Lessons learned from Nepal

lesson from god “When God is all you have, you realize that He is all you need…(unknown)”

I have learned a lot this past year living in Nepal.

I’ve learned what an earthquake feels like, and the huge difference between a tremor and the real deal.

I’ve learned that God is bigger than my fears, and that I can lie down and sleep in peace, knowing that my God is in control of all things.

I’ve realized that every big “boom” is not another quake, and that I don’t need to jump at every sound.

That I can live without electricity, even cooking gas if needed… but water is a must.

God has taught me that no one is promised tomorrow, so it is important to make sure I live for today.

I’ve learned how important the prayers of God’s saints are, and that it is through prayer, that true ministry takes place.

The Lord has shown me it is okay not to have all the answers, okay to say I don’t know.

He has illustrated vividly that though life is unpredictable, He is always faithful. Though nothing here is certain, His Word always is.

I’ve learned that though it is good and right to plan, truly God will determine my steps.

He’s taught me that this world truly is not my home, and reminded me afresh that we are pilgrims only passing through.

Living here, God has shown me more of my sin, my pride, my selfishness, my want for my way. And I’ve learned that I have a long way to go in becoming more and more like Christ.

He’s teaching me now and each day that I can’t worry about tomorrow, because today has enough trouble of its own. Showing me that I can’t worry about tomorrow, next week, next month or next year. Sufficient is His grace for today.

I’m learning that when I don’t understand, He does.

When things are hard, He’s there with me.

When I want to know “why”, it’s usually so I will rely not upon myself but upon the God who can raise the dead.

And though life isn’t always easy, He never said it would be.

He has shown me that when my strength is gone, His is perfect to carry me through.

And I’m learning that my true joy can only be found in Him.

He is sufficient, He is enough.

These are just a glimmer of the things God has taught me this year. How about you? What truth, what mysteries has God shown you.

I challenge you as God has challenged me to think on these things. To take time to “remember” what He has revealed to you. Then to look forward in anticipation to all that He has in store for you this next year!

Happy New Years from Nepal!

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Christmas a part of every day……….

after christmasGrowing up my most favorite day of the year, was Christmas. Yet, it was quickly followed by what seemed to be the worst day of the year, December 26th. (Come on, you have to admit it’s true)

For over a month, the anticipation of Christmas, builds and builds. Then the day finally arrives, and it is a wonderful day. But, then it is over. Now, we have to wait an entire year more for that great day again.

This past week in our family devotion times, my husband asked a question in light of this reality. He asked, “How do we allow Christmas to affect our every day the whole year-long?”

A question I thought a lot about this past week, a question from which he preached this past weekend. Leading us on a journey to look at those within the Christmas story. He showed us the shepherds, Simeon and  the wise men. All who heard a message from God, saw Jesus, which led them to worship Him.

My husband shared that in order to keep Christmas a part of everyday, we too must hear a Word from God on a regular basis, so that we can see Jesus high and lifted up, in order that we might worship Him from a heart of pure and holy worship.

So simple, yet so difficult. For most of us want to be close to the Lord. We desire and long to be transformed into His image. And we want God to just “do” this in our heart, in our lives.

But, as my husband preached from Proverbs 2. In order to get wisdom, in order to understand the fear of the Lord, in order to see Jesus…. we must accept God’s Word and store it in our hearts, turn our ears to wisdom and apply understanding to our hearts, look for insight and cry out for understanding, looking for it as a hidden treasure, only then will we understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

Do we really want to see Jesus, then we must seek Him out, search for Him as hidden treasure. For only when we see Him in all of His glory, are we transformed into His likeness, leading us to pure and holy worship.

Jesus came, leaving all of Heaven. Taking the form of human likeness. Becoming a servant, in obedience to the Father.

Likewise, we must remember that we once were lost, but now are found. We must remember we were once blind, but now we see. Recognizing the Father’s great love for us, so much in fact, we are called children of God (I John 3:1). We must remember that in His grace and mercy, not because of anything we had done, He saved us. When we did nothing to deserve this gift.

The more we ponder these things, the more we search Jesus out. The more “Christmas” will affect all 365 days of the year.

Tomorrow, I will clean the house and take down the decorations. But, Christmas lingers on in our lives. Because Christmas is a celebration of Christ. A celebration that takes place not only on December 25th, but the whole year through.

 

Christmas on this side of the world…..

christmas around the worldThe other day as I was riding a local bus through the streets of Nepal, I started humming, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” when suddenly I stopped and laughed.

Because as I looked out my window, there was nothing the least bit Christmassy to see.

Being overseas at Christmas is not the easiest thing, in fact at times it can be the hardest.

This time last year, we had only been abroad for a few months, when we got the news that my husband’s mom had passed away. Within the day, my husband was on a plane headed for the States, while the kids and I were left here to have our first Christmas in Nepal, on our own.

That was hard.

And though this year,  nothing as tragic as that has occurred, there is a difficult aspect of Christmas in a foreign land. Especially in a foreign land, where only the small percent of Christian believers do celebrate. In our country, the biggest Hindu festivals, have come and gone. And Christmas doesn’t make the list.

But God is good. Because though it would be easy to be depressed, He has put a joy,His joy in my heart.

Reminding me once again, that the purpose of Christmas is to worship Him.

Yes, I miss all the Christmas goodies, I miss the lights and decorations, I miss hearing Christmas carols playing on the radio and I miss being surrounded by our extended family. (Though I do play Christmas music on the computer, and I do have lights and decorations in our home, though the lights work only when the electric is on 🙂 )

But wherever you find yourself in the world, you can celebrate Jesus.

This past Sunday, my husband preached on how hard the Christian life can be. But He reminded us all that from the time Jesus was born, nothing was easy for Him either. He was born in a stable, because there was no room. He slept in a feeding trough, because there was no bed. He was known as the Carpenter’s son, because people didn’t understand. Jesus was hated by the Pharisees, mocked by the people He came to save. He was nailed to a cross, and buried in a borrowed tomb.

This Christmas wherever we may find ourselves, let us remember why we celebrate.

Let us allow God to fill us with His joy. Knowing that no matter where we are, what we have or don’t have.. He is enough!

And let us let His abiding light shine in and through us, so that the whole world may see, that JESUS is the Light of the World and the One true God.