05 November 2019

When darkness seems to veil

"But Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was."

What is this thick darkness in my life where it seems God is obscure, His face is veiled, and I am afraid? Perhaps it is there in the mystery, in the fearful unknown that I find God's presence. Or, where I least expect to find God, He is present.

My whole life feels like thick darkness. Has God been drawing near me this whole time?

Have I been seeking His hand and not His face? Can I trust God and love God even if He will not deliver me? Maybe it won't always be a fiery furnace or a lions' den from which He saves. Maybe it's an environment. Maybe it's a period in life. Maybe it's the place to which He carried me.

Perhaps this whole time, I was meant to seek His face when instead I was seeking His hand to deliver me from this trial. Maybe I'm not meant to be delivered. Not now. Not the way I'm expecting.

"But if He does not..." 

Even if He does not, my hope remains in Him.

Ryan
Beirut, Lebanon

30 April 2019

I would know in a whale

Lately I have been tempted to put God to the test. I want to run away from God as far as possible, like Jonah. Why? Because I want God to run after me and pull me back. I want to be swallowed by a whale and know that I’ve been called by God. This indifferent attitude of God (not mine) leaves me unsure about my identity, my calling, and my fulfillment. I wish God would grant me more affirmation, more fulfillment that I would know I am meant to be where I am, but I don’t have any of that. I am left discouraged. Is that my fault or God’s?

Ryan
Flying Over the Horn of Africa

12 January 2019

Grace Will Lead You Home

As the years come and go we tend to rely upon mere things of this world to fill the emptiness that the past year left in us. But God reminds that He is all we need to fill that emptiness, because His grace is sufficient for us.

With Him we can do more than survive. We can thrive.

18 November 2018

As of now

Coming here was probably the greatest jump in my life. Greater than moving to the Philippines. Greater than moving to Kenya. I was taking a chance on my path, my career, my social life, even my happiness.

Yet when I landed here, God was silent. He didn't speak to me like He used to. I didn't have the fulfilling fruits of my labor that affirmed His own work in my life.

Quite often now, I feel alone, incapable, untested, and desperately questioning. I wonder where God's Spirit went, when I was so certain He was with me before.

So where did God go? Will He show up again? Or am I to go in search of Him?

Ryan
Beirut, Lebanon

07 September 2018

But can there be life before death?

I have wondered if the Adventist doctrine on the state of the dead has any more meaningful theological meaning than the ho hum antagonism towards spiritualism. I think it can be this: if we believe that when one dies, one does not immediately enter the gates of heaven,  should we not be more occupied with the question of whether there can be life before death, rather than whether there is life after death? We believe that there is ‘life after death’ per se, at the Resurrection. If Jesus says, “I have come that you might have life, and life to the fullest,” then are we not looking for meaning in life before death? Shouldn't we be teaching about the state of the living?

Ryan
Beirut, Lebanon