It’s 3:45 a.m. in Finland, and I’m awake at this time for the second day in a row. I can always tell when we’re entering a new season, or a spiritual growth spurt, because God and I usually get more talk-time during the midnight hours. I’m set with candles burning, a hot cup of tea, and my journal — so here we go.
The idea for this blog started ruminating back towards the beginning of June after I watched a sweet young friend of mine be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. The peace that filled her heart, soul, and mind was almost tangible. Her eyes softened and her face changed somehow. But, the experience before she reached that point, where salvation became real and personal, was completely gut-wrenching to watch. We all have painful life experiences. Some are more serious than others, but no matter the situation, our situations can make life difficult to endure.
Fast forward a week later, when this same young lady endured another trial of a lifetime. The pain and agony of deep, hurtful emotion was almost more than I could watch or bear. But what kept running through my mind was this: imagine her response if God had not filled her with His Spirit, and she had not been buried in the waters of baptism, just one week before. It was then that the song, “I know that you are for me” started running through my head. I knew it would turn into a blog, but didn’t have the words for it until now. The thought is simple, but the concept is deeper than any of us really understand.
When I look back over the last 10 years, I marvel at where we are versus where we were in 2003. 10 years ago last month, we sold our home and started on the missions journey to Finland; it took us about 7.5 years to arrive once that process started. So many things have happened since that time… let’s just say, there’s been a whole lot of water flow under our bridge of life, and there’s sure to be a whole lot more. There have been a lot of times that we’ve wished we could skip a test or trial, a sickness or sadness. To say that pioneering a Oneness work in Finland is a cake walk would definitely be a lie. Hard? Yes. Lonely sometimes? Absolutely. Wish we could throw in the towel? No. Why? Because He’s for us. Romans/Kirje roomalaisille 8:31b says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (KJV)
Every one of you could tell your own story right now. No matter the circumstance, we’ve all had times where we felt like sitting in a puddle of tears because life reached up and slapped us in the face. But we who have chosen to trust our Creator know this: whether it be sickness, job loss, death, loss of a friend, enduring persecution of any sort, a spiritual growth trial, etc., one thing remains true: God is for us.
One of the things that I’ve told my young friend during Bible studies is this: “If you had been the only one on the earth, Jesus would have still given His life for you. He loves you that much.” Friend, He would have done the same for you. He loves you that much. Today might seem impossible to bear. Your past may be too painful to consider. You may be afraid to consider the future. But all of the mental exercises become unnecessary once you stop and realize that, if you’d let Him, Jesus would carry all of your burdens for you. Philippians/Kirje filippiläisille 4:7 says, “And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (MKJV) It’s a very real peace. I’ve experienced it more times than I can count, and I’ve watched the faces of other people as it’s washed over their hearts and minds. He’s for you.
We have friends here in Finland who are afraid to acknowledge God. Afraid to acknowledge that He can help them with their problems. Afraid to acknowledge that He might even be real, because then, they would have to acknowledge that they don’t know anything about Him. Or, they’re afraid to acknowledge that there might be more to Him, because that would require a theology shift in their mindset. The sad thing is that one day, they’ll have to acknowledge Him whether they want to or not. And by then, it will be too late.
Why go through life alone? Why ignore the One who loved you more than life itself? “We have a chief priest who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he didn’t sin. So we can go confidently to the throne of God’s kindness to receive mercy and find kindness, which will help us at the right time.” (Hebrews/Kirje heprealaisille 4:15, 16)
If I could reach through the computer and shake you somehow, try to convince you that He loves you, I would. But instead, I have to hope that my words will have that affect somehow. Friend, please believe me. He’s for you.
Jesus, thank you for being for me. Thank you for loving me, caring for me, for continually reaching for me. Thank you for constantly reminding me that You’re watching over me, providing for me, taking care of me. It’s your love that enables me to go through each day of this life, and I can’t imagine living it without you.