Saturday, March 24, 2012

All Things New (Ethan VanTil)

As I sit here and write this, looking out my window, I see a spring landscape bursting with green and splashed with colorful blossoms. Recently we were in the grip of a devastating winter storm which knocked out power for tens of thousands of homes and brought down even large trees everywhere. Amazingly, not too long after, we had several glorious days of record warm temperatures into the eighties. What was once a cold, dark, snowy, and desolate landscape was transformed into a vibrant, bright, and beautiful place. A new place.

For some reason, the current team members have been drawn to C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia as sort of theme, an imaginary backdrop for this trip. In it, adventurous children journey from our world into a new one, Narnia. They find that Narnia is under a cold, perpetually wintry siege by an evil witch. The children join forces with friendly beasts, find their courage, and meet the Great Lion Aslan, the rightful King of Narnia, the Son of the Ruler Beyond the Sea. With His arrival spring comes to Narnia. However, because of one of the children’s treachery, Aslan must turn himself over to the witch to be killed, fulfilling the lawful demands of Narnia’s magic. All is apparently lost…until Aslan returns to life through the even greater power of His willing sacrifice. He leads the children and the beasts to victory against the witch and her forces. Along the way to triumph, He breathes on creatures turned to stone by the witch, bringing them back to life.

Of course, this is all just a story. Or is it? Our hearts, our world--Haiti included--ait-are under the cold dark curse of sin and evil. When we look inside and out, we see failures and suffering. We feel guilt and regret. We long for something better, Someone better, to be our Hero, our Aslan, our Savior, our King. Someone who can defeat evil and the death that comes with it. Someone who can make us, and all things, new.

I write to bring you good news—the best news. I have met this Someone, this Aslan, and His name is Jesus. He’s the reason I am going to Haiti. I’m Ethan, the latest Haiti team member, and I am so very grateful that the Pastor has invited me along on this adventure.   Through the highs and the lows, the successes and the disappointments, the laughter and the frustration, the Lord Jesus will carry us and will breathe life into hearts of stone. Hearts for now, as even our best efforts will never erase the suffering, but absolutely everything in the end. He will make all things new.


Anonymous said...

What an amazing blog Ethan you are now hired to write all the blogs from here on out brother!! Krystle and I will just report and you can write:) looking forward to seeing you really soon. Kelly

tkaugust97 said...

And, son of Adam, as you ready yourself for battle, remember the 'gifts' you have been given: the whole armor of God.

Ephesians 6:10-18: "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,"

Your prayer warriors from home,
The Gibsons