Monday, November 14, 2011

Boma Reflections: Secure in God's Love

This is the second installment of a set of reflections on my experience in Boma, South Sudan. In my last post on the subject, I wrote about God's incredible love and seeing it first-hand in a very special way in Boma. Since then, I've reflected some more both privately and in conversations with others (most significantly in my men's small group) and have realized the implications of God's love for me: security.

My small group is currently reading through Ken Boa's book "Conformed To His Image", which is fantastic read for spiritual formation and development. The section that struck me was about loving God completely, loving self accurately, then loving others compassionately. The primary relationship was vertical; horizontal relationships with others is secondary in that they ought to derive out of the primary relationship, at least in healthy godly situations.

John, my new Boma buddy
Boa says, "when we understand that Christ's resources are our resources, we can become secure enough to serve other people without expecting reciprocity," (pg. 42). I immediately resonated with this because it was exactly what I experienced in Boma. Upon reflection, I realized that in preparation for the trip I had allowed and asked God to use me however He saw fit, and that I would gain His heart as a result of following Him all the way to Africa. I was amazed to discover that He was completely faithful in answering this prayer!

Since returning home, I haven't had the same anxieties, concerns, frustrations, desires, or aches as what seemed like I did before I left. I've felt much more peace - profound peace - and contentment like I've never experienced, especially in social situations where those dysfunctions can often arise. But they haven't. Why is that?

Praying over each student in Boma
I think Boa answered it for me; God opened my eyes to see and understand that I have everything I need in Him, which makes me secure and frees me to love without expectations. His relentless love has granted me personal, emotional, psychological security that has increased my ability to love others with the same depth and self-denial. His Gospel of love and peace, when allowed to truly penetrate my depths, has fully transformed me in ways these brief descriptions can only begin to describe. But it satisfies - oh, how it satisfies!

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