I'm sure most of you have heard either Ryan or I talk about how one of the hardest things for us about transitioning to a new country has been the loneliness of being in a new place. Before coming I didn't have the expectation that we would be making friends left and right, but it has still been hard to be patient. At a time when we are being stretched in so many different ways, I want to run to my dear friends and cry over the difficulties, laugh at my mistakes, encourage one another, pray with them, and most importantly just be in their company. But, with thousands of miles, and a large ocean that separates us, that just isn't possible. For a person that likes to be around people, I can feel very alone some days.
I know God has brought us to New Zealand. I am grateful for all of the ways He has shown Himself faithful in the midst of our planning, support raising and decision making over the past year. Those are the things I rely on the most when ministry is hard. And when I just don't "get" why we're here some days, I look back to God's faithfulness and find some comfort. These are the things I want to remember when looking back over our journey here. It's hard, has required more faith than I've ever wanted in my life, and God has been faithful.
I've been reminded over and over again these past few months about the sufficiency of Christ. Even if I was stranded alone (no friends), in horrible circumstances (in a foreign land), with what seems like no hope...Christ should still be enough for me (not that I'm saying we are all alone in horrible circumstances, but even if we were...). Because of His love for us, and His grace, He doesn't usually leave us in that situation. But either way, Jesus should be more than enough for my joy and contentment. This theme is found all throughout the book of Colossians, but this section has been particularly interesting to me lately.
Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
Paul is really praising Jesus for who He is; that He created all things, was before all things, and in Him all things exist. And then he goes on to talk about how all the fullness of God dwells in Christ and that ultimately all things will be reconciled through Christ. What comfort to know that my Savior has such power! And to know that my loneliness is not beyond His grasp. So often I turn to the world to satisfy that loneliness, by looking at facebook, or going shopping, or reading another book...but ultimately those things are not even close in standing to the One in which all things consist. He is sufficient for me, and always will be.
Just some thoughts from these past few weeks :)