After Adam and Bethany left I found myself processing what we had downloaded on them. Stresses, fears, feelings of inadequacy and failure. God is doing a work here, in us primarily. We are weekly in Bolivia, disciple neighbors here in Brazil, starting a bible study in our home to work on reaching neighbors and a bit more. I, Ben, know God called us here, we like it here against all reason. We have no desire to leave, to quit, to fail but so many mornings I wake and just want to go back to the known. A job, a church where my kids have friends, one simple task. Make money, pay bills, do a little ministry, love my family, so on.
The thing that is different here is that we are in between. We have a church here we enjoy attending with friends. However because we are here as missionaries we can’t fully participate. We have other tasks in other worlds. When we are ministering in those other worlds we can’t fully relax and let our kids just have friends because we are often called to a “dangerous” world. Poverty so often has drugs, molestation and all other kinds of hurts mixed in.
Mixed with the fact that Corumba is almost 300 miles down a road to nowhere helps all this lead to a feeling of being on an island. Lost, lonely, unsure are all words I could use to describe my emotional state.
As process all this and how to move forward I find the Lord reminding me of many things. Primarily this is no different than I felt in business, working at our church, when I had a job, buying a house, in marriage, in being a father. The struggles I have with my own insufficiency is just the realization that I am man. I am week, sinful, fleshy man. Incapable on my own of good works. I am so desperately in need of the Holy Spirit I almost cannot breath without Him.
The thing I am being taught, I seem to never learn, is that the cross is truly my only hope. The one thing I can cling too, lean on, desire, strive for and fully succeed and be satisfied in is Jesus. Why, because it is the one thing I can be totally content and yet never have enough. If my hope is money I can desire more but cannot be satisfied, if my hope is a house it will never be complete or right, if it is family I will never be satisfied, I am far to inadequate as a husband and father.
When Jesus died on the cross the price was paid, my weak inadequate nature, that is unable to please God was paid for. My in ability to please God to live by law no longer maters. What I am haunted by is the realization that like Adam, not Haile, first Adam, I would be unable to resist the simple temptation of one fruit. I have the same weakness in me that my first ancestor possessed but that price is paid.
The joy, the amazing joy of the cross doesn’t stop there. Not only was the price paid but Christ rose. Death had no power over him. The power of the resurrection gives me hope that amidst the realization of the complete mess that I am, I can trade it for something new. Today, as I should all days, I wake up and desire to put on the new man. To live in the spirit and forget this weak flesh. I want to know Jesus, I want to know Him so intimately that I begin to become the reflection of Him that I both originally was created to be and was reborn into.
I was born into weakness and failure, I am painfully aware of that. I feel so little success in my life but the failures way heavy upon me. I am reborn into immortality, into eternal life, life now. I must choose to look past my flesh, to look solely on the cross, to let the Spirit of God take over and rewrite everything about me. This is no different now then 4 or 5 years ago. Being a missionary or a business man is no different. I am in desperate need of Jesus, desperate need of the Gospel, full of hope not because of me but because Jesus, only Jesus.