Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I am struck this morning by how our Great and Mighty God answers prayer.

It seems natural to search for clues in the sequence of events leading up to Beej's death. From my perspective, it is not that I don't accept what happened, or even that I question what happened. It is that he gained some level of understanding while in Peru that God was calling him to be willing to lay down his life. This experience was so real that he began to share it with his teammates, and subsequently, his friends upon his return home.

I read a page of his journals each morning. I hear the words in his voice. I am still moved by his depth of understanding as he read the Word. I enjoy seeing how the Lord inspired him, and what his thought processes were. Unfortunately, the page or so of writing only hold a small portion of what was actually in his mind.

I have found myself wondering at what point he began to recognize what he was being called to. It is with that slant that I sometimes hear his words. Unfortunately, without the author present, one can only view his writings and put things in context by having additional conversations with those who knew him, those he shared with.

Interestingly, I place a new value on those chosen few. I often wonder if his words about his forthcoming expectations echo in their memories.

I was reading from his Peru '05 journal today. I have posted this entry in full at some previous time. It's context came across a bit different today than it did on the day I posted it. Perhaps because I have more information now than I did then. Perhaps because the tide of tears has receded a bit, offering more clarity.

He has spent his quiet time on this day, July 3, 2005, reading from John 15. [I find myself wondering if he contemplated what Independence Day meant to our country. A child growing up who experienced 9/11, may have a different view of life and death, than adults whose own life experiences have tempered the mettle of their dispositions.] In response to verse 13, he wrote, "The greatest love, the greatest way to love and obey Christ is to lay down your life for Him A) to lay down your sense of self and follow and obey Him in living B) to die for Him."

Later on that page, his prayer for the day was, "Father, help me to truly clear the platform of my life and lay down my desires for You. Help me to be obedient without hesitation and to have the faith like those of Heb. 11. Continue to break my heart for my team, the Peruvians, and for North Africa. Please bring more clarity on this calling. In Your Son's name, Amen."

I am struck by how the Lord answered his prayer. Hindsight from over a year later provides a clarity we could not have predicted or expected. But did he?

Immediately after his return home from Peru this last time, he had a conversation with friends on a weekend youth retreat. They questioned him about his readiness for the eminent, upcoming spiritual attacks due to his extreme obedience to Christ.

His response went something like "Yeah, I know the enemy is going to come after me. You know, I could be lying unconscious in the hospital in a month, and dead in two."

The reason western Christianity is impotent in much of the battle for souls today is that as believers we are not prepared to die for Christ! We are lulled into complacency by all that we have, all that we want to gain. Our response, if any, to those in need, is to throw a bit of money in the offering plate, and expect that someone else will take care of the work that needs to be done. We are too busy, and too self motivated.

The Lord is trying to awaken our hearts to the needfulness of a dying world. He uses the Cassie Bernalls' and BJ Higgins' of the world to try to open our eyes. As Keith Green put it, we are "Asleep in the Light."

I have to ask if my faith is heavy enough to make a ripple in the sea of lost souls. If my life were required of me tonight, would it make a difference to another, tomorrow? Does the way I live my life inspire others to seek harder after the face of Christ? Am I willing to lay down my "stuff" and go to work, telling others about Him? "...will you answer the call and get uncomfortable for Christ?" (BJ)



At 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Am I? Do I step out in the swirling deep waters? Yes, I am scared. But there is an anchor to hold on to. But will I? Or are these just words and thoughts in my head right now? Lord give me strength.

At 4:47 PM, Blogger Praying in Canada said...

I've been following this blog for a few months now, after seeing it in the Mercy Me cd cover. Someday when I have the time, I'll spend an hour letting you know how your words have impacted my life and my 9 year old son, who, this past spring, before I discovered this blog, went through a "pink is my favorite color" phase! When he came home from bible camp this summer and I asked him to share what he had learned, he told me that he thought a lot about BJ... This site has touched my heart and I'm so thankful for your wise words and authenticity.

But back to today. I was reading Romans this morning, and Paul shared with his fellow Christians how cool it was that people "all over the world" were talking about their faith and it made me wonder what we would need to do, as followers of Jesus, to impact the world like that. We live so much like the rest of the world, and I think we've convinced ourselves that Jesus is OK with that. That we need to be like others in order to be accepted and then share our lives and what we believe. How misguided we've become!

I so want my life to be a reflection of Jesus, but to do that I need to know Jesus well. I don't think Jesus was anything at all like his peers... that's what made him so noticeable. Why do we try so hard not to be different? Not to be noticed? How will we change the world if we're like the world? Where is the beauty of God's transforming power if we choose to remain the same?

Like BJ, I want to be ready to lay down my life for Christ... I want to be ready to die for Christ... but right now I know He's calling me to LIVE FOR HIM!!! I pray that we will all have what it takes to change the world in Jesus' name!

I pray that I will have wisdom and understanding like BJ had, and that I will never be ashamed of who I am in Christ. You raised an amazing son who is touching lives all over the world. Thanks for continuing to share him with us.

At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words of inspiration, both Brent and "praying in Canada"

At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more, anonymous! "Am I? Do I step out in the swirling deep waters?" Sometimes I get frightened by what I think are deep waters then I look and I've really not gotten that far out. I really only need stand up and I'm in control. So who or how can Jesus be in control? Brent, I'm ashamed to say it but truthfully, I'm closer to tossing in the money and letting someone else give their all than letting go and getting into the deep waters. Would somebody please chop off my hands! I'm holding on too tight.

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

This touches on something God's been teaching me lately. When I embrace Him most fully, I am more and more free from fear. The danger hasn't changed--but He keeps changing me.

I can't help but remember Pastor Larry at the Memorial Celebration, sharing BJ's words as he tried (unsuccessfully) to make a case for jumping off a 20-30' rock into a lake: "But Larry. . . what's life without a little danger?"

Lord, help each one of us to embrace You and the "danger" you call us toward. Perfect love casts out fear--help us to so live Your love that we move fearlessly to follow You, as BJ did, with a heart wholly devoted to You. Only You!

in the name of One who risked it ALL--



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