It's a new dawn. It's a new day. It's a new life for me. And I'm feeling good!10:09 PM
"Get out of the boat Rachel, you've got to get out of the boat." Sitting outside in our Irish "garden", aka 6 by 6 porch enclosed by a somewhat endearing hedge, I read the story of Peter attempting to walk on water. I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat. I knew exactly what God was saying to me and I wanted nothing to do with it! My mind raced back to a few months before....Germany? Really? I could not believe my own spiritual ears. It was February. I had not visited Germany or even thought much about it but one night in Fisherwick I felt the need to pray for the German church. I can honestly say that up to this point, the German church was something I had never give any thought to. And yet, almost vocally, I heard the Lord ask me to pray for them, and as I did my mind was filled with whole new thoughts and ideas.
Everyone knows that two of the most significant events of Christianity happened in Germany. Martin Luther for all intents and purposes created Protestantism, and with it an entirely new way of approaching God, and Gutenberg printed the first non-Latin Bibles so that for the first time, the word of God was accessible to everyone! These two events, and many, many others like them, were spawned in this extraordinary land and by this extraordinary people.
I recently saw a YouTube video where dozens of college students were asked about their perceptions of Germans. Their replies were fairly typical....Adolf Hitler, Nazis, Genocide...etc. And as I sat praying for this church it struck me that up to this past century, Germany was associated with heroism, bravery, great deeds. Have you ever noticed that dozens of our favorite American movies always seem to have villains with German accents? After WWII, we have, in essence, villainized this people for all time, and now a generation who had nothing to do with those terrible events carry the unbearable guilt of sins not their own. Instead of a legacy of spiritual greatness and free-thinking, they are known as mass murderers capable of every form of evil known to mankind. It strikes me as an altogether Satanic ploy to use such a formerly noble people who had accomplished so much good to accomplish an even greater evil and to forever malign their name in history? These thoughts have haunted me endlessly the last few months.
When I did visit Germany, I went to a church that was quite modern and innovative, and yet, as I sat there, understanding only little bits of the sermon, it tore my heart out. I could quite literally feel God's passion for this fierce, strong people and yet as I saw them sitting in their seats quietly, and well, Germanly, there was a palpable hopelessness in the air. I have felt this in many American churches but not quite to this extent.
So many have never had an up close, life-altering experience with God and the ones that have are being constantly drained without the support of on fire fellow believers. Perhaps someday I will feel bold enough to write about some of my experiences with the living God but for now, I'll leave it to say, that when you do experience the fire, the absolute and palpable realness of God, when you face the truth that He is who He says He is and so much more, you cannot remain unchanged. It is an experience you cannot shrug off and walk away from untouched. Jeremiah 24 says that the word of God is like fire. I would dare to say that the whole presence of the Lord is, a consuming fire. The one, defining point in the life of Moses was when he was confronted by the burning bush. From then on, he was never the same. This is what I long for in the German church.
But I run on. From February on I have been bewitched, bothered and bewildered by the idea of going to Germany. I knew I wasn't done with Europe yet, seeing as how we've only just met and all, but this was a much bigger step than a move to Ireland. And, frankly, I'm a coward :).So for months I agonized over a decision until one day in church when Derek said the prayer ministry team had been praying and that the Lord was saying to someone making a big decision, that just as He said to Peter, you have to get out of the boat. So, here I am, stepping out of the boat. Tonight is my last night in America for who knows how long. In the morning I board a plane and fly away, never looking back lest I feel a certain saltiness about my feet (read Genesis if you're confused ;) ) . Your prayers would be mightily appreciated because I think somethun's a stirrin' in Germany. Perhaps you may even feel called to step out of your boat wherever that may be. Guten Abend and Auf weidersehen!