One of our awesome, long-time dedicated Now & Forever leaders, Keahna Hall, recently returned from an excursion to India. She went there with a group called YWAM (Youth With A Mission) with one purpose: spread the love of Jesus Christ. On Sunday, we had the privilege of hearing about her missionary journey: the people she interacted with, places she encountered, and the different ways that God used her and her group in a country that so desperately needs Jesus. She only had about 15-20 minutes to share with us, and my gut tells me that we barely touched the surface of her experience. But there were some things that stuck out to me, as I listened to her journey, and I have boiled those things down to two words: blessing and brokenness.
We are blessed. So easily can we take our benefits for granted - knowing we don’t have to worry about our next meal, never needing to wear the same clothes twice in a week, having a glass of water whenever we desire, soaking in education that we often don’t appreciate, etc. This list could go on and on and on… When I heard about the different situations that met Keahna, I couldn’t stop thinking about my own life, and just how fortunate I am. God has blessed us with so much - how motivating is that for us to do all that we possibly can to bless others? And for Christians, that list of blessings easily taken for granted pales in comparison to the ultimate blessing of Jesus Christ, the Savior of our souls. In his letter to the Ephesians, it doesn’t take Paul long to give God praise for his blessings, when he writes “praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” in the third verse of the opening chapter. How quick are we to praise God for our many blessings? Sometimes, at least I can speak for myself, not quick enough…
This world is broken. It doesn’t take much of Keahna’s story to remind us how broken the world is. The terrors that women have to deal with, the wretched lifestyle the children are born into, the corruption of man… The world is a fallen and dark place without Jesus. The world needs Jesus. Our God is the King of Restoration - He shines His light even in the darkest corners of this world and we see that in times when His saints reach out to them. Our hearts should break for the broken. Paul had a heart for the lost, and prayed earnestly for God to save those needing to be saved - we read that in passages like Romans 10:1, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” We may not be called to a life of full-time foreign missions, but we are called to the spread the love of Jesus to the lost. Prayer is powerful and we can pray for the people of India, and people all around the world who need to hear the message of Christ. We know people in our own lives who experience brokenness and need to be saved - our hearts should be to care for and love them.
I am encouraged by Keahna's experiences in India to not take my blessings for granted, be quick to praise God for all that I have, and have a constant heart for the broken world around us.