"I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mothers or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields - and with them persecutions) and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first." Mark 10:29-31
Before coming to Japan I read Matthew 19:29-30 over and over to remind me why I must go to Japan. I've quoted Mark's version of this passage since it seems to flesh out the meaning a bit more, but this scripture is what got me here. I honestly believe that without it I would still be in the U.S.
You see, in the U.S., I had it good. I worked for a great company, I went to a great church, and had great friends all around me. Life really didn't seem like it could get much better except for the nagging fact that something seemed to be a bit missing. Yet, how could I be crazy to leave a life of comfort and joy to go to a country of a thousand unknowns and a less secure future? I'll be honest, I trusted in my abilities of computing and in the security of my paycheck, and really could not make sense of leaving a life I enjoyed immensely.
But now, two months into this crazy journey known as Japan, I am beginning to get a glimpse of what both Matthew and Mark are saying. I didn't at first, and yes, persecutions are sure to ensue, but after every Sunday and another week of life in Japan down I realize, "Wow! Jesus was dead on once again!"
I wish I could fully give you a glimpse of what I am thinking and feeling right now, although really it is quite impossible unless you go through much the same experience yourself. But I am beginning to form friendships and finally starting the work that God has set out for me and I am beginning to realize the hundred times promise that Jesus himself gave to those who leave to serve Him and the gospel. It is amazing!
While I don't want to sermonize, and I'm afraid this blog fell way short of what I was hoping to convey, I beseech (I really like that word) you to pick something that doesn't make sense in the Bible and "test [Him] on this." The beauty of God and the Bible is that it continues to turn common logic upside down and just puts me in utter awe of how wrong and foolish I am, and how I must always trust what God is trying to teach me even if it doesn't make sense.
All that said, I'm glad I'm here!