Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Heart of Thanksgiving!

Elizabeth Elliot...



Anyone ever heard of this woman?




What about Brother Yun?







...George Mueller?












 ...Rees Howells?










Bishop John Rucyahana?




What about Saint Paul? 








Anyone ever heard of these people? 



Anyone?




These are people who TRUSTED JESUS ...BELIEVED HIM...and when they SURRENDERED their lives to Him they saw Him LEAD their lives according to His purposes...


and do GREAT and MIGHTY things in and through them...according to His will. 

EXPECTANT of what their God could and would do in their midst because He called them. And His PLEASURE to have servants who obeyed Him even when it was HARD. 


They weren't PERFECT...they weren't POPULAR...they weren't RICH...


they just LOVED JESUS and wanted to KNOW Him and SHARE Him with others...
and SERVE Him. 


To be used to reveal the PERSON of Jesus
who is ALIVE ...RISEN...and the 


LOVER of our SOULS! 


to those He led them to...


in prison...


in the jungles of Equador...


to those who hated them....


to those who were the poor...the orphans...the widows...the "least of these"...


to the NATIONS....Equador...Britain....China....Southern Africa...Rwanda...Israel...(represented here)...


And their SURRENDER and MINISTRIES have since impacted the WORLD!





It's not easy proclaiming Christ in this world. 

To proclaim to believe that a man 2000 years ago said that He was GOD and died and rose again to SAVE the world from their SINS..and that He wants us to KNOW Him...and SURRENDER to Him...and to LOVE Him...because He is ALIVE!

WHAT?

Sunday, my Lord Jesus moved the heart of one of His children to do a ridiculous extravagant thing on behalf of one of His churches. He lead this servant to BUY at ASKING PRICE ...OUTRIGHT...the McCarthy House in Christiansburg, VA in order for all of our family to be "living and moving and having our being" in New Bern TOGETHER at Healing Grace Church. 


(Our House in Christiansburg, VA)
This wasn't about US...it wasn't about HEALING GRACE CHURCH...it was about Jesus seeing His children TRUSTING HIM and WALKING OUT what He called them to...and HEARING their PRAYERS...."Pray...believing and it will be done for you." ...

PROVIDING ...

"MORE THAN WE CAN ASK OR IMAGINE" (Ephesians 3:20) 

so that we could be able to

"Go into all the earth and make disciples of all men."

The key word is "Go". 

"Go where I call you. I know you are frail and weak, and ridiculous and unable...dust...but step off this cliff to the unknown...KNOWING that you know ME and 'I will not LEAVE you or FORSAKE you'....'I loved you before you loved Me'. 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' (Jeremiah 29:11). 'Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.' (John 20:29)"

I have read about each of these people, over the years, and with each book I would have to put it down...several times... and sit and WEEP because I would always ask,

"Lord...could I be able to make that choice for you in those difficult moments of surrender? To be ridiculed, rejected, spit upon, tortured, killed for my love for You?" 

and then I would continue to read about their lives...their choices...and the MIGHTY AND CRAZY ways He provided for them in EVERY WAY!!! And provided for them in EXTRAORDINARY ways! Leading them to places in the world and in themselves that was NOT their giftings...not their comfort zones...not what was reasonable to them...but WHAT AN ADVENTURE to be co laborers with the LIVING God! SO COOL!

wow. 

wow. 

...and I wanted that in my life. I wanted to live that way...




(Bill and I at our engagement party 1988)
One day, after church in Nashville, TN, 22 years ago, I sat in a Dodge Dart...

just Jesus and me. 

Bill and I were dating. After weeks of arguing with Bill about what the Bible said...this particular Sunday afternoon, Bill told me...

"Cheryl...this isn't about what I say or what anyone on this earth says. It's about what God says and who God is. You need to do business with Him."

 So I sat. 

I sat for a long time. 
I looked at all the arguments and the struggles in my mind ...
all that I did not understand. 

I finally surrendered to my unbelief...and CHOSE to believe.
I told the Lord that day..."Jesus, I don't understand all of this...I don't understand who You are, what You did, really why You did it...all I do know is that I WANT what I see in these other people that I just can't touch right now....

(the Elizabeth Elliots, the George Muellers, the Rees Howells, 
the Bishop Johns and the Tom Herricks)

...I want to know YOU!....

so. I accept all that I don't understand and accept that I don't understand it. 
Lead me to You." 
 
After that day...in 1988...my NEW LIFE began. 
Adventure and Divine Romance began with the Lover of my Soul...that day. 




Each step of this journey, since that day, I've had to let go of what makes sense and the lie that in order to be a Christian you have to follow a set of rules and do everything right...be a good person. 
How can I be a good person...I know myself way too well. 

I had to learn what GRACE was...and how I SO DIDN'T DESERVE or could WORK for the incredible LOVE relationship with the God of the Universe...the King of Kings...Jesus. 



 
With this unbelievable GIFT Sunday...that we could NEVER REPAY...I sit looking back at my life and the STRUGGLE and PAIN and the ALL OUT BLESSINGS that are CRAZY GOD LOVE STUFF 
and I ask the Lord...with a deeper desire...

Jesus...there is still so much to discover about who You are. I know You give abundantly, you answer prayer in profound ways, but I'm still always in awe when I see You work! I imagine You saying to me, "There you go, Cheryl!", each time, and with such pleasure on your face! 

I can't wait to spend the next 22 years going deeper with You.= )



What happened Sunday is just Jesus saying...

"It's Time to GO...THIS is MY PROVISION for you...because I am YOUR GOD...You have chosen to TRUST Me and I have a work for you to do. GO. 
'I have come that they might have LIFE and have it ABUNDANTLY' - John10:10 

I love you. "


As I have walked through these last few days I realize that in these last 22 years I have not even TOUCHED on how DEEP and HIGH and WIDE is the LOVE of CHRIST for ME!!! 

...for YOU!!!! ...

It's SUCH an AMAZING revelation to me! Like peeling off another layer of an onion...or digging and digging to find a whole new underground city! SO COOL! 

I just REALLY wanted to share publicly, before my beautiful Savior, My Jesus...

how utterly thankful and how utterly undeserving I am ...and my family is...to have blessed us with being His vessels of Love and Light in this world and I pray that He would continue to be blessed to use this dust ...His little lambies... for His GLORY!!! 

AMEN and AMEN!!! 

"Take my time here on this earth
And let it glorify all that You are worth
For I am nothing,
I am nothing without You." 



2 comments:

Nicky said...

Hi Cheryl, thanks for sharing your testimony. This is such a wonderful account. Praise the Lord.

Cheryl said...

Hi Nicky ~

Thank you so much for the encouraging words! It is always SUCH A JOY to share what Jesus has done in our lives...would LOVE to hear yours!= )