Tuesday, August 16, 2011

"In one sentence: Ukraine taught you..."

Less than a week after coming home from Ukraine, I was in the Keys, buggin'* with my grandfather.  He surprised me one evening with, "Tell me in one sentence: Ukraine taught you...?"  Two months, one sentence.  Right; I got this.
"Ukraine taught me to be vulnerable." 
Of course, Ukraine taught me a sky-full of other things as well, but at the root, being in Ukraine undressed my pride, and unveiled the beauty of God's glory in my weakness.  God told Paul that His power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9).  I never really understood what that meant until Ukraine.  The relationships I had in Ukraine taught me to be honest, showing my weaknesses.  It is then God is fully glorified; if I only reveal my strengths, then people give me the glory for being a "good person," but if I'm vulnerable, then people see that any good coming out of me is from God, and glory is given to the One who deserves it. 
Why do I struggle with showing my weaknesses?  John 5:44.  I seek the glory that comes from other people and not the glory that comes from the only God.  But I don't want to be like that anymore, and by God's rich grace, I won't be.  Because He is faithful.
He proved His faithfulness over, and over, and over, and I've never experienced it as tangibly as in Ukraine. 

"When I see that all sin is in me, all shame belongs to me;
     let me know that all good is in thee, all glory is thine.
Keep me from the error of thinking thou dost appear gloriously
     when some strange light fills my heart,
     as if that were the glorious activity of grace,
     but let me see that the truest revelation of thyself
     is when thou dost eclipse all my personal glory
     and all the honour, pleasure, and good of this world.
The Son breaks out in glory
     when he shows himself as one who outshines all creation,
     makes men poor in spirit,
     and helps them to find their good in him.
Grant that I may distrust myself, to see my all in thee."
~"Love to Jesus" The Valley of Vision 

Now that I'm back in the States, this is insanely difficult to live out.  I don't mean to blame the U.S.  It's just harder here for me to be vulnerable with people, and to put aside my pride.  Also, I had such a clear goal and purpose in Ukraine, but now, I'm having the hardest time being intentional in my "every-day" life.  Please pray for me.

* the process of finding and catching lobster.