Okay, let’s unpack that.
I LOVE to talk. To tell stories and ask questions, all of the above. Especially in the mornings, I can talk forEVER. Just ask my co-interns for the summer, they have been quite clear about how much I can talk..
I think that is one of the reasons why I love relational ministry so much. I get to meet new people all the time and invest with them. Know their stories, where they come from. It gets me excited because it usually means there is more to their story that has not happened yet!
Being back in Celje here in Slovenia has made me realize yet again that I have such a big heart for people and their stories. But this time it is in returning to their stories that makes it SO exciting, to see what God has been doing. It is incredible.
Being with the young people here sends me back to some cheesy youth group topics that had an influence in some way or another. One of those topics is WWJD.
What Would Jesus Do?
I always felt that this was something my brothers or sister would say in order to prevent me from hitting them back or something. (Of course it was usually me who would say this to them because I can dish the hits I just couldn’t take the hits if I’m speaking honestly). But this is a great way to get you in the mindset of being more like Jesus, which I think we could all use more of. Especially me.
But growing up I took this notion of being more like Jesus meaning I just be more like His joyful, humble self, you know? All of the good stuff.
But Jesus was a LOT more than just His joy and miracles. He had a lot of pain, suffering, and trouble going on in His life.
As a team of interns we are reading through the New Testament this summer and this week we read the book of John. Something that stuck out to me was reading that the Holy Spirit has an active part in our lives. Especially in places where Jesus felt trouble in His Spirit.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.”John 14:16-17, ESV
“he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.”John 11:33, ESV
When diving into these places I started to see much more into the character of Jesus. The humanness of Jesus. Which can weirdly sound like an oxymoron. But if Jesus wants us to be more like Him, does that mean He is also inviting us into His pain, suffering, and trouble going on?
I don’t like that. But, I think I do. Maybe. I don’t know.
There is a lot more going on in the Spirit of Jesus and He wants us to experience these emotions and convictions just as deeply as He did. To love as deeply as He did. To be pained as deeply as He was.
That doesn’t sound fun.
But following Jesus is not supposed to be fun. But it can be peaceful.
Hear me out. I think accepting His invitation to pain means accepting and taking part in His sacrifice. To be in His community that strives to point everyone to Him. To love others so irrationally and deeply that living as Jesus did is no longer painful but gratifying. Just sharing that others are loved and that they matter.
We sang this song many times at intern training and I think it has slowly become one of my anthems for the summer. It really nails on the head that He is the GOOD NEWS.
And THAT brings me joy.
I’ve been so blessed to meet with so many AMAZING young people this week and I am SO excited to continue for this next week!
Pray that I would lean in with God and that He would be my cornerstone. My Rescuer. Pray for camps that are coming soon! It’s going to be AWESOME.