I love to journal.
Beginning when I was 17 years old, I’ve now transcribed thousands of pages of my emotions, thoughts, ideas and prayers. Okay, so yes, a number of those entries were dedicated to detailing my aspiring love life, or lack thereof. Thank you Carrisa (my wife of almost 5 years) for taking a chance on me . . . my journal has appreciated the beauty of our journey together!
A friend of mine had encouraged me to journal and I remember asking him, “So, will journaling make me a better person?” He responded, “No guarantees, but it has the potential to change your life.”
In a way, the ministry of Food for the Hungry (FH) is like journaling. We cannot go into impoverished communities and make outlandish promises of overnight transformation. Our staff humbly enter into a community, build relationships and invite the churches, leaders and families to participate in a difficult, but worthwhile journey of discovering their God-given potential. FH will consistently introduce and explain biblical ideas, invest resources and walk with the community to address the dangerous cycle of poverty that is tearing at the fabric of their community.
But, we cannot guarantee results.
Natural disasters and political upheaval, among other reasons, can circumvent the ministry of FH. But if you recall, our fuel for serving the most vulnerable is not based on our earthly abilities or success.
Our unstoppable guarantee: the cross
When the unexpected disrupts our hopes and plans, we panic. We can see this reality play out in the lives of the disciples. They were expecting Christ, the Messiah, to establish his kingdom using military and political authority. As it became clear that Jesus Christ was going to be arrested and crucified, they started to unravel. Peter denies knowing Jesus three times. Simon Peter attempts to battle a band of soldiers to protect Jesus.
But Christ was calm and collected as he moved towards the cross. His journey to Jerusalem began long ago and he is in control through every step. Pilot and Herod are perplexed about how to handle the accusation of Jesus. While he is the one on trial, Jesus is the one who is in complete control of the outcome. Even while enduring the humiliating walk to be crucified, he expresses compassion towards the women who are mourning for him.
Jesus embraced the cross, fulfilling the Scripture, knowing that his death and resurrection would mean grace and mercy for all who call on his name in faith.
In the cross, Jesus gives us something that cannot be stolen by thieves, diminished by oppression or destroyed by natural calamity. As FH cares for impoverished communities, we cannot control the circumstances of hostile nations and groaning creation. However, we can lean completely on the unstoppable message of the cross and power of the Gospel to change lives and communities.
The cross is the real guarantee of hope for a community. Serving alongside the faithful local church, Food for the Hungry has the high privilege of declaring and demonstrating the majesty of our crucified and risen Savior.