A few days ago I had the opportunity to lead a Russian Bible study through a translator. I wasn’t familiar with the group, but I chose the topic of prayer to discuss and had some verses and questions ready to talk about.
Speaking through a translator talking at the same time was a little strange, and at times it seemed like I couldn’t hear myself talk. I had to trust that he was saying what I was saying, and pause every few minutes or so so we could get caught up.
Another thing that struck me as we talked together about “Asking, Seeking, and Knocking” was that I was entirely unqualified to lead the bible study. We were talking about Jesus giving us daily bread… and several of the people in the study knew personally what it was like to go hungry for days. This was not the group of middle-class white kids that I was used to talking to; these were people that had a good understanding of what it was like when God’s answers to their prayers just didn’t make sense. How could God let terrible things happen? We talked a lot about how Jesus never guaranteed us health and wealth in this life, but that he does guarantee that he will give us strength and peace along the way until we are called home.
I also realized something else- that I will always be inadequate and unqualified whether I’m talking to homeless people, rich people, or people just like me. Thankfully, God has always worked through weak, unqualified and inadequate people… and that is truly the beauty of the Gospel.
(from “In Christ Alone”):
In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song.
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.