Tuesday, November 17, 2009

God of This City

There is a battle waging within me. I am torn. The Lord has given me an answer about where He is calling me to be next summer, and it does not match up with my desires. And yet I knew when I was saying good-bye to the Chuukese in the airport... when little Shawn whispered to me, "Remember"... when Mahlie handed me a necklace as a farewell gift... when they stood in a line as we said good-bye and asked me if I was going to come back next summer. I knew it as I smiled and waved to the children who were waving wildly to us through the window. I walked on, trying hard to be strong... but as I sat in the small airport, I just broke.

Something wasn't right and I felt unsettled. I was never going to see those children again? It didn't seem real. It didn't seem as though things were settled. I didn't think that God was done with me there yet. I miss it. I miss it all. I desire to go back there so badly... yet I knew then and I know now that God is calling me somewhere else this summer. Why? Every time that I think about it and every time that doubts fill my mind, God reminds me to just trust Him... and to follow Him.

We all have our stories of God's faithfulness to us. One of mine involves a song ~ "God of This City". As I sit here and listen to it right now, it brings so many thoughts and memories and moments to my mind and to my heart.

"You're the God of this city, You're the King of this people, You're the Lord of this nation... You are. You're the light in this darkness, You're the hope to the hopeless, You're the peace to the restless, You are. There is no one like our God. There is no one like our God. For greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done in this city... Greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done here."

This song was played in the Kurassa Hotel room on Jen's laptop one day in Chuuk. I smiled, knowing that great things were going to be done in Chuuk and that great things were happening, not only in Chuuk but in my heart and in my life.

It was during this song that I raised my hands in surrender to God and to "this city". "Lord, wherever 'this city' is for me next summer is where I want to be," was the cry of my heart. It was during this song that God set me free and it was during this song that, by God's grace, I let go of Chuuk. After this song and after the worship service that I was at where we sang this song, I felt like a new person. I no longer had a desire to go back to Chuuk because I just wanted whatever God had for me.

Three different times now, this song has come on the radio right after or during a time where I was doubting where God is calling me. One time I was actually having a conversation about my doubts, when this song pierced my thoughts. It is as if it is God's way of reminding me of all of the things that happened this summer, of the time when I let go of my desires, of the life-changing experience that God led me on, and of the life-changing journey that He is leading me on.

It is as if God loosened the chains and I have tightened them again. Last year I was terrified of where God was calling me; this year I am yearning to go back. Last year I thought it was impossible for me to go to Chuuk; this year I know that it is possible for me to go to where God is calling me, and yet my desires are not quite lined up with His. Last year I was hesitant to go; this year I am hesitant about what it is that God has for me and where He is calling me to go. Last year when I signed up for Chuuk I thought that I was signing my life away. This year, I believe that every step I take to follow Christ is another step in signing my life away ~ to the One who can take it and change it and make it useful for His Glory... to the One who gives it purpose and meaning... And because of Him, great things are going to be done. There are greater things still to be done here. And until I breathe my last breath, He is not finished with my life.

Lord, may every breath I take and every move I make be pleasing in Your sight. May my life and the way that I live it bring You honor and glory and praise.

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." (Revelation 4:8)

May that be the heartcry of my life as long as I live it. I know that greater things have yet to come and greater things are still to be done... may I believe it deep in my heart so that I can live out this life that You have set before me with not only a willingness, but a passion and a joy and an excitement that can only come when I am living for you and with You...

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