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Shaken and Stirred

It's been just under a year since I got the job at Christianity Today. The many lessons God taught me while I was waiting came to a close, and a time of relaxation set in. I've learned that it's far too easy to fall back into comfortable patterns and forget how desperately we need God. But God has a way of shaking us out of our patterns and stirring up passions in our hearts. That's where I find myself today. God has been using my small group to stretch me, to test if my heart really trusts what I believe in my mind. As we've served alongside the under-resourced, I've found mixed emotions. I've been overjoyed to do what I know God calls his followers to. On the other hand, I feel awkward and clumsy and a little scared. I'm not good at this, I think. I'm messing this all up. I've also found myself much more emotional than usual. The thing is, when I read verses about the oppressed and the poor, I now have real people in my mind. People I know and care about. All this missional living really is messy. It would be a beautiful thing if our efforts to help others always resulted in their transformation and their choosing to follow Jesus. But that's not how it works. Instead, we're called to obey God--regardless of the outcome. On top of all this, I've been reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker. It's a great book, written like a collection of blog posts. But it's also really convicting. I find that I need to think about her words, chew on them. Not because they're difficult to understand, but because they're incredibly challenging to middle-class, American Christians like me. I feel like I'm on the cusp of something big, so I'm giving several hours to God today, to listen for how he wants all these experiences to impact me. What does he want me to do with this information? What changes is he asking me to make? Sometimes it's painful to be shaken up, to have our hearts stirred. But isn't it beautiful that God continually comes to us, wanting us to know him better, to serve him more, and to experience him more deeply? What's the last thing that shook you or stirred up passions within you? Did you push it back, or did you allow God to transform you?

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