Last night as I drove the familiar streets through the University Campus, thoughts of last year's tragic accident came flooding into my mind. I was tired and flight weary, the dark of the night, the cold of the winter wind, and the memory of crouching over my badly injured friend unsettled me.
So much of China, and the activities here are very familiar. But just as I think they are familiar and I know the "program" something new, challenging and faith building occurs. With all that has happened in the past year I nervously prepare for what I cannot be prepared for. As much as people ask me "how can you do it" my answer remains unchanged "I surrender." There are no guarantees for what will happen in the days ahead, but to each and every opportunity and occurrence I say "I surrender all": health, home, happiness, position, wealth, companionship, and comfort.
This time of year is a great time to be reminded why we are are asked and must be willing to surrender. Just think of our King's surrender: Health - He endured human flesh, hunger, sickness, heat, cold, thirst, and walking from one place to the next. He gave up His home a place that cannot even be described in human terms to arrive in a manger and live without a roof over His head as a wanderer. He gave up His happiness and complete fulfillment to see how humans struggle, He wept! He gave up His position as supreme authority over all to endure the indignity, on trial, accused, spit upon, beaten without reason. He gave up His wealth and ownership over all creation to have no possessions, traveling from place to place dependent on the generosity of others to supply His need, He did not have a heavenly bank account He could draw on for meeting His daily needs. He gave up the companionship of the Father, the intimate contact with Him to walk with us, become God with us, so we could enjoy the future with Him as One. There was nothing comfortable about the life of a carpenter in first century Israel. There were no "spa" moments or retreats - there was life lived one day at a time.
His example, His birth into our lives, His hope of our future - must keep us marching and serving, and singing all the way.
As I read through the responses to my "Arrival in Beijing", my heart was filled with knowledge of the "Body" of Christ responding and ACTING on behalf of the lost. Fighting to get through the "lines" and "strongholds" that hold a nation in darkness.
Arise and shine - a Light has come into this world - and His name is WONDERFUL, COUNSELOR, ALMIGHTY GOD, the EVERLASTING FATHER, the PRINCE OF PEACE!
We are rising up for the battles that lie ahead. We are more than conquerors!
Smiling, armed and dangerous in His service