His gaze was fixed on the golden idols piled across his table. There had to have been close to twenty! As he bowed, he knelt down and stretched out across the floor, as low as he could possibly go, getting up to do it again and again. He was chanting under his breath prayers to a god he had never met. It was devoted, it was long, it was heartbreaking.
While our treck up the Himalayan Mountains of Nepal was an amazing adventure full of so many glorious moments, taking in the wonder of some of God's biggest creations, it was also very eye opening to see how the gospel really hasn't made it around the world yet. Not even close. These people up here in the mountains were some of the most generous, kind and hospitable people I had ever met in my life. This very man who was now giving his daily prayers, had invited us into his guesthouse because he wanted the honor of serving us breakfast on our last day, but spent half the morning lighting incense, spinning his prayer wheel and offering up a devotion to a dead end god with no ears to hear his cry, no eyes to look into his, no words to offer comfort or wisdom and no heart to feel for his.
But this wasn't just in the mountains.
In Kathmandu, one thing I noticed (for it was impossible to miss) was all of the temples at every corner and the constant burning of incense. Most of the people living in Nepal were either Hindu or Buddhist and they would go around giving their prayers and doing their rituals to a bunch of gods made of stone. These people were so devoted, so disciplined and it broke my heart to see their devotion being sacrificed to something so worthless. The praise and devotion that was meant for God, the enemy has perverted to piles of rubble.
I was mad and wanted to cry at the same time. These false gods could do nothing for them. Whenever disaster struck, they believed it was because they were being punished and prayed even harder. They didn't have a relationship; they were bound to the whims of an ancient teaching that is keeping them captive.
If anything, it made me so incredibly thankful for what we have in Christ. The gift that our God has given to us is so great that it's sometimes easy to take advantage of it. Our God is close, He is good, He is just, He is forgiving, He is overflowing with kindness, He is our Father, He is love. We have so much to be thankful for.
And our God isn't just there for us when we need him now. But he WAS there for us 2000 years ago when he came down as a man to set us all free. Our God doesn't just bring good things into our life, but he GAVE us life, and life eternal. We were lost, unable to save ourselves, to offer anything back to him. But because he is so good and so loving, he decided that all of the pain and struggle and humiliation was worth it if he got the chance to spend eternity with you. He is personnel because he made each and every person on purpose and for a purpose.
We forget that so much of the world has yet to hear about our God, especially in the 10/40 Window- which stretches across north Africa and most of Asia. There are entire people groups, with their own language and customs, that don't have a single Christian represented among them. And the bible makes it clear that every race, language and people will be represented around the throne of grace.
There are still so many people to be reached in this world with the love and grace of God. Instead of looking to Jesus coming back so eagerly, we should be embracing the relationship we have with him now. For it is through having a vibrant, living relationship with our God that this lost and hurting world will begin to know him too.
After our trip, I found myself starting to feel bad for how little I've appreciated, acknowledged or even been thankful for my faith in God. I want to be known as the girl who is crazy about her Maker, who walks on holy ground and lives a life that inspires hope in others. We were created to be those women. It's who we are!
Let God know how much you love and admire him. There are so many people out there in the world that are lost and bound to a system that bleeds them out rather than fills them with life eternal. Take advantage of the open relationship that so many people are without. Lean into his love and let him fill you with all joy and peace that passes all understanding. We don't worship a pile of stone but a King that is above all other gods.
Let him write these chapters of your life and I promise you, he will take you places you never dreamed you could go and teach you things that will forever change you. The treck awaits those who are willing to be led by him.