These are proud days if you are Catholic and Carioca (person born in Rio). The Pope arrives in Rio tomorrow. Traffic proves that an extra two million people are in the city. Everywhere billboards have been transformed into pictures of the Pope with the Christ Redeemer statue. The next two weeks will be shining moments for the youth who will follow him around the city and at some point honor him with the world's largest flash mob.
Shining moments. We all want them. Those who trust Jesus Christ as personal Saviour want Him to shine forth in all His truth into this world. As missionaries we want the truth of His life changing Gospel to shine into our religion darkened city.
As we walk the path of church planters it is becoming more and more obvious that shining moments are happening less and less here on this earth. When the gates of Hell seem to be storming through the church doors four out of the seven days in a week, it is hard not to wonder what is happening.
When we drive past a beautiful, bigger than big catholic church crammed to capacity on our way to a faithful Gospel preaching church in existence for 16 years to find barely fifty people there, it's hard not to be disappointed.
When we read glowing reports of missions in other parts of the country, it is hard not to compare.
And then we have to take a step back and look at the life of Jesus. In His greatest shining moment, completing His Father's mission on the cross, it looked anything but shining to the world. In fact, it looked like a big mistake.
That's the thing, we don't always understand how God works, but in the end it will come clear. In fact, we have an eternity of shining moments waiting for us. An eternity to discover every single little and big way that God wove His plans while we labored here on earth.
These next two weeks will be the biggest shining moments for some people, but in the end that is all they get, nothing more.
May the Lord find us faithful~ no matter the cost, no matter the circumstances, no matter.