Lately I've been thinking a lot about the depravity of man. I'm going to be really honest here so I hope you are able to read my heart. I hope that I don't come across sounding too arrogant because that is not my intent at all. But over the last 2 years I have seen a depth of depravity... a vast demonstration of moral corruption unlike anything I've ever witnessed before. I've seen shootings, fights, drug deals, domestic abuse, rape, neglect, addiction on every level, sex offenders, child sex offenders, hatred demonstrated in a way that is difficult to describe and a level of selfishness that is nauseating at best.
That being said, I still know that I am depraved. I am morally corrupt thanks to the actions of Adam and Eve as well as my own sinful choices. But when I stand up to preach on Sunday mornings or when I sit down to simply listen and shepherd someone, I find it impossible to say with honesty that I understand where they are... I just don't. And that leads to my next random thought... humility.
Humility: modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance
As I try and point people to Jesus in the midst of a depth of depravity that I don't think I truly believed existed until a few years ago, I am humbled by the opportunity God has given me. I mean seriously, I am just an average guy with a relatively pristine pass. I have not dealt with the depths of substance addiction or the pain that comes from a broken home that so many of my church know first hand.
I have not spent time in jail and I don't have a history with gang violence. I'm just an average sinner, basking in the glory of God's grace in my own life and humbled that God could use me, would use me to shepherd people who live in and are abused by a level of sinfulness that I will probably never know first hand. I cannot live up to this calling. I am embarrassed at times to preach the depth of God's grace when I feel like my experience with sin is so shallow. But it's not about me.
That leads me to the third random thought with really no significant connection to the previous two... blessing.
Blessing: God's favor & protection
Over the last 2 years and most recently over the last 2 weeks my family has experienced a level of blessing... a level of God's favor and protection... that is beyond comprehension. I'm so thankful that God's grace is so all encompassing. It really is applied to all facets of the christian life including blessings to sustain us through the trials.
In my last post I asked for prayer for our housing situation. Long story short, we were buying a house and everything fell apart the day before closing. We had already given notice to our landlord so we had 12 days to find a place to live, pack up and move.
Blessing #1: God provided us a great house in our neighborhood so that we could still live amongst the people we have been called to reach. That house by the way is allowing us to save money every month from what we've been paying the last 2 years.
Blessing #2: Our parents. Kelli and I are both constantly overwhelmed by the love and support of our families. We took their kids, and more importantly their grandkids, two thousand miles away from them and they have all done nothing but support us, pray for us and bless our socks off in the midst of it. In the last 2 weeks my parents came to Tacoma and simply served their children. How many parents would do that? My dad helped (okay he did more than help) with all the repairs that needed to be done at the old house and the work that needed to be done at the new place. He helped us move and he never once complained. Meanwhile, my mom took care of two wild and crazy 2 year olds from sun up to sun down while we packed, cleaned, fulfilled ministry responsibilities and even slept in. We are so blessed.
Blessing #3: We truly have a church family. When we put the word out that we were moving, we were not shorthanded. We had a crew come down from our previous church in Snoqualmie, Tommy came down from the church we sent him to plant in Seattle and some of our own Pathway crew came and pitched in. Then, even more inexplicably, we put the word out that we had to clean our house and still our Pathway church family came running. We had people scrubbing toilets, patching holes and cleaning floors... all because of God's amazing grace.
The Point: I think the point is that all my random thoughts on depravity, humility and blessing lead me to the same place... worship. Our God is so good. In the midst of sin he gives grace and love and the only appropriate response is worship. Thank you God.