This morning I stumbled across some blogs where people were writing about the dangers of Youth With A Mission (YWAM). It was hard to read because it is painful to see others’ pain and because I am a part of YWAM and appreciate many things about YWAM. There are no perfect organizations or perfect people. Leaders often disappoint and everyone has probably found themselves in the middle of a great trial because of disappointment in someone or some thing we once trusted.
I remember finding myself at the end of my rope in every way when fellow church members were sending me emails telling me how disgusting I was and how it was surprising I could face myself in a mirror due to a decision made by a committee on which I was a member. I remember my father in law reading them and concluding that one of the emails was designed to encourage me to commit suicide. There definitely were days when I faced the choice of continuing to place my hope in Christ or placing my faith in something else.
What pulled me through was God’s gentle reminder to fix my eyes on Jesus and to desire God above all else. When I focused on my own hurt or on the “evil” perpetrated by others, I remained in a place where I could not see Truth or Grace. I found myself spinning in a fog of self-pity, judgment, fear, and a desire to strike back rather than being free in God’s spirit of power, love and a sound mind. As I am able to forgive myself and others in my life, just as Jesus did, I can walk freely as Jesus did in love and grace. Whereas our theological notions of truth in Scripture can get quite convoluted, who Jesus is doesn’t change.
Let us pursue the one who is Truth and who calls us friend rather than pursue a life that tries to define other people as enemy. Let us think on those things that are excellent and praiseworthy, being anxious about nothing and thankful for the life God’s given us, as we pray and live in the reality of our friendship with, and adoption by, the One who made us.