Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fixing Our Eyes on The Unseen

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

Sunday service at our apartment has always been interesting, but last Sunday had an extra dynamic. Chad and I were babysitting a 6 week old baby and his older brother for our “charter members” and friends who were in need of a date night. It’s been a while since I have cared for a newborn baby overnight. I forgot how much they like to keep people company in wee hours of the morning. It was a joy to spend time with Micah, but I knew Sunday morning would be an adventure.

A few weeks ago we started having two services on Sunday. From 9:30 to 10:30 we have children’s church and from 10:30 to 11:30 we have adult services. I actually woke up feeling pretty rested, and Chad was merciful enough to buy donuts for breakfast. I had used the late night hours to study for my lesson, so I was confident to teach.

The children arrived and Micah decided to help out by taking an extra long nap. About mid way through my lesson Chad got a call from the security guard at our apartments. About a week earlier Chad had trouble getting through the gate and asked this guard what the code was. After they talked for a while Chad gave him his card.

Much to our surprise he was calling to find out what time our services start. We have a few other adults who have started coming on Sunday morning regularly. One lady is a widow and prayer warrior. She serves her neighbors in the apartment complex where she lives and has a heart for missions.

After Chad prayed and as he began to preach our neighbor walked through the door. He described how he had moved here from New York to get away from a life of crime and has lived here for only a few months. As Chad preached he listened and followed along in his borrowed Bible.

Sunday afternoon Chad and I were reflecting on our day. Even though it was kind of crazy we were grateful to have had so many children come and to see God moving in the lives of those around us. About that time “Jerry”, the security guard, called. He was under conviction during the sermon about the way he had been living. He said he came to church in search of answers for his life. Chad asked him if he had ever asked Jesus into his heart. He had not. I bowed my head and prayed at our table as Chad led this man to Jesus over the phone.

I don’t know how to explain how we got here – to this place. It is a place of perfect peace in the center of God’s will. Everyday God proves His love for us and His love for those around us. It is in the precious notes and gifts from perfect strangers and longtime friends who are a part of our extended family of God. We are strengthened daily by the prayers of so many of you. Our church family at Quail Springs have served faithfully with us all summer, young and old alike, making lunches, walking door to door, and serving popsicles poolside while children listen to a Bible story.

We have benefitted from wisdom and guidance from Pastors Hance Dilbeck, Ray Griffin and Greg Penna. We’ve been blessed by support from Chad’s family and my mother. We have also grown through a healing of our hearts and renewed sense of calling that can only come from our Heavenly Father.

If we’re looking at our lives in the physical we don’t really amount to much, but when we consider the work God is doing, the souls saved and lives changed we feel unstoppable. We have a glimpse of the walk Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 4: 6-18

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. It is written: ‘I believed; therefore I have spoken.’ With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

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