We have just got back from our field conference.
it was a good time of soul searching, field planning and reconnecting with team members, we are a growing team, glorie à Dieu, but with growth comes diversity!!!
The kids had their own programme which they enjoyed very much and we all had bit of a hoot on the fun night.
Madeleine came and helped with the childrens work, she rang us up a couple of weeks ago to see if she could come to see us over toussaint (Halloween holiday in France!) we said we would be at conference for that time... but we REALLY needed another helper... how timely! God provided us with an excellent helper, experienced and qualified, plus we got to see Madeleine during coffee breaks, meal times and in the evenings! Hurrah!
Now we need to finish the post conference washing, sort through the issues that were raised and put into place the things discussed, discided, recommended...
Something that I learnt.
One of the morning devotions was around the Biblical character Peter.
After the resurrection of Jesus, the disciples were out fishing, after fishing all night they had caught nothing, Jesus appeared to them on the shore (though they didn't recognise Him, he asked if they had any food, when their reply was negative, Jesus told them to throw their nets on the right side, they did this and their nets were full.
Peter immediatly recognised this was the work of Jesus, and said as much, he grabbed his outer clothing and launched himself into the shallow water to get to Jesus.
The point made was this...
Last time Peter saw Jesus, before He was crucified, was after the 3rd denial when Luke 22 says that Jesus turned to look at Peter; Pete must have felt ghastly, Luke says he went out and 'wept bitterly'.
A week or so later, Peter is running to Jesus, had he forgotten the denial? the pain he went through? the look in Jesus eyes when he saw him before? what was in Peter's mind, how could he ever say sorry enough, how could he look into Jesus' eyes again, surely Jesus would want to talk about it, bring up the past, seek a healing...
Jesus did not use Peter's mistakes to teach him a lesson, or rake over painful scars to prove a point, he affirmed his love and confidence in Peter and re-commissioned Peter with the task of fishing for men, feeding His sheep.
How lovely is that.
I know my past isn't the best (it's not the worst either I know!) But often I will think that I cannot be fully useful because of something I once did, said, or thought... that the next person is more experienced or qualified for the job...
God has checked that my heart is in the right place NOW; My focus is on Him, my vision is in line with His and my desires are His desires... to see souls touched and saved for His kingdom.
Be encouraged as I am, God doesn't bring up the past to make a point, to say "look what you did then... how can I trust you", He affirms our hearts and recommissions us time & time again.
Have a great day, be blessed.