An Unexpected Gift From India
I've been making regular trips to India for a couple of years now. Father always surprises me in the ways He shows up. I return from every trip humbled by the transformation we see in the lives of leaders when we simply invite them to return to living and leading like Jesus. Equally humbling is the transformation that always happens in me. I had an experience on this recent trip to Ahmendabad that touched me deeply. My hope is that this journal entry might encourage you in your journey.
February 9,2006 Ahmendabad (Journal)
Father, you gave me an unexpected gift this week. You're all-too-aware of my nagging struggle with doubt and shame that my life/ministry are somehow 'off track' and making little kingdom impact these days. Two years ago in Hyderabad, India I shared my story with a small group of pastors using II Corinthians 4 as a backdrop for learning to lead more comfortably from a place of brokenness and weakness. One of the pastors, Prabhakaran Barnes, was moved to tears by Paul's reminder that God's glory is best displayed through the chips and cracks of our 'clay pots'. While I remember his tears, gratitude and kind words that morning I had no way of knowing the impact that talk would have on his life and ministry. Prabhakaran was invited to this recent gathering in Ahmendabad as part of an emerging national leadership team in India (Mentorlink India). He was one of the featured trainers during the week. Throughout the week, both privately and before the entire group he shared stories about how different his life and ministry have been these last two years as a result of my influence upon him. The impact was unknown to me and unseen by me for almost two years. Father, it's a tender reminder that my life and ministry do matter - even though I may not always see it. Living and leading from a place of brokenness may not always create an impact we can see or touch, but its the way the life of Jesus is most powerfully revealed and displayed. Maybe it's best that way. After all, I know myself. There would be too much risk that I would welcome the credit, approval and recognition. - Your Son
My firm belief is that all of us have many 'Prabhakaran' stories in our lives. Because our lives do matter! Far more than we may ever know or see this side of heaven. Every seemingly ordinary encounter or conversation displays the fragrance and glory of the Christ who dwells within us and longs to be seen in us.
Maybe that's why Paul's reminder resonates so deeply within our souls...
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. - Galatians 6:9