If you were to open Google earth right now, you’d see a picture of earth from on high. Zoom in, and you’d see New Zealand, Auckland, then a suburb. Zoom in. You’d see a house. Oh, and there inside that house, there’s a girl, me, where God placed her.
Zoom out. Zoom in again. India. Another believer. Another location. Another heart.
Sometimes I wonder why on earth I’ve been placed in New Zealand and how to live with the fact that my life here is so seemingly comfortable while other locations are less so. As I’ve lived with that question, though, I’ve come to see that everything in the Kingdom is topsy-turvy, and in Kingdom currency, the most comfortable people don’t have it easy.
The important question is “What is my heart’s response to my circumstances, to this place God has me?”
SUMites, in this post today I feel I’d like to share something that has spoken to me strongly since April last year. The way it came was unusual, which always makes me sit up and take notice. Here’s what happened:
It was 20 April last year, I came on here to check a post I’d written. As I opened the post and saw the opening sentence, I became puzzled. “I didn’t write that sentence,” I thought. I rubbed my eyes and looked again. It was still there. “Huh…. I didn’t write that! … That’s strange”. I grabbed paper and pen and wrote the words I saw. I then looked again and – blow me down - the sentence had gone and the post had gone back to normal!
Was I seeing things? Nothing like that has happened before, but sometimes when things are a one-off they stick out. These are the words I ‘saw’:
He has placed us around the world to love Jesus.
Ever since that day I’ve been thinking about this sentence, us, and our placements. The whole time I’d thought it was about the fact we’ve been placed where we are to love other people. Yes, Lord? But this week, I saw it differently. It’s a long story, but over the weekend He spun me in a different direction, and here’s what I was led to instead:
Wherever we’ve been placed, whatever the ease or discomfort, the primary thing in life is to love HIM. Jesus. For Himself.
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NKJV).
“The first of all commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:29-30, NKJV)
And the second commandment, like it, is to love people; but the second flows from the first. If we are placed for the sole purpose of loving Jesus, then, here’s what’s on the tip of my typing fingertips:
To love Jesus means to find Him enough. To find Him everything we could ever want. To hunger and thirst after Him. To want to worship Him only, in the privacy of our homes. To spend thoughts on Him. To sit in His company and ask Him who He is. And more.
And if we don’t feel we’re good at it, it is even just about taking a baby step forward, saying “I unlock the door that lets You in, Jesus”, much like the graphic imagery of opening for a lover:
“I arose to open for my beloved and my hands dripped with myrrh.” (Song 5:4, NKVJ).
Perhaps this word is, in fact, an encouragement about the sweet spot SUMites have. Because of our unique circumstances, we know, clearly, what gaps we need Jesus to fill.
We need Him as co-parent, protector, friend, and encourager as we walk solo in our faith. We need His hand gripping us. How we need it: That we know! When our faith is challenged, we hurtle towards the secret place (Psalm 91:1); and that’s what it's all about: After all, the secret place is a space that is not shared.
If that’s our placement and a strength of ours, perhaps we can share some thoughts on this. What does it look like to love Jesus? How do we do even more to let Him in?
Nice chatting, SUMites. I, for one, am sitting with this thought.