Reflections on our life and lessons in uganda
Life and Death
Alright. We have gotten all settled in our home and life in Uganda again. I (Kristin) am learning a new way of cooking, and have become a consistent dishwasher/house cleaner (the ants are a good motivator to keep things clean!). I have struggled since I have fallen out of the habit of writing a weekly blog; they say use it or lose it and I have lost a fair bit of it. So I was praying that God would give me some sort of inspiration for what to write on.
Well this week in Terebinth’s class we finished the pentateuch as we went through Deuteronomy. It was a great week and we discussed so much of how the law reveals Christ. When we were in Deuteronomy 30 we were discussing what does life and good, evil and death mean in relation to the blessings and cursings from chapter 28. I started looking into the words and what they meant in Hebrew and was blown away. See, Deuteronomy 30:15 says, “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. .” The word for life is chay and it means: green, flowing, lively, reviving, life. So the idea isn’t just being a living thing, it is life-giving. It is flowing forth with refreshing and greenness. Good is the word towb meaning: pleasant, excellent, happy, kind, ethical, right. So the one option is to be refreshing, excellent, pleasant, life-giving, kind and right. I picture the first image when I hear those words.
Death is the word maveth: death, dying, Death (personified), or state of death. This isn’t just to die, it is to be in a state of dying. The word for evil is the word ra` meaning: malignant, disagreeable, worst, sad, evil, hurtful, wicked. These words bring picture 2 to mind.
So we see here that what was set before Israel (and is set before us now) isn’t a checklist for religious living. It is a recipe for living the kind of life that flows forth goodness and brings life into every situation, or it is bringing death to infect the situations we are in. So how do we choose? “love the LORD your God” and to “walk in His ways, keep His commandments, His statues, and His judgements”. What does that look like? It looks like Matthew 22:37-40, “Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” By dying, Jesus gave us life; and by dying to ourselves we bring life into the situations, people and lives around us. By giving our heart soul and mind to Jesus, we become like Him and we begin to delight in loving our neighbors as He has loved us.
So my challenge this week is to bring life into the situations I’m walking into. Whether it is formal ministry, meeting someone at the market, or spending an evening with Jon.And the Lord showed me in one of the simplest ways what that can look like. See, I tend to get all lofty with ideas like “bring life to today” and it isn’t as hard as I want to make it.
Jon and I have a kitchen that is made for a folks a little smaller than we are. I have spilled or dropped something EVERY time I cook. Well the other night Jon was in the pantry helping me get stuff out for dinner and I heard a crash and the distinct sound of broken glass. (Note: I was already late on getting dinner started). I walked over to see a full, glass bottle of soy sauce shattered on the pantry floor. For a split second I wanted to get frustrated at the situation, at the bottle, at Jon, at the pantry. And then I started to laugh. Because in that split second the Lord showed me that by letting my flesh get upset I would just be bringing death and rottenness into that moment. But by letting it roll off and helping Jon clean it up with a smile, I was able to bring a little bit of life in where instead I could have fed anger and bitterness. We worked together to get it cleaned up and had a lovely evening together. So while I still have a long way to go and a lot to learn when it comes to bringing life to situations; God showed me that by making simple choices I am a blessing or a curse to those around me. I bring with me life or death into every conversation. And by putting my mind on Jesus and growing in my relationship with Him, I am enable to walk in life and light more often.
10/27/2016 08:02:46 pm
Very true. Love your real life application. Besides, since the soy sauce was more for Jon than for you, I'm sure he was more disappointed than you. :)
11/1/2016 11:44:53 pm
mmm soy sauce! Hard to cook in small kitchens! Love the post
Leave a Reply.