and again with the realization that my God is so much bigger than I thought He was. More beautiful. More gracious. More loving. Not that I ever would have said I serve a limited God, of course, yet my actions betrayed my fear that the God I worshipped really wasn’t as big as I hoped He was. I said I trusted God but lived as if that trust might be misplaced.
It’s such an easy trap to fall into as we live our everyday lives. Rarely do we behold God in even a fraction of His splendor. Rarely do we see His hand obviously at work (at least in the way we expect to see it). And yet, as I’ve come to see more and more of my King throughout these last few months, it hasn’t been through miracles and booming voices from the sky. Living in a community that is radically in love with our Saviour and confident in His faithfulness, I’ve seen Him in the little things I had previously overlooked.
Now that my eyes have started searching for Him in the ordinary, I can’t help but see Him everywhere. We serve a marvelously creative God. The world He created is filled to the brim with reflections of His character if we take the time to notice them. He’s in the love a husband has for his wife. He’s in the gentleness a father has with his children. He’s in the bonds shared between brothers and sisters in Christ, those a world apart in culture or background, yet closer than family in the body of Christ.
I’ve seen Him in kind words in tense situations. In beautiful stories told by those whose lives are given fully to Christ’s call to love our neighbor. In late-night conversations of His glory and lovingly-sarcastic debates on who the gospel is for. I’ve seen Him in family, blood and bought, living with a unity only attained by the grace of One whose forgiveness cleansed every member with blood that binds us together.
“No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” – 1 John 4:12
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35
I’ve seen God in a lot of places. None moreso than in the love my fellow members of the body of Christ have for one another and for the lost. This kind of love is found only in the redeemed. No one can love so radically and sacrificially outside of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t make sense. Yet I’ve had the pleasure of watching my new family here love others from every background and religion with a love that says, “You were created in the image of God just like me, so that makes you infinitely valuable.”
I could go on and on about all the things God has shown me in the last few months and all the ways we can see His glory, but I think you get the point. We serve a big God. A beautiful One. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the crazy adventure that has been my training, and I look forward to sharing stories with a few of you as I visit Indiana for the holidays, but for now I’d quite like to sit in my chair and watch the sun go down.
This adventure isn’t over. In fact, it’s only just beginning. In the coming days, I’ll share with y’all (yes I’m southern now) my plans and hopes for the future. Until then, go read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21. We’ve been given a pretty cool job to do.