Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gonna make you cry, Dawn Clark on the strategy of suffering: no mud, no glory...

Two people have shaped the graduate life of my wife and I massively, Andy Shudall and Dawn Clark, aka the Relay Coordinator and Administrators when we did the programme in 2000-2002. Back then they taught us grace upon grace. Now they're in New Zealand and Greece, respectively, on mission.
I think that somewhere between 150 and 200 stood at the first call. I, of little faith, couldn’t believe so many responded. As the second group were called to stand with them a further 400 or so stood. Most of the tent was standing. It moved me to tears and I need to explain why. 13 years ago I stood at FORUM and responded in the same way that some of these guys had: tentatively, knowing that God had called me to give my whole life for his glory and that, for me, that would mean moving outside of my comfort zone. I cried that Wednesday night because I know how much that response is going to cost. Suffering is not an option, it’s a cost and a strategy. But, and this is what I really want to make clear, it’s a strategy not just for the sake of those who see but for those who suffer. My personal pain at leaving my lovely life in Beeston helps me to “look forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” (Heb 11:10) It forces me to live for Jesus. Read more
My stand up moment was 1998, after which I remember praying with Ken Cowen. Landed me up where I am today. Doesn't feel like extreme suffering but there have been costs on the way, I trust to reveal the worth of Jesus and loosen my grip on satisfaction in His good gifts instead of in Him.

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