This week I tell the story of how a young girl’s heart was captured by the wonder of the world and the greatness of the God who made it. If calling and vision are formed at such a tender age, let us never hold back from telling our children – even the youngest – the vast and wonderful stories of the world we live in and the God who loves it so passionately.
Once upon a time, there was a young girl, about 3 years old, who would run out into her back garden and creep around the undergrowth, exploring and delighting in the leaves and bugs and dew and grass. The wonderful world captivated her.
By the time she was a teen, she was wondering why the church she went to didn’t really resemble what she saw in the Bible they taught. She asked around: Why don’t we see miracles here? Is God as big as the God I read about here… in these pages? She got an answer… ‘Look here. Look at what He is doing in Africa. Look at these crusades. Look at how he is touching lives powerfully across the world!’
So she started to read… Corrie Ten Boom. Jackie Pullinger. Lilias Trotter. Women who bucked the trend and lived out their faith across the nations – living boldly and loudly. Their lives pointed to a Big God. A God who made everything.
By the time she was in her thirties, she was on her own journey… moving from her home town to ‘a place she didn’t know’. Not quite overseas, but an adventure into a new place, stirred by God with a sense it was ‘time to move.’ Her world was getting bigger.
Around this time, she went to Birmingham to meet a friend and catch up. Together as they wandered through the city centre, they stumbled upon a convention. Caught up in the crowds, they viewed the melee from a balcony in the arena, looking down as if from heaven at an international meeting of souls. People from every nation, every ethne and language, milling about in the reception area. A sense of heaven fell on them and they felt they’d had a glimpse of Rev 7.9. A Big family, representing a Big God.
And so she moved to a new home, to a new town, and before long found herself working with an international mission agency… and even today her heart still longs for this Big God to be known and loved to the ends of the earth.
The story’s not over yet…
9 After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to co
unt, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. 10 And they were shouting with a great roar,
“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne
and from the Lamb!” (Rev 7.9-10)
Bonus – it’s still the cry of her heart: