Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Here Is My Passion

"You were so passionate for the Lord when you were a freshman. I just don't want you to lose that passion." 

They say it like they know me.

They say it like they hold the monopoly on the definition for passion, for being "on fire." But why does passion have to equal Pentecostal? 

I love my Pentecostal friends, but they need to know this: passion comes in many packages and personality types. 

Yes, I used to be more "outgoing." Yes, I used to be more "active." Yes, I used to be more "vocal." Yes, I used to be more "excitable." Yes, I used to be more of many things, but I would argue that I am no less passionate than I used to be.

My passion just looks different from theirs. Why?

I've grown, and I've grown up. I've changed. I'm not 16 anymore. I've seen more of the world, more of suffering's reality, and yet my vision of God in His sovereignty is also greater.

I have experienced suffering in my own life, suffering that has slowed me down, but not quenched my flame. The suffering has taught me rest, made me quiet, but quiet is not bad. I can meet more people in their suffering with greater empathy than I ever thought possible. I can tell them about my saving, comforting Jesus and it really mean something, because He's had to save and comfort me. I know that "Just have faith," and Romans 8:28 are the last things people in pain need to hear, and instead my tears are standing ready to mingle with theirs.

I haven't lost passion because I need more sleep than I used to. I haven't lost passion because I spend less time doing ministry and more time in a doctor's office. I haven't lost passion because I have to say no to good things far more often than a 20 year old should have to. I haven't lost passion because I see grace in even my affliction and the opportunity to know Christ better. I haven't lost passion because I leave it up to others to pray for my healing in faith, while I in faith ask for grace to accept the cup I have been given, believing it to be God's sovereign will. I haven't lost passion because I am willing to bend to God's working, rather than insisting on my wicked heart's dreams and aspirations. I haven't lost passion because I see God's hand in even this and am fighting for joy in it. 

I won't change to be what others want, because He is clearly changing me to be the woman after His own heart that He desires. He is turning me from Martha to Mary by whatever means necessary. I want to learn what He has to teach me, not question the lesson because others may. 

My passion for Christ and His name is intact, it just looks different from most others at my small, enthusiastic Bible college, and that's alright. We all have a place to serve in the Kingdom, my mission will be unique.

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