Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: Jesus

Sweet Relief

by Jordee

I often feel it when I’m weary. When I feel the weight of the world and wonder if I’ll get rest soon. When I feel like I’m swimming against the tide, or when someone I love is barely holding on, finding strength only to come up and gasp for air.

We are not as we should be, and when we look around, the effects of this are everywhere. Sometimes the brokenness seems so awfully pervasive, and I wonder for a moment if there’s hope.

But only for a moment.

Then I remember the God Who Sees and the One who healed the sick and raised the dead. It only takes a moment because He is right here, holy and transcendent,  inevasible and loving.

He loves us.

He sees the pain and evil, our rebellion, weakness, and doubt. He does not turn a blind eye. He saw it and took it on Himself, and it had no power over Him.

A dear friend of mine was walking through a difficult time, a time of fighting the tide and gasping for air. She recently told me that she felt a breakthrough when she was riding in the car and a familiar song about the love of God came on the radio. Air filled her lungs again. She stopped flailing as if it were up to her to stay afloat. She said she cried out of relief.

He loves us. We are often burdened and broken. We are sometimes rebellious and ready to give up, but He loves us. What a divine relief.

Thank God.

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Far surpassing all the rest
It’s an ocean full of blessing
in the midst of every test
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Mighty Savior, precious Friend
You will bring us home to glory
Where your love will never end
Samuel Trevor Francis, 1890

The Author and His Story

by Jordee

Ryan and I study diversity in the world’s languages. Language is rich and complex, and lots of scholarly energy is poured into finding what some call “language universals” so we can make sense of it. One of these universals is something we might have guessed. Stories. We learn from stories. Stories are what make up our histories, what define us and what we use to identify ourselves, what we read to and tell our children, what our children tell us, what we pass on through generations.

Of course, the structure of stories differs greatly from language to language. “Once upon a time” and “happily ever after” aren’t language universals. The scholar Robert Longacre, however, has suggested several story elements that are shared among a lot of the world’s languages. One of these elements he calls the “inciting moment.” The predictable is disrupted, plans take a sudden twist, the story isn’t what we had previously thought. The inciting moment gets the story going.

Sometimes we are happy trudging along in a comfortable and safe episode of our story, and we’d rather not be disrupted. About two weeks ago, we were on a pleasant run in a sunny park, when our car was vandalized. An unwelcome inciting moment happened. Plans were changed, our routine was disrupted, and the story of the next several days was not how we would have written it.

But it helps us to look at our stories as a part of a much Bigger Story.

We can remember the bigger inciting moments–
when God spoke the earth into being and called it good,
when He took on human form as Jesus,
when the tomb was found empty,
and when by His grace, He rescued us and made us His children.

These are the inciting moments of the Bigger Story, and the Author is using us to form it into a narrative for His glory. Every moment of our lives is a part of His story, and Ryan and I remain His dearly loved children in every beginning, every conflict, every climax, every resolution.

So if you have just experienced a discouraging inciting moment, or if you are just trudging along, we invite you to remember Jesus, the Author, who endured the cross and ignored the shame because He focused on the joy that was set before him.