From Spiritual Wilderness to a Life of Compassion

6 Jul

Blog post by Alex E., Team India 2012

The stories of the Old Testament are, unfortunately, sometimes viewed as just that; stories with no relevance for where we find ourselves in the world today. But God’s Word speaks powerful truths into our lives, even through these childhood stories. I have always been fascinated by the story of Moses and the Exodus, a man chosen by God to do the impossible. Little did I know that over the years God would reveal to me that He still does just that.

We’ve all seen the pictures of baby Moses being placed into a basket by his mother and sent down the Nile River. He is brought in by the daughter of Pharaoh and raised as a prince in the splendors of Egypt. But he never forgets his heritage is tied to the Israelites, who are enslaved in Egypt. An unfortunate event sends him from the grand palaces and into the wilderness for 40 years. That, however, is where God meets with him and places an incredible calling on his life. He will return to his former home and deliver God’s people from bondage.

I like to believe that as Moses recounted his life, as he penned the book of Exodus, he stood in awe at the hand of God in his life. I’m praying at this moment that as I recount my own story, I would be amazed at God’s guiding hand in my own life. I don’t know who my birth mother was or why she left me at a hospital in Korea after my birth. But I do know that, by God’s incredible grace, I was rescued and brought into absurd luxury by my adoptive parents. I have been given opportunities to succeed that millions of orphans around the world could never dream of.

But just like Moses, mistakes in my life led me into a spiritual wilderness. I was lost, I thought I knew what I wanted to do, but was never even sure about that. Then, just as Moses had an unexpected encounter with God, I found myself in the same place, and no, I have never seen a burning bush. But about a year ago I read an article about a girl that had also been adopted. In it, she said that she knew she had been rescued for a reason, and that reason was to live her life to rescue others. I don’t know what about that caught my attention, but I started wrestling with deep questions about my life. What was my story? Why was it that story? What did God want me to do? Was I living for the wrong reasons?

Several months later, I came home and found the book, No Longer a Slumdog sitting on the counter. The title caught my interest and I began reading. The book chronicles the stories of orphans in India, and before I was even finished I heard God tell me I was to go to India. Well how was I supposed to do that? But God had already provided my answer. Years before, I had worked with an incredible woman, that was until she went to work for a local ministry called World Orphans, and specifically their Journey 117 program. And guess where they were sending a trip in July of 2012…India!

So, why me? I’m not anybody special and have not accomplished anything special in my life. I’m not a spiritual giant, and most of my life has been spent running from God. And quite frankly, for many years I never cared about orphans. I simply believe that just as God called an ordinary man to return to his home and lead his people out of physical bondage, He has called me to return to my people someday and lead them out of spiritual bondage. I know that this is an impossible task for me, but I also know that the same God who did the impossible thousands of years ago for Moses is the same yesterday, today and forever.

So, why the orphan? Well the simple answer is that I was an orphan and God has burdened my heart for the millions of orphans who have not been, or never will be rescued. But God has also given me a special reason, my beautiful, 3-year-old niece. As I see her grow with everything she needs and plenty more, I try to imagine a child that has never been told they are loved, has never held a toy but only rocks and sticks, or has never run around as children do but spent each day trying to find food or shelter.

How could I turn my back on those children and just live for myself? Well some days I would find it pretty easy, but I know the calling God has placed on my life, and I want to follow that with all I am. He tells Moses that He has “surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.” God sees, hears and is completely aware of those who suffer in the world, and He calls those who belong to Him to take action. God has stirred me to action, and I know this Journey will be the first step into the plan He has for my life.

Alex resides in Colorado and will be serving with Journey117 in July on Team India.

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