I am on hold to the passport office trying to find out why Nathan's passport hasn't arrived yet. We ordered it eight weeks ago. Last week, we traveled up to the Denver passport office to get one on the spot. They told us that Nathan's passport would surely get here in time as they checked the status and told us that it was coming from South Carolina. Now, the Tuesday mail has come and it is not here. The passport office in Aurora doesn't print its number because they have too many people who call there. I found another number that took Joel and me 40 minutes to find. Now I have been on hold with them for 15 minutes. I wonder if people idealize what it takes to be in missions or to make a journey? I know before I left to go overseas the first time, I envisioned very spiritual people who talked in scripture phrases and trusted God daily to see miracles. Instead, I found very normal people who struggled with the administrative details and governmental requirements to live in a foreign country, the difficulties of a new language, missing familiar things like M&M's, chocolate chip cookies and English. They, like me, felt had to live through the stress of getting passports, visas, and all the other effort it takes to pas governmental regulations.
The difference was, that they had felt somehow responsible to see that everyone had an opportunity to hear the gospel message. When they read in Matthew that Jesus had compassion on the crowds and admonished His disciples to pray for the Lord of the harvest to send more laborers into the harvest, they felt that they must be an answer to the needs.
I know that many others I know, have a heart for the great things of the kingdom of God. However, their work is not so noticeable---or honored, but just as precious to the Lord. Some taking care of a sweet mother who has alzheimer's; holding and rocking a sick child who cries through out the night of an ear-infection or stomach ache; as a young single man or woaman, keeping faithful to keep to a pure moral standard and putting up with the lonliness of being a part of such a small minority of those who hold Biblical ideals, or a homeschooling mom patiently serving always in the home children without a break while daily hoping for progress in each of her children's education; or a single mom wondering how she will meet all her children's needs and daily depending on God to fill in the cracks. All are so very precious to God---all seen by Him--each minute act of faith, love and perservence.
As I have been thinking of what it requires each of us to make it through the maze of life graciously and with joyful energy that can only be explained by the Lord's presence, the kind of joy that allowed Paul to sing in prison, I have been so grateful for the unexplainable peace that comes in the moment I need to know I am not alone; the life that bubbles up in my heart as I seek, one more morning to find God as I open my Bible and lay my soul before Him. Though it is overused and could sound trite, the grace of God is that which carries me---mysterious, untouchable, foundational.
I was reminded of a song Clay, my husband, wrote many years ago. Be blessed as you read it. Blessings to all of you who are praying for us on our journey the next three weeks. You can see our pictures and reports online as we go, at whworld.blogspot.com. It will be a couple of days until we can send anything back, but we would love to have you follow us as we go! Peace! Grace Upon Grace All my selfish vanity and pride I laid beneath the cross where Jesus bled It was for those very sins that He was crucified But for His grace should I have died instead When at last my will to His conceded Jesus took me in that I might see All I never had was never needed To know that He has love enough for me
Now every day I know my Savior leads me Safely through the battlefield of sin Helping me to keep my eyes on Calvary Knowing someday soon He'll come again
But in my fleshly weakness I can falter When Satan puts the world before my eyes ' Til at the feet of God before the altar I fall in shame and then I realize
He gives me grace upon grace All of His fulness is mine And someday I will share All of His glory divine Unworthy servant am I That He should embrace All of my sin and my guilt With His grace upon grace
Blessed are the poor in spirit, Jesus said Blessed are the merciful and meek Blest be those who mourn they will be comforted Blessed is the God by grace we seek
Not a day goes by without His mercy All creation sheltered by His hand Members one another of His family Love so great I'll never understand
Why He gives me grace upon grace All of His fulness is mine And someday I will share All of His glory divine Unworthy servant am I That He should embrace All of my sin and my guilt With His grace upon grace
copyright 2007 Clay Clarkson