Dec31TueDecember 31, 2019
so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. 1 Thessalonians 2:8
One of the most personal and touching moments for me while I was in Uganda was hearing from Jeslor, the young man who leads Trust Future Uganda, that Sharon and I were. “part of his inner circle of 3”. During our time there we had come to a deeper level of family and partnership in ministry with him and the bond that we now share is undeniable. When it comes to the gospel and the good news of a relationship with Jesus, it is recognizing how deep He longs for our connection to grow with Him and with each other as His followers.
A little background on Jeslor…when his father left, his mother named him Jeslor (standing for Jesus is Lord). Jeslor's mother died around the time he was 3. He was raised by his grandmother until she passed away when he was 15. Shortly afterwards he became a street child sleeping on a cardboard box. However, he knew one day he would have a school. He started the school when he was 17 and now here he is, an orphan, becoming a spiritual father to over 200 children at 25 years of age!
Here is a recent quote that Jeslor shared on his page and for me this is the gospel and true religion being lived out!
In the first place my goal was to help the orphans and the vulnerable kids I meant but after years of living with them, dinning and sharing meals with them, hearing their stories and who they wish to become in future, my new goal is to be a real friend and relative to them. That's gonna be my life.
James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world
There is something very powerful in understanding that we are called not just to an individual relationship with Jesus, but at the very core we are part of an amazing family. Jesus told us he would not leave us as orphans in John 14:18 and our Heavenly Father said He would never leave us nor forsake us.
HOWEVER the reality of us experiencing this is through the connection we have with one another and the importance of recognizing that we are spiritual sons and daughters. We are called to be spiritual brothers and sisters and as we mature in the faith to become spiritual fathers and mothers.
We read in 1 John 2:13-15
I am writing to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, dear children,
because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.
We absolutely need to lean on each other and find that strength in the beauty of a loving community.
I am presently reading the book, “Created For Connection” by Dr. Sue Johnson and learning so much about the power of attachment. Here are a few excerpts from the first chapter on a new love. While this book is focused on the relationship between husband and wife, there is some powerful truths that is explores and emphasizes for healthy relationships with each other. The book states
- Love drives us to bond emotionally with a precious few others who offer us a safe haven from the storms of life.
Without that bond and connection, we wither, we dry up and we are emotionally cold. When we don’t initiate that sense of bonding with others, we fully don’t understand what is means to love one another.
Here’s another excellent point from the book
- Distress in a relationship adversely affects our immune and hormonal systems and even our ability to heal.
Profound healing can occur when we seek out each other and not avoid others especially in our own personal pain. The natural response when we are suffering is to avoid contact and withdraw from others. However, that just compounds our problem.
Here’s a final thought
- God longs to have a face to face and breath to breath relationship with us and in the same way He wants us to have deep and meaningful relationships with one another
As we enter 2020, my prayer is that I would be more connected than ever before. I long for real intimacy with Jesus, with Sharon, with my children and within my spiritual family. I don’t want to check off boxes and say I did it. My desire is just to be present, to be in the moment and discover that intimacy in the midst of enjoying the depth of relationship. I want to stop being so goal oriented and project driven and just start learning to be!
Here is a powerful reminder to really be in His presence and to allow His Word to take root in our heart.