the way of transformation is slow. Miracles don’t happen every day. . . I guess that is why they are miracles. Life can be brutal and so many find ourselves in situations that we never predicted. The life we are living is likely not what we imagined for ourselves. But here we are, trying to make the best out of what has been given. Clearly, we do get to have these glory moments when it seems like the universe has revolved around our exact situation and nothing could be better, but many of us live pretty normal lives with normal interactions. And it is into this mundane sort of stuff that we find this slow, slow path of transformation.
 
I am thinking of a conversation I had with a dear friend several years ago. She was talking about working with several of her friends from Southeast Asia and she mentioned that she had some sexy ideas of saving the world abroad. But God led her to a small ethnic enclave community in a less than glamorous location in Minnesota. I came across her note recently:
 
The deeper I get into ministry and presence here in this community, the less and less I feel like I’m on a rollercoaster. Part of that is that when I stick around I get to see people healed! It’s such a process, and God has really spoken to me a lot in the past few years about sticking around. First I thought I was going to move to “Africa,” then I committed to go to grad school in California. I finally gave up on all my sexy dreams of going abroad to stay in my studio apartment in Minneapolis. But I wouldn’t trade the peace that comes from being obedient for any beach, ocean, or stardom. God’s got plenty in the pipeline comin’ our way…and it ain’t gonna be boring. And you know, it doesn’t feel like such a revolving door of insurmountable needs when you stick around because you’re more CONNECTED to people, resources, and you don’t see people isolated in their problems.
 
This old email today reminds me that the pressure is off. Transformation is not in my hands. Sure, we have a role to play. We work our tails off around here to try to do our part. . . .But God is the the Divine One who transforms. As we commit to daily surrender and love, God alone does His miracles. They don’t happen every day and in my life I would dare say they don’t happen often. But they do happen. Grueling, hand to the plow sort of relational discipleship is where we get to see God bust in and do His work. The pressure is off. The stress is not ours to carry. Christ bore all that. . . . Walking faithfully is our part.
 
The ministry context we are in continues to evolve and solidify. We are mostly working with Bhutanese-Nepali believers very new in their faith. Our dear friends don’t really have much of a framework for all the vision statements, flow charts, and processes that a mission organization such as mine employs. The amount of education, years of experience, and presentations I have given doesn’t carry a whole lot of weight. We continually find ourselves amid Nepali relationships with a completely different paradigm for understanding success or ministry. It is in the midst of this context that I have to come back to the simple truth. My Nepali friends would give their life for me. They may not get exactly it is what I do or even how I would like to come alongside and serve but they know Jesus. They love as Christ loves and give as He gives. Maybe clout, recognition, and all that jazz is way overrated.
 
The pressure is off. We’re not the Messiah and were never asked to be so. We faithfully walk over a long period of time and God does His miracles. Donors looking for a big, janky project may not get super excited about the slow grind of transformation that begins with many whom the world has ignored but we are convinced that this is what Jesus does. He takes the wisdom of this world, flips it on its head, and shows His matchless glory. 
 
May we all continue to let go of things that we were never intended to carry. May we realize that we are not nearly as important as we think we are and perhaps we were never intended to put all of our emphasis on hitting a home run at this moment or that moment. The way of transformation is slow. Miracles don’t happen every day. When we stick around, we get to see people healed and made whole! That is beautiful guys. . . . so, so beautiful.
 

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