Hello all! Greetings from Kingston…..a.k.a “The Rock”, a.k.a “Jamrock”, ak.a. “Kingston-Town”, a.k.a “On the IMF Watch List for Economic Depravity”, a.k.a. “No problem mon”, a.k.a “Lots of problems mon, a.k.a. “Home”…..
I am filling in for my lovely wife who cannot blog this month because she is back in the United States. I have been able to squeeze some writing time in-between by bachelordom activities of watching ESPN until they start rerunning the programming at midnight, not doing laundry, not keeping the house clean, and definitely not putting the decorative pillows back on the bed in the morning. No worries though, I normally get back into my married routine a few days before Cass gets back so that there is a seamless transition upon her return. You always have to play it cool....
Cass: “The house is so clean!”
Me: “Of course it is. Why are you surprised? I appreciate a clean house.”
Truth: I had to skip work in order to get this thing in shape before you got home. I spent 8 hours cleaning up my messes and considered bringing in a Jamaican housemaid for backup on numerous occasions.
Anyway, things in Jamaica have been hectic and a bit taxing over the past four weeks. Work has been crazy and Cass being gone is never fun. Over the past month, I have been traveling across Jamaica for business. I’ve been up early and back at home late. I figure that I might as well take advantage of this time with Cass away to grind away at growing business across Jamaica. However, I am starting to feel the effects of my schedule, and find myself living in a continual state of being worn out. Being worn out in a third world country feels different. My body and soul both suffer. Navigating the urban chaos of Kingston and enduring the daily grind seem to affect my spirit and my heart. It takes a lot to get my spirit down, but I have found that a tough week (or day) in Jamaica can do it. Whether I am dodging the constant potholes and peddlers or spending 45 minutes at the local drive thru to grab a “quick” lunch, some days are just tough. There have probably been more days here in Jamaica that I have needed a “spirit revival” than I can remember in my whole life in the states.
Generic Disclaimer: just to be clear…this isn’t a sob story about life in Jamaica. We have an amazing setup here and have really fallen in love with the island. We are blessed beyond belief. I am just referring to the realities of third-world life.
Living in Jamaica, I have a greater awareness of my spiritual self than ever before. When all your comforts are stripped away and you become a stranger in someone else’s land, you naturally become more in-tune with your spirit. I think the Lord is really using this season to teach me big lessons.
The fact of the matter is that me being in Jamaica has nothing to do with how much I should be seeking daily “spirit revival”. Whether you live in Houston, Kingston, Nairobi, or Beijing, we all live in a fallen world. The daily battles we face as repercussions for our sin-nature can really beat us up. If we are not careful, our spirit eventually dulls into a vacuum of lukewarm apathy. The Lord is teaching me that my number one priority each day is to be in-tune with my spirit and His working in it. If I can be aware of how the Lord is filling me each day, it will spill over into all of my interactions, allowing me to be a shining light in a dark world as opposed to a faint glimmer or no light at all. Imagine what this world would be like if all believers were truly reviving their spirits on a daily basis….what witnesses we could be!
I have recently come across some verses that have really spoken to be on this issue of revival.
- In Isaiah 57, the Lord says the following, “I live in the high and holy places, but also with the low-spirited, the spirit-crushed, and what I do is put new spirit in them, I get them up and on their feet again…” This really hit me. The Lord is saying that no matter what our days have thrown at us, no matter what sin has caused us to stumble, the Lord gives us a renewed spirit. It does not get more encouraging than that.
- II Chronicles 16:9 (The Message) says, “God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him.” This is the real action verse for this topic. Yes, the Lord can provide us with a new spirit, but he seeks those that are sold out for Him. If we are in a fully committed relationship with the Lord, pursuing Him with all that is in us, THEN we will find Him and our spirit will be renewed. Sometimes I am guilty of reading Isaiah 57 and then shutting my Bible. Just because God promises us something, doesn’t mean that we don’t have to act.
I am so thankful that we serve a Lord that actively seeks us and - if we allow Him - can be our constant source of revival in this world. What hope and victory that brings, ESPECIALLY when the going gets tough. My prayer is that God will find me on His search for those totally committed to Him, on any day and at any hour.
Thanks for reading. Cass will be back posting in a week or two. Until then, the decorative pillows will remain on the floor...