Feeling like the Grinch.
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to
godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in
increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our
Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:5-8, NIV)
You should know by now that when I experience something of notoriety it gets put into this blog. The past week spent in mission was fulfilling and strengthening. Oh sure, I am still catching up on sleep and getting sore muscles and joints back to some level of normal. But I am stronger!
My legs and arms were given a workout and they feel like I should look like Charles Atlas (I don't).
(This python picture taken just two days ago)
I was using a contractor sized caulking gun and five days of squeezing the trigger increased my grip strength 100 fold. I can now crush a grape....with my bare hands! Reaching out several feet beyond the ladder while supporting this gun that probably weighs close to 4-5 pounds now has my biceps and triceps practically tearing my shirt sleeve. I even gained 2.5 pounds over the week!
The one distinct area of my body that has been strengthened the most is my heart. I pulled a Grinch maneuver and had my heart grow three sizes this past week. While working near the bay window of the home, I noticed movement and saw a young boy peeking through the curtains. I waved and he shyly waved back then broke into a smiling little fellow. That occurred early on in the week. The last day we were on site, this shy little boy was chattering away to me about 100 different things. A bond was formed and my heart stretched.
When asked why people from PA would travel 250 miles to help other people on a reservation, our response was and is, "because we want to show the love of God in our living." The tradition of these trips is to always invite the homeowners to share a meal with the mission team. When I invited our homeowner, she politely declined and said, "I would like to cook you all a meal because of all the work you are doing for us." My heart stretched again.
In the grand scheme of things, sealing a log cabin with caulking and painting stain on it is secondary to the real work God desires of us. God desires us to show our love for Him by how we love those around us. Do our words and actions promote God's love? Are we willing to set our comfort aside and expend our lives on behalf of other people who need a hand? I sure hope so. In the process of working for God in the world, don't be surprised if you experience strengthened muscles and a heart that grows a few sizes. Go ahead, exercise your faith in God and see if you don't have your heart grow a few sizes.
"We ought always to thank God for you, brothers [and sisters], and rightly so, because your faith is
growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among
God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are
enduring." (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4, NIV) [emphasis added]