Lessons from Paul

2 Corinthians 2:12-17

12 Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, 13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.

14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.

Wow. These verses really spoke to me this week, first of all for how much I relate to them. Even though great opportunity to preach the gospel was opened up to Paul in Troas, he felt moved to continue on to Macedonia in search for that relationship with Titus. There was great need for the gospel and the people in Troas were ready to hear it, but the lack of relational support from Titus made Paul continue on to Macedonia. How true is this for my life right now!? The door is open to preach the gospel wherever I am at: if I had gone on in the Peace Corps, if I stayed in Bloomington-Normal, or if I took a job elsewhere in the U.S. But the desire in my heart for that relational fellowship with my “brothers” in the mission have moved me to continue on to Guatemala. I am “captivated” in the triumphal procession to spread the knowledge of Christ and am therefore led by God towards Guatemala. But what responsibility it is to BE the aroma pleasing to God among those who are being saved and those who are perishing! I have no problem being the aroma that brings life, but how can I be the aroma that brings death? I have been reflecting a lot lately on the responsibility that I am taking on by being a missionary. This is serious business! It will NOT be easy!

2 Corinthians 7:4-7

4 I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. 5 For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. 6 But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, 7 and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.

I know that I will face (and have already faced) “conflicts from the outside and fears within,” but I also know that I can find great comfort from God through my “Titus.”  I CAN NOT WAIT to be with my friends at Students International and to share in the joys of ministry with them! And I am also incredibly blessed by the support of my network at home. Your “ardent concern for me” is truly encouraging!

Especially throughout the Thanksgiving season, I was thinking about how much I have been blessed by my relationships both at home and abroad. I am so thankful for all the people that have come into my life as we seek to know and serve our God more everyday. I know that this season of life that I am about to embark on will be a challenging one, but it will also be a very fulfilling and encouraging one.

SI Guatemala staff and their families

I am scheduled to travel to the Students International office in Viaslia, CA in early January. I will be learning a lot more details about fundraising and a target date when I hope to head down there and maybe even a little bit more about what exactly will be my specific roles down there. I am looking forward to getting some details figured out and some questions answered!

As for now, I am hunkered down inside because there is an incredible blizzard outside! Interstates are closing down; snow drifts are taller than me! Lets cross our fingers for a snow day tomorrow?

-love, Britney

2 Corinthians 7:4-7
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