I’m not sure if it was the caffeine from the Turkish coffee served in every home I visited or the Holy Spirit that had me lying awake early this morning. But regardless the cause, the result was that I found myself once again contemplating a favorite passage of scripture in light of yesterday’s experiences:
Thus says the LORD,
“Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and
let not the mighty man boast of his might,
let not a rich man boast of his riches;
but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;
for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NASB)
Here’s the point: It’s not about me.
I like to think of myself as wise, but it’s not about who I am.
It doesn’t matter how mighty I think I am, it’s not about what I can do.
It doesn’t matter if I’m rich, it’s not about what I have.
It is about me, you, and everyone we meet understanding and knowing who God is and what He delights in.
It is about who He is: The God of lovingkindness.
It is about what He can do: Bring justice where there is none.
It is about what only He has: Righteousness that only He can (and does) offer to us.
What is “it”? Life. Work. Ministry. Relationships. Everything.
Unless that message is actively burning in my heart I will make a mess out of every encounter, every opportunity that comes my way. Yesterday I met Iraqi and Syrian people who had riches before they were forced to flee their homes and businesses, leaving everything behind. I met leaders of industry, education, and politics who, as one man put it, “can’t find any work now except to kill time”.
They don’t need my wisdom. They are sustained by an intimate knowledge of the Loving God, the hope of His pending justice, and the righteousness they live by despite their current circumstances. In many ways, my understanding of these things is shallow compared to theirs.
I’m here to encourage them, to learn from them, and to serve them by any means God provides. May God bless, protect, and bring justice for the Kurdish people.