Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Obscured

I think there are many things currently obscured from our view these days. With news, financial forecasts, health care and calories consumed, my perspective on the important things can become unclear. I was reading a devotional that asked me to contemplate a moment I understood the magnitude of God’s love for me.

It took me a while. Then I remembered a time in 2006 while traveling across the savannah of northern Tanzania.

Our team had completed a women’s training conference and were on our way to visit an orphanage. We were near the city where climbers setting off for the trek up Kilimanjaro arrive. I couldn’t imagine actually seeing the "Rooftop of Africa." The car was filled with curious eyes as we scanned the cloud covered horizon for a peek at the peak. The driver thought we were funny. I am not sure if it was our giddiness, foreign behavior, or just plain strangers in a strange land that he found amusing. He would chuckle, and say, "You can’t miss it - but today, too cloudy." I kept thinking it would look like the Colorado Rockies, somewhere in the distance we would see the summit. We prayed, we gazed, we wondered, "Where is the mountain?" And just as surely as if the breath of God moved a sliver of the clouds back, there she was! It was not some far distant peak among many. It was right there, enormous, unmistakable, and spectacularly HUGE.

During the trip our driver explained that over 70% of the people climbing Mount Kilimanjaro never see the peak; it is obscured by clouds. Our intellect and knowledge, our heart and spiritual awareness too often (probably more than 70%) obscure the immensity of God’s love for us!

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8

I have been on the home front since just before Thanksgiving. I completed my assignment (the book A Good Reason to Go) and I am now ready for my next journey into the Harvest Fields. I leave April 7 to participate in the 5th Joni and Friends Warrior Getaway. I felt the verse in Romans was particularly fitting for my time with the soldiers and their families. These men and women volunteered to fight the battle for our freedom. Most of us they will never meet. They will not know if we were “righteous” or even good people to lay their lives down for. As soldiers, they are prepared to pay the price for freedom.

I am thankful for them! I am especially thankful to the One who died for me that gives me the opportunity to share with them, His love for all!

It is much bigger than a mountaintop. It was the size of a cross.