Living in the Tension
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Have you ever thought about or noticed the tension involved in living a life for Christ. You have phrases like “hate the sin, love the sinner” or beliefs like the trinity where GOD is one but in 3 persons. How do you understand those things? How can you love someone who has treated you horribly, how can you believe in GOD when terrible things happen? At the same time, how can you look at the world and not believe that GOD exists or have a relationship with Christ and not know that He loves you? There is this tension in following Christ where things can be both difficult to comprehend but also wonderfully simple at the same time.
There is a song that came out a while ago called “Reckless Love” that a lot of Christians loved and others had issues with some of the words. There was one specific line that stated, “You leave the 99” speaking of GOD’s pursuit of us. It is a reference to a shepherd (Matthew 18) who leaves the 99 sheep He is caring for to find the 1 that is lost. Why would He do that? Why would the Shepherd leave that many sheep just to find the 1? What if something happened to the others while He was gone?
This is the tension. In our minds, to leave the 99 to find the 1 means that the 99 are alone for whatever amount of time it takes for the shepherd to find the 1. But is that true? The parable is not about leaving people to their own device but about how GOD relentlessly pursues His children to bring them back to the flock. The great thing about an omni-present GOD is that He can be with us all at the same time. He can be relentlessly pursuing the 1 that is lost while at the same time passionately caring for the 99 that are found.
And this is where we find ourselves. In this tension of living for Christ but at the same time living in the world. Trying to understand who an infinite GOD is while at the same time living as finite creatures who have not context for the infinite (did you know there is not 1 true physical example that we can relate to that is actually infinite).
I bring this up because we are in the midst of a tension in Haiti that I have never experienced. There is the idea that you love the people who live here and understand why they want to take to the streets to pursue change. At the same time, there are kids that are missing school, parents who cannot get to their work, and people who are suffering because of the very rioting that is supposed to make the country better.
I bring this up to think through how we can live in and operate amongst the tension of Haiti. How can we pursue job creation when the country cannot even function? How can our kids graduate from school when protesters are shutting schools down? How can our kids become productive members of a society that already produces very little? How do we not get discouraged in the midst of all that is going on there? How do you, as supporters and people who pray for this ministry not get discouraged by all of the news that you hear about what is going on in Haiti?
This is nothing more than a microcosm of the tension that we face daily in our desire to live for Christ in a broken world. It should drive us to our knees, but too often it drives us to our own ideas, plans, and desires for what our lives and those around should look like. As I think about the tension of my relationship with Christ and how that plays out in my ministry, my desire is that it drives me to the Word of GOD and to my knees in prayer.
If you are a part of this ministry, join me in staying away from the temptation to get discouraged and to instead fall to our knees and ask GOD to make us exactly what He wants us to be.