yesterday, we went to lunch with David Bosch’s amazing widow, Annamie. she models what i dream my 70s will be like. throughout the course of our conversations yesterday, i was struck by some things she shared about suffering. for that, i will summarize her comments with a quote from her husband’s book (which i know she had influence in).
pg. 177 “suffering is not just something that has to be endured passively because of the onslaughts and oppositions of the powers of this world, but also, and perhaps primarily, as an expression of the church’ active engagement with the world for the sake of the world’s redemption (cf Beker 1984:41). Suffering is therefore a mode of missionary involvement.”
in light of this spirit of antagonism that has been swirling around me the last several weeks, i have been faced with a healthy challenge by my good friend Arthur: “do you want the results of Jesus without the way of Jesus?”
so often i get surprised that there would be enemy attacks on my mind and heart when I move into mission. i assume God will just block all of those things from me because i’m serving Him. but God didn’t call anyone into cheap, easy lives. he called us to follow Him in His ways. early Christians were called followers of “the way”. and that way often times led to their certain deaths.
so why do i assume i can eat from the fields without having first experienced the back breaking work of plowing the them? the way of Jesus is a way into territory not easily handed over. while that does not invite us to naively entering into highly dangerous places, it also doesn’t say we should sit back in the comforts of what we know either! whenever you enter into these places of service, you are upsetting someone. embrace it as a mark that you are part of God redeeming the world… carry the work of the cross & resurrection deep in your soul for the sake of the world’s salvation. those things may never leave your side, but with the prayers of many, you will be reminded of the truth as you move deeper into the heart of kingdom expansion.