Does God ever weary of man?
This question zoomed to the forefront of my thoughts this past week.
As I surveyed the broken glass, bent burglar bars, displaced couch, and scattered books and papers in our home early Saturday morning, I pondered.
I pondered this question when I was forced to tell my children that their school laptops had been stolen by thieves who had broken into our house while we were still asleep in our beds.
I pondered this question as I recounted the ten burglary events our family has experienced in nearly 12 years of mission life in southern Africa.
To say that I was weary of these intrusions would be an understatement. I was. This most recent event inflicted a greater emotional hit than the others. This time the thieves had successfully entered our house. This time the thieves had taken something belonging to our children – something they depended upon for their school work. The loss struck a painful and cutting blow into the hearts of our kids. They hurt.
Our family really worked hard this week to overcome what happened and seek resilience.
We don’t want to be anxious or scared in imagination or thought.
We don’t want to be bitter or resentful in heart.
We don’t want to be angry or acidic in attitude or spirit.
And we don’t want to be weary.
Yet, I still wonder.
Is God ever weary of the self-preoccupation, self-motivation, self-reliance and selfish tendencies of man and his earthly pursuits?
After the burglary, John and I were grateful that our family was protected. Once the thieves set off our house alarm, they grabbed what they had collected and escaped before our security company arrived. Although some items had been stolen, our family was physically intact. The Lord had shielded us from harm. We thanked Him for this protection as we chose to keep our eyes and hearts on our God through the aftermath of the intrusion.
As Believers, this is what we are called to do as Christ followers. We are to have nothing, absolutely nothing, before our eyes except Jesus Christ.
The height, the depth, and the intensity of our love and devotion of Jesus Christ are most apparent when we seek to magnify and exalt Him regardless of situation and circumstance.
Paul understood this when he penned these words to the Philippian Church:
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
New International Version, Philippians 1: 20-21
If ever there was an individual who had a right to be wearied, Paul would be the man. Yet, Paul wrote with apparent indifference as to whether he would live on for another day or die by the hands of his enemies. He held onto the grace and confidence of his hope in His Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. He chose to live out the remainder of his days on earth exhorting others to seek and magnify Christ. Paul determined that the grace of Jesus Christ was solely sufficient. Whether he would be released from his chains, mattered not. Paul would honor Christ, magnify His Name, advocate the Gospel and maintain its truth in his life and in his spirit. He needed nothing else.
Friends, as I shared:
God’s hand is most visible in the lives of those who love, honor, and exalt Jesus Christ.
The Greek transliterated word for exalt is megaluno. Megaluno means to magnify, declare and make great, glorify, honor, and enlarge. As people of Christ, to exalt and magnify Christ is our greatest purpose on earth and in the Kingdom to come.
Robert Montgomery Boice said, “Christ must be magnified in the bodies of those who believe in Him or He will not be magnified at all.”
How does all of this relate to our recent burglary?
Well, in my mind, if our family did not have our eyes on Christ and have a joyful, confident expectation of our eternal salvation in Him then the burglary would have tripped us up, disheartened us, and we would probably have descended into a pit of weariness and disenchantment. After all, we’re missionaries – sent to uplift, encourage and share the joy of our salvation to a people and to a place that has allowed our family to experience ten different burglaries and intrusions. We understand that God is most exalted – not in events, not in buildings, not in movements, and not in situations, but in the bodies of Believers.
It is through our bodies that Christ is magnified and His Kingdom is advanced.
It is through our bodies that we present ourselves as holy and living sacrifices in His honor.
It is through our bodies that we obey and live into His purposes and designs.
It is through our bodies that we show all in our sphere of influence that we are not ashamed of the Gospel.
It is through our bodies that we show that to live is Christ and to die is gain.
It is through our bodies that the hope of Christ is most illuminated and revealed.
I don’t know if the Lord is weary of man’s selfishness or not. The fact of the matter is that He doesn’t want me to be concerned about that question. He desires me to focus my attention and my trust upon His Son Jesus Christ. My love, my adoration, and my exaltation of Jesus Christ spur me forward as I live for Him. It is through this lens that I see His care and protection. I see the outpouring of love from friends and family. I see my children rebound from a negative, scary situation. I see my husband making more security upgrades to deter any future burglary events. I see our family strong and resilient.
For all of you who have been praying for our family this past week, thank you.
We’re moving forward as we continue to dedicate our lives to magnifying and honoring Christ in southern Africa.
There’s no other place we would rather be. Another burglary will not displace our hope nor will it distract our purpose. Jesus Christ is sufficient. Amen.