Author or editor, which will it be?

If any of you are like me, sometimes you become exhausted with how difficult it can be taking things you know to be true, in theory, and connecting them to your heart.  You can know something in your head, but that doesn’t mean you believe it with all that you are.  I wrestle with this constantly. I know things about God, about his love, grace, and mercy, yet somehow they feel distant.  In my head I know he is good, faithful, and just, but sometimes those words lose meaning as I repeat them over and over and still struggle to experience them.  

This week at church my pastor made an analogy about how our understanding of God as the author of our lives and our salvation is often replaced with an understanding of him as an editor.  I realize many of the truths of God and his promises for me feel distant because I have failed to see God for who he truly is.  Instead I have been chasing the ideas of a god who conforms to my will.  I look at God as an editor, though he is an author.  I look at God as a safety net or a “plan b” for when my plans fall apart, not as the Savior of the world through whom all things were created, through whom all things are held together, and to whom I should surrender everything with joy.  Somehow I have created a perfect world in my mind, and I only want to give enough control and influence to God for revision and minor corrections.  Somehow the knowledge that God is good, sovereign, and that he loves me has again missed my heart and I remain unable to see that his plans are far better than mine will ever be.

It is for seasons like this I am grateful for the community that God places in my life to remind me his plans for us are so good.  More and more I realize this is not something unique to me and my story, but really anyone who follows Jesus is brought to a place where they realize the plans God has for them really are good, but they are also impossible to attain without him.  We so badly want to rely on our own reservoirs of strength and love, and the more God calls us to follow we see how limited our resources are.  This story we continue to write with us living out of our own strength, will not simply be edited by our Lord of infinite strength, love, and mercy.  Nor will he be harsh and condemning when we see him as he is, the author.  Instead it will be his great joy to write and rewrite our plans giving us unlimited access to his kingdom and his love.

I think for us at Switchboard, we are learning this as God continues to reveal his heart for us and for our organization.  Sometimes trying to keep things simple, “nothing fancy… just Jesus”, can become quite complex when we let good things take our focus from the things God longs to give us if we would just open our hands to receive them.  Sure, life in Christ is more than simply opening our hands, but that is where it starts.  It starts by seeing, and believing, Jesus is who he says he is.  The rest is a beautiful journey in which Jesus doesn’t just command our surrender, but he shows us why our surrender becomes the safest and most satisfying place in the entire universe.  And although it is safe and satisfying, it will seem like the most unnatural, backward, and upside down journey.  At times it will be exhausting, frustrating, and painful, but it will be so good and so full of life changing grace, radical forgiveness, and unthinkable redemption that we on our own could never dream up.  It will remind you his plans for us will always be far greater than we could ever write into the scripts of our lives, if we would only see him as he is.  

As things in Uganda continue, and as things in Nashville develop, this is our song and prayer and we invite you to join us in the journey if you haven’t already.  Join us in praying that we would see Jesus for who he is, not who we project him to be, and that we would be obedient to follow him has he writes the greatest and most adventurous love story we’ll ever know.  He is the author, he is the perfecter, he is the Lord and he is good.  May we rest in our knowledge of who he is, and who we are in him.

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.  The reason why the world does not know us is that in did not know him.  Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. –I John 3:1-2

Hello World!

      Word on the street is you aren’t really official until you have a blog, so with this post I hereby pronounce Switchboard Missions as a go!  Yep, that’s right- Switchboard Missions.  It’s ok if you haven’t heard of us yet- we’re pretty new.  Evidently God doesn’t care if you’re a 2 month or 20 year old organization- He moves as quickly as He likes.  He’s been doing some pretty amazing things lately that we just can’t possibly keep to ourselves any longer.  We’d love it if you would stop by every now and then to see what all is going on.  I can promise you this- God is still in the business of doing miracles, and He is making Himself known across the entire globe.  We’ve been so very blessed in getting to witness Him move in the heart of a tiny orphan all the way to rehabilitating entire countries torn from war.  Want to see it for yourself? Come with us on a short-term missions trip! Can’t go?  Then help send others by providing your time or resources.  God calls everyone to either be a “Goer” or a “Sender”- “Neither” is really not an option.  And praise God for that calling, because believe me- you’re going to want to be a part of this!

You may be asking what it is exactly that Switchboard Missions does.  Our official mission statement is “To be used by God to awaken the hearts of young adults to the life He has called us to live as followers of Christ through local and global missions and discipleship into a life that fulfills that calling.”  In other words, we serve as “operators” that connect the passions God has laid on the hearts of young adults to real missions needs in the world.  We do this through domestic and international short-term mission trips.  Once exposed to the work God is doing across the globe, the participants’ eyes will be opened to the reality of how God is forcefully advancing His gospel, and to the vitality of our obedience to his command to be a part of that advance.  We’ve found that one cannot witness such supernatural power and not be changed, so we hope to facilitate the flipping of the “Jesus Switch” in people’s hearts for missions so that once they see what God is doing they will be forever impacted.  Another one of our goals is to also mentor and disciple future missions leaders through the Roots College Program.  Plain and simple, the core of our organization is centered on providing opportunities for young adults to be a part of The Great Commission and the miraculous work God is doing across our world.  

God has opened some gigantic doors for us to walk through in the near future.  In addition to our normal short-term mission trip programming, we are also partnering with The Nameless Project on a new endeavor called The Tuli Initiative.  In the next six weeks, we’ll be publishing a Vision Series aimed at cluing you guys in on this new and upcoming work we will be doing in northern Uganda.  Check back here often to get information on this integrative rehabilitation program for traumatized individuals living in war-torn areas.  We plan to dissect our mind-body-spirit approach while laying out the next 15 to 20 years of work we have ahead of us!

Thanks for taking a few minutes to pause and read about our world at Switchboard Missions.  We certainly hope you’ll stick around and join us for what promises to be one incredible journey.