I was recently out walking, but not for exercise. I was traveling. My steps were carrying me down the Costa del Sol, beneath the bright sun for which it’s named, toward a place that’s home, but not home. Maybe I can explain. The place where I was headed used to be our home, and it still feels like home, but it’s someone else’s home now. I was just going back for a visit. So I was walking home, but not home—a place of sweet hospitality, both then and now. That matters because I know the path well. It was a path we had walked many, many times during our years there: right up the coast, looking out over the Mediterranean […]

Rejoicing in the Waiting

It’s 4:30 in the morning in the middle of Advent, and I am waiting. Over the past 48 hours, eight people have been vomiting in our home. As I sit in the stillness between sick bay and those who are now resting, I wonder. Will it hit me? Will I suffer, too? How long, O Lord? You have spared me thus far, but what is to come? It’s not the kind of waiting that’s typically associated with this season. Yet in the midst of it all, my heart is stirred. “Rejoice,” said the apostle. “Rejoice,” said the preacher. “Rejoice,” said a friend. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” I hear restless stirrings, and I pause […]

Training to… Suffer?

–Originally published on FWB21 August 17, 2012– World-class athletes train for intense competition by pushing themselves on a daily basis, denying themselves the indulgences that make them sluggish and weak, and focusing on the prize that motivates them to win. In the same way, if we believers are following Christ in obedience, our daily walk will prepare us for… suffering. Jesus warned us that we would suffer if we follow Him. The first epistle of Peter is in itself a theology of suffering. But how does our daily walk with Christ train us to suffer? The one who willingly fasts on a regular basis is prepared to face hunger or poverty with a spirit of grace when it is forced […]