True Beauty

So, here I am, wrapping up the last day of my first week of mission school.  I learned and grew an awful lot this week. I never imagined my life would change as much as it already has.  I’m finding out who I am and who Christ is.  I’m learning about true community and what it means to be intentional in living.  I’m finding out my identity in Christ.  I’m also gaining a family.

Since my last blog post we had our first few teachings.  Our focus this week was on hearing the voice of God.  That is something I actually haven’t considered that often.  In a relationship, you need communication. Communication goes both ways.  As Christians, we are awfully good at the talking part of the conversation but not so great about the listening.  We learned we can hear God’s voice in many different ways.  After the teaching we were given time to listen to God.  I took some time out to pray. Then I just listened.  Let me tell you, I didn’t hear a booming voice from the sky nor did i hear a crack of thunder.  I did find myself feeling at peace, however.  I also felt that God was telling me I was his beloved and he delighted in me.  How cool is that?  God delights in me.  Hearing God, is not some magical thought, voice, or feeling.  It’s simply listening to what he has to say and matching it up with The Word.  That’s how we test it.  If it brings glory to God and matches what The Bible has to say, their is a good chance it is from God.  It’s important to not minimize God to think he does not speak to his people anymore.  Surely he does.  It just may sound differently than it did in biblical times.

On top of our teaching, we also read through the entire book of Matthew in one sitting.  It’s pretty cool to experience the whole story of Jesus, beginning to end. Later, we will dive deeper into Matthew and discuss it, but first we had to get the whole picture,  I grew a lot from doing that.  Here’s the thing, why is it we have an easy time sitting though a two hour movie but have a hard time taking two hours out to read through a book in the bible.  It is my hope that I will continue to take time out to read though more books of the Bible.

We also made journals today that will help us keep track of what we’ve been leaning and experiencing.  The are creative journals, so we got to decorate them and be crafty with them.  I’m excited to be able to create something I’ll be able to look back on in several years and really remember my experience.

Tonight was a time of confession and worship.  We all worshiped together and then took the time to confess in to God and our peers something that god has put on our heart.  We then laid our hands and prayed for each person.  It was truly freeing.  We were able to be filled with so much joy when we got to proclaim “I am free!”  Truly, our sins are forgiven!  What a reason to celebrate.

Overall, this week has been great.  I still had some hard times where I felt I could hardly go on, but God helped me through it.  Time and time again, he proves himself to be faithful.  He is my healer when I am broken, even if I’m broken a lot.  One of my “Family” members told me tonight that God told him this song was for me. So I end with a few lyrics from the song Beautiful Things by Gungor.

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

And that’s the truth.  He is making beautiful things out of us.  True beauty is found only through Christ.

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