Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops…
Yesterday was a special day in the life of the Thai community church in Chiang Mai. It was a day to remember all the Lord had done. It was like a celebration. Stories were told and victories shared. The people brought extra to give, not because it was Jumpin’ June or they needed a new water buffalo, but because they were remembering what the Lord had done for them. Some of them took the firstfruits literally. Yes, there were baskets of fruit on the altar. It was amazing. After the service, people came and bought the baskets and the money went to the church. So cool.
I wonder how our lives would be different if we stopped thinking about ourselves, our current situations, and remembered all the Lord has delivered us from and all he has been for us. If I could watch the movie of my life knowing what I know now, it would astounding to watch all the places God interviened and all the times he rescued me (One of which happened just yesterday.) I can see how he has shaped my character and my trust in him, especially these last few months. It’s kind of like putting a puzzle with a gagillion pieces together. It’s frustrating and time consuming and sometimes boring, but in the end it’s amazing. I see the puzzle being put together when I look over my shoulder and I can only expect great things to come from it in these next few months. Remembering what God has done for me in the past only strengthens my expectations for what he has for me tomorrow. But, patience is where I fight today. I heard a story yesterday in the church service. One of the members of the church started a ministry over fifty years ago to minister to the people in Burma and provide aid to those who are falling prey to government atrocities. Last week they had their first eight baptisms since the ministry started. Talking about being patient. Here I am asking the Lord to fix things in my life which seem wrong and out of place yet only happened a few months ago and these guys had been hoping and praying for salvations (which are big deals) for over 45 years. Perspective check. I keep being reminded over and over and over it’s not about me and never has been. I’m just a blip on the radar of God’s eternal plan for creation. Pain and suffering are apart of this broken and decaying world we live in, but God is reconciling all things to himself. Animals, plants, earth, stars, moons, galaxies, and people. All being pulled forward by the hope of our adoption as sons and the redemption of our bodies. And it all started two thousand years ago when Jesus longed for a bride. He desired us and needed us and longed for us and yearned for us to the point of doing whatever it took so he could have fellowship with us. He endured some kind of pain if only he could speak to us. If only he could share in intimacy with us (I feel like I’m beginning to understand this, in part, through some feelings of my own.) The whole thing comes full circle to the gospel and the love of one man for his bride. If we would only remember…
I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
Surrender. Party. Drink chocolate milk.