It's very humbling to be the recipient of many blessings. Once again, I find myself being blessed, in more ways than I can count.
God is good.
Recently, it's easy to think of my near future and be a little apprehensive. There's a lot of change coming. All kinds of new relationships to build (and maintain! yuck! maintaining is the hard part!), lots of responsibility, work, a new area to get used to... plus trying to keep up with old relationships and maintain a healthy sense of balance (healthy being a relative concept.)
But God has been gracious to me, and has seen fit to encourage me and bless me greatly still. There are so many little things that He speaks to me from, soothing my fears, and confirming my place here. It's easy for me to get overwhelmed and just shut down when I think about things too much. But there has been an almost constant flow of encouragement for me, right when I need it.
I'm naturally a negative person, but right now, I almost feel like I've got little positive "floaty thingies" on. (imagine the little floaties that you put on your arms when you are a kid)
God is good.
I've mentioned it before, but another thing that never ceases to amaze me is the encouragement I receive from writing this blog. Seriously, it's weird. As of today, I have 30 followers. I have no idea how that even happened. (Hello followers! *waves*) I get comments from people who are searching for missionaries in Japan. How do you find my blog??? I've searched for my blog before, and I never have the patience to ever find my blog. I usually give up after about 20 or 30 pages of search results. The only thing I can think of is that God is bringing people here to this place.
I just got a comment from someone who had found my blog and wanted to contact me. I now have a couple (man and wife) who are committed to praying for me daily. Wow. That just blows me away. I know several other followers are also praying for me.
I can't even put into words what that means to me. People who I have never met, are praying for me.
It's funny, because I get the funny impression that people think I'm working really hard for God over here or something. I think people get excited by the word "missionary." I'm not complaining, really, I'm not. I'm just observing how very far I feel from that word and all the connotations it brings. Granted, I'm about to start working as a "special church worker" again, but I've been kinda "on break" for almost 2 years now. But that's when the prayer supporters started showing up. It's funny how that works.
I don't want to give the impression that I'm not doing anything at all. But I'm actually not doing anything special either. Right now, I'm just living as a Christian in Japan. That takes a lot right there I think. But, I think, in essence, that is what a "missionary" is. Living as a Christian where you are. Being as much of a light to the people around you as possible.
Even when I was an official missionary, the biggest results I ever "produced" (not the best term out there) came from outside my jobs as a church worker. It came from where I lived. It came from inside the people I loved with my whole heart.
Ah, maybe that's the key. Loving with our whole hearts. (this thought just occurred to me while writing this blog, this is a bit of a tangent, so you'll have to bear with me as I process it out. ) When we love, truly love, from the deepest part of our hearts, that is the place we will see "fruit", is it not? Personally, I'm not good at love. Actually, I'm quite bad at it. But it has been my prayer for a long time that I learn what love really is. Not the selfish emotional things that we often associate with love. But the real kind, that overflows from a heart that deeply loves God above all else. I'm far from that place. I often feel far from God. But even when I'm far from Him, He's still showering me with blessings.
Have I mentioned that God is good? I didn't think so.
In any case, tonight I'm thankful for all the blessings God is giving me. Every now and then, I stop, step back, and become slightly frightened from the abundance of it all. (seriously, when God starts dropping prayer supporters in your lap, it can only mean you are going to need them, and probably soon! That's a thought that can keep me worried. Until I remember God doesn't want me to worry or live in fear, which is why He's giving me people who are supporting me with prayer.) When I look at the blessings, it's easy for me to look at myself, and think of how much I don't deserve these blessings. It's easy to shut down.
But that's just silly. Because after all, God is giving me such wonderful gifts. Wouldn't He be more pleased if I took them, gratefully and thankfully? That's how I like people to receive gifts from me.
So, here is my random processing of accepting the blessings, and challenges set before me. I pray I continue to receive joyfully, and I pray for wisdom to use them wisely. I pray for soft cushioning as I fall, and maybe a trampoline to help me jump right back up again. I pray for perseverance, and I pray that I never fail to be thankful for all I have been given. Amen.