Wednesday, May 31, 2006

"For Such A Time As This..."

Hello All,

Most of you who know me, know that I read a lot, for such is the nature of the job for any Pastor. Every message for any Pastor will entail several hours worth of reading. By the way, please appreciate what your Pastor does. Every Sunday that 30 minute sermon has been born from a great amount of prayer and reading. Anyway, not only do I read a lot for every message, but I thoroughly enjoy reading for leisure. At present, I am reading several books and beginning a book I have wanted to start since I took the Perspectives course a year ago.

The book is by Thomas Cahill and it is called "How The Irish Saved Civilization." I know what your thinking: How about reading a book on Spain!? I am presently reading two books on Spain, so I am covered there. (It helps not having any television!) But this book really interested me when I heard about it. The book does not claim to be Christian as far as I can tell, but in the foreward to the book, the author wrote something that really stirred my heart and I want to share it with you. What follows are the words of Thomas Cahill himself.

"We normally think of history as one catastrophe after another, war followed by war, outrage by outrage-almost as if history were nothing more than all the narratives of human pain assembled in sequence. And surely this is, often enough, an adequate description. But history is also the narratives of grace, the recountings of those blessed and inexplicable moments when someone did something for someone else, saved a life, bestowed a gift, gave something beyond what was required by circumstance."

Cahill goes on to talk about the substance of the present series of books that he is writing, and how history might have turned out if not for "the gift givers, arriving in the moment of crisis...leaving us a world more varied and complex, more awesome and delightful, more beautiful and strong than the one they had found."

This set of paragraphs got my mind thinking about the famous line of Mordecai to Queen Esther, who had been elevated to the position of the Queen. Having discovered a plot against her people, it was in her power to act, perhaps even to save them. That line often is used with somewhat of a negative connotation, but it truly was a tremendous opportunity that she had.

Then I thought about us. Our family. Our friends. Fellow missionaries who are equally stirred for the country of Spain, right now trying to enter the country. We are coming to give gifts, namely gifts of salvation and blessing to this nation. We have come in a moment of crisis for this country. I had a long talk with my language tutor the other night about the future of this country. He could not say that he was optimistic. He was burdened with the political scene and the low morality that is plaguing many Spanish hearts. In the eyes of this Spaniard, things could get much worse before they get better.

And then I thought about it: Could it be that our lives now will impact what happens in Spain for eternity? Could we be here for such a time as this? Could we be bringing gifts that will alter the destiny of this country? Only time will tell and perhaps, some historian someday will talk about a movement of God's Spirit that was so amazing that it changed the heart of a society and the direction of national life. Lord let it be, even in our days! I will ask for all and hope for all with all my strength! But if not, we ask for the courage to be ones that leave the world that we have found "more beautiful and strong" because of our lives, lived out in Christ before the Spaniards who are watching.

How about you? My friends, my family. I propose that you are people of destiny as much as we are. Your station may not be Spain, but it is the station which God has placed you in. I pray that your heart will be stirred to be the "gift givers" in your world today.

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

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