After years of hearing about Nana's little church in Cape Hatteras, it was such a joy to finally worship there. Matt had the adult Sunday School hour, which then turned into Matt preaching the sermon time, and it was just a gift for him to preach here in the States, for us to share, for me to listen, to meet everyone.
He never tells me what he's going to preach on, usually because it is common for Matt to get up to preach, praying for His presence, and feel led to share an entirely different message than what he had planned. So I just follow along. We both just follow along :)
During the Sunday school hour he preached from Exodus 3, highlighting just how many times we see the word "see" repeat in passage...see, saw, sight, appeared, seen. The Lord appeared in the burning bush, Moses looked, God shared how He had surely seen. Paying attention to this intentional repetition (more than 10 times) of the idea "to see", we looked at how Israel cried out to God in their suffering, and how God saw their suffering.
He knew their suffering, He saw it, He responded, came close, appeared, and He sent. A person.
We talked about how this is OUR God, again and again. About how He saw our suffering, knew it, responded, came close, appeared, sent Jesus - a person.
Talked about how this CONTINUES to be the plan. How God sees OUR suffering today, knows, cares, is responding and wanting to come close to a broken world through the sending of a person... US.
And after looking through this passage in detail, Matt talked briefly about Haiti. About the suffering. About the cries of her people. About how God has heard, and seen, and KNOWS.
I found myself totally and unexpectedly overwhelmed by a wave of deep-seated emotion.
I wasn't even listening for me, but sitting in the back and listening quietly for everyone else, and suddenly there He was. There He appeared.
As Matt spoke of Haiti, of her people, of her suffering, of her great need for God, the great I Am burned bright, anew, powerful in my heart.
He has SEEN and KNOWS and heard the suffering of the world, take off your sandals.
He is aware of our suffering, and has come down to deliver, the ground you're standing on is Holy ground.
He stretches out His hand, and He sends. A person. The Person. People. Us.
Each year I continue to pray and wait and look to hear His call. Anew. Again. I don't want to live on an old call of an old day, but want to be active and at work and moving in the call of an active and at work and moving GOD.
That I might return to Haiti saying verse 16, "‘The , the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me and sent me, saying, 'I am indeed concerned about you. I have heard you and will bring you up.'"
I am so grateful to have seen Him, so unexpectedly and so powerfully this morning, and grateful, despite all of my massive shortcomings and insufficiencies and lack of eloquence, for His call on our current lives to Haiti. Grateful best, that He continues to be with us and go before us.
Most, it was such a powerful reminder in the midst of so much brokenness, confusion and darkness (here and there) that He is CLOSE in suffering. That He SEES. That He hears, that He comes close, that there is purpose and growth in our pain as we call out to Him, and that He responds.
That He sends -- not a check, not a campaign, not stuff -- but a person.
Even if it's after 400 years of prayerful perseverance. THAT makes me have hope for Haiti. That makes me have hope for America.
That He sends -- not a list of rules, not a political victor, not material blessing, not popularity -- but a Person.
Even if he's not crowned in jewels and not met with riches and luxury and celebration. Even if He's crowned in thorns and met with suffering and death.
That He now is sending US, His people, in response to the groaning of the world, the prayers of the suffering, the brokenness of the broken.
As long as God SEES, as long as God Burns, as long as God SENDS, as long as God goes with us and speaks for us and sets captives free...darn it, I'm going.
We must be going. Because He's sending.
And finally faithful Moses is long dead.
And forever faithful Jesus is at the Father's hand, victorious.