By Hanna Lounsbury
Every week I set aside time solely to sit down and watch an online talk. Recently, I watched an old talk and one thing he mentioned really stuck out to me – “God didn’t bring you out to deep waters to drown you. He brought you here because your enemies can’t swim.”
As a missionary, I’ve struggled with my own personal insecurities. With the identity of social media and society’s expectations of how we as a community should act, it has ultimately challenged my faith. When I first began preparing for my first ever mission trip, I turned to God with a heavy heart and hundreds of questions. God, what if I’m not ready? What if I’m not qualified? Where am I lacking? How can I ultimately show Your love through me? Next thing I know, I opened my bible and found myself reading John 15:12, “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy.” At that moment, I knew I had to walk worthy of the calling of which I was called.
As Christ-followers, we are being called not to fill the pews with members, but to fill the world with disciples. We can dig deep into the Bible, continuously study, and “amen” at every point made but if we don’t apply God’s word to our lives, we won’t be changed. I will even take it a step further to say that if we’ve been exposed to teachings that we know we need to implement and we don’t make any changes, that’s a clue that the hardening our hearts is in process. At some point, it has to go from being highlighted in our Bibles to being written on our hearts. Inspiration and information without personal application will never amount to transformation.
Have you ever just sat and thought about Jesus living on earth today? I think sometimes we tend to think He just bounced from one miracle to another and every day was a Bible story but His ministry lasted for three years and that’s something the Gospels didn’t touch on that much, so imagine all of those ordinary days. Jesus probably had favorite foods and morning routines and sore dirty feet from walking. Imagine one of His disciples struggling with insomnia one night, just to climb out of bed to find God sitting against a rock, looking up at heaven and they sat together and watched the stars. Envision the God of the universe looking up through short-sighted eyes at His creation, and the disciple wants to badly to ask what it’s like to shape each star, but he looks at those calloused human hands and something in him trembles. Do you ever think the ordinary days so far outnumbered the miraculous ones that the disciples, sometimes, almost forgot and then God goes and turns water into wine, feeds five thousand men from a kid’s lunch, and brings dead Lazarus walking alive out of the tomb and the disciples just kind of lose their breath? And it’s not because they didn’t expect Jesus to accomplish the impossible, but because this God has been living with men.
Sometimes, more often than not, we forget who created us. When we’re so far invested in earthly things and what others have to say, we lose sight of the ultimate Creator. Psalm 139 explains, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” We walk through our weeks with heavy hearts, insecurities, doubts, imperfections, enemies, and feelings of unworthiness. In the midst of everything, when you first wake up, in the middle of your day, or right before you lay down to sleep – God will never stop seeing you beautiful. He will never see you unworthy. Jesus calls you beloved. God spoke and the earth came to pass and yet He still desires an intimate relationship with you. We weren’t just an idea God hoped would work out someday. We were one of His most creative expressions of love, ever.
There are approximately 7.53 billion people who walk the earth and every single one of us was designed, created fearfully and wonderfully for a specific purpose. He spoke, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” The thing that kept Christ on the cross was not the nails, but love. I pray, “Lord, drown me in Your love and grace so that I may never resurface or recover. I want to be so covered by You that they no longer see me, but they see You. Show me how to love like You.”