Broken relationships and empty dreams plowed the hard soil, making it finally ready to receive the only seed that produces life. Buried and nurtured it grew by the hand of the Grower, and the ground finally knew deep love and living water. It sprouted shoots - thanksgiving and joy - and multiplied to spread more seed. But why are the storms still here? Why the long droughts? What of the harvest?
The weeds of doubt crept in. Thorns from suffering and sin pierced and threatened to choke the new life, because the seed was planted in a broken world. Jesus promised fullness of joy and pleasure forevermore in His presence. But where is it? Why is there so much suffering that seems unnoticed? What is He waiting for?
This week marks one year since I began a class called “Perspectives.” The purpose of the class is to awaken the body of Christ to His global mission. I had those unspoken questions entering class, many that I didn’t even admit to myself. Much like the soil described above, in college my hard heart had been well-tilled by disappointments and painful relationships and was ready to finally see and accept how deeply I had wronged God, and how much greater His love and mercy were for me on the cross. For a couple years, I was really devoted to seeing Him reveal Himself to my lost family and friends. I felt so close to Him, seeing Him bring others to life in Him. And then the weeds seemed to take over: living in a tough neighborhood, the anxieties of teaching, past trauma that still needed counseling. But the longing for that intimacy with Him, the joy and pleasure of His presence, didn’t go away. I just began seeking it in the present world around me. I balked at the weeds and cursed the thorns and spent all of my energy fighting them in my own strength. I tried to see His promise of joy realized in my friendships, health, family, and possessions. But it left me empty because I was made for more.
God used my semester in Perspectives to show me what that “more” is. He revealed the doubts in my heart, similar to that of John the Baptist: “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” (Matthew 11:3). He woke me up when I didn’t realize I was asleep to his larger plan, this “between time” of His first coming to His inevitable return, and how it is expressed in my day-to-day life here and now.
If you have struggled with any of these doubts or questions like me, or if you have a heart for the lost but just struggle with feeling unequipped, consider taking Perspectives. God invites us all to see His glory and walk more closely with Him, and I pray He will use this course to awaken all of us to His heart for His glory among the nations.
“Perspectives” is a 15-week course being hosted by Waypoint on Tuesdays from 6:15PM-9:00PM beginning January 15th. You can register for the class here. I’d love to answer any questions you might have. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.