I spent the past week serving some amazing and very beautiful people. A small group of leaders in a nation closed to Christianity gathered together for training. It was my privilege, along with Bob Hamp, to minister freedom to these precious ones and to train them to impart this same freedom to others. Words fail me to adequately describe what this experience has been like.
Some things are universal to the experience of being human. These things transcend race and culture. We all know rejection and the pain of loss. We all know what it is in the midst of pain to embrace distorted ways of seeing ourselves, others, and even God. We’ve all been lied to about how things are. We’ve all believed, embraced, and been shaped by those lies. All of us have adopted ways to avoid more pain and loss. Some defenses are subtle, almost unnoticed by others. Some are glaring and obvious to everyone except ourselves. But all of us know what it is to internally decide that if I don’t protect me no one else will. Many of us have noticed the practically inviolable law that such defenses always have a way of reproducing the very experience we are trying to avoid.
Jesus said that knowing the truth can make us free. This week, I have seen a beautiful group of people know Truth. Jesus knocked at the door and they heard His voice and opened the door. He came in to sit with them and share a meal. In His eyes there is perfect love that pushes fear away. Acceptance is found in the eyes of the one who has taken our rejection upon Himself and carried it to the cross. The One whose voice is as the sound of many waters came and spoke reality into the midst of falsehood. He spoke light into the midst of darkness. The river of life came and brought healing to the nations.
Men and women who have spent years trying to find life through striving, through the self effort of doing the good things they know to do and rejecting the evil things they know they ought not to do discovered that the Tree of Knowledge can only produce death, no matter how sincerely you work. Some very weary people found rest for their souls this week. This week some dry branches got plugged into a life giving vine. They took a deep breath and simply began to rest in Him, receiving Life, surrendering to His presence, abiding in His word.
It was beautiful.