I feel I still have something to say here. Frustrations are hard to overcome, but I'm going to press through and keep giving you writings that I hope will inspire you. God is still teaching me mass amounts....
A couple of weeks ago, some friends and I went to the Art Music Justice (AMJ) tour, with Sara Groves, Brandon Heath, Charlie Peacock, Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken. They spoke on some issues that we ought to be noticing in the world today and how we can promote justice. One thing they're trying to raise awareness on is the modern day slave trade. It is pretty shocking but nearly every country in the world still has slaves, including the United States of America. The artists with AMJ told about one ministry, the International Justice Mission (IJM), that is "a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression." On their website is a gift catalog, where you can donate to in someone's honor and receive cards that explain what the donation is used for. If you are interested in learning more about modern day slavery, there is an interesting book on the topic that I read last week. It's called A Crime So Monstrous. It is not written by a Christian, so there is some bad language. I will also warn you that is rather graphic as it explains the brutality and trafficking that many of these people suffer from. If you don't have time to read the whole book, the last chapter and the epilogue are very intensely moving and kind of summarize the idea of the whole book.
My family and I went to a mini seminar put on by Answers In Genesis this weekend. Carl Kerby was the speaker and in his opening talk, he said something that really hit me. Rather, he pointed me to something in the Bible that really hit me. In 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Paul says, "And [God] said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for thee.' For my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake, for when I am weak, then am I strong." Woah. Do any of us actually think like this? Let's talk about the first thing he mentions: infirmities. Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines that as
"1. An unsound or unhealthy state of the body; weakness; feebleness
2. Weakness of mind
3. Weakness of resolution.
4. Any particular disease
5. Defect; imperfection; weakness"
How many of us experience these things? I can safely say that all of us have. Then...how many of us glory and take pleasure in these things? Huh? Why would we want to do that? These are products of the fall, right? Why would we act in such a crazy counter-cultural manner? The answer is there in verse 9: that the power of Christ may rest on us. That's a very powerful thing. I have to say, this has convicted me. I have often been a complainer, especially when I'm sick or notice problems with ourselves. But these are the times I am supposed to rejoice and not dismay, because then Christ's power will rest on me. Why in the world could I want to trade for that?