Saturday, May 26, 2012

Jesus & Re-entry Shock

Migrating through reverse culture shock (yes, it can still happen even to a veteran, even after only 3 months overseas) brought an interesting thought: did Jesus experience it when he returned to heaven?!  What were his feelings upon leaving Jerusalem, Israel, his home, mission, family and friends, to return to heaven?  What did it cost Him to go home?! 

Did He struggle with leaving His darling, if defiant, and sometimes disgusting earthlings?  Was He divided—as I am--between pangs of grief and relief?  Disorientation and excitement?  Gratified and disappointed? Conversation I want to have with Him when I get to heaven...

Jesus returned to a throne; I sleep in my own bed again.  Comfort, safety and protection.  Yet He stood at the stoning of Stephen.  Rolling up His sleeves?  Ready to go back into the fray, to rend the heavens and come down, to rescue His beloved? 

Sometimes I want to roll my sleeves up and go back into the fray--go back overseas.  I want to beat off the enemy as he attacks and snarls around those he is seeking to devour, push back against the darkness.

Other times I don’t want to go back.  I never want to leave the comfort zone again.  I’m scared of the kinds of battle I get into.  I lose my way in the dark.   

As I seek to restore my equilibrium now, I know I long for control, stability, ducks in a row, no flames licking at my feet.  Isn't this preferable to thinking I am losing my mind and my emotional health, as my thoughts and emotions distort in the crucible of overseas work?  Yet I'm willing to do this if necessary, to watch the sparks fly up from the fire I melt in, the fire releasing others to their calls and gifts, into life, the fire that burns but does not consume, my own burning bush.

This is holy ground.  All I have is one prayer: "Hallowed be Thy Name."  All I know to do is keep fighting the darkness, even when I feel like I'm losing the battle. 

And I will stand, for God is able to make me stand.  He stands with me, and is for me.  And I am called to be an overcomer--"Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  

The Kingdom of Heaven is forcefully advancing, and forceful men take hold of it.  And forceful women. 

Looking for a little force right now, even from the comfort zone, and confident about nothing but God's ability to keep me in the battle.  And that I need to continue.

And so I just booked the next flight, for the next adventure.  To be continued...

To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore.  Amen.  (Jude 22-25)

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