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The Pull of Our Beloved

Written by Nate Irwin on


Our son is an MK (Missionary Kid), and a big part of who he is, is defined by his having grown up in Pakistan. At Purdue, he met a lovely young lady from all the way over in Marion, OH. Aimee spent most of her life in Marion and had not traveled widely. Because Tim’s life experience was vastly different from her own, Aimee knew that if she ever wanted to fully understand Tim, she would need to visit Pakistan. So, a few years after they were married, she did. And then she finally “got” Tim.

You see, she wanted to walk where her beloved had been. In Why God Calls us to Dangerous Places, Kate McCord describes her journey in learning more about her heavenly beloved, Jesus. Not just by reading about Him, which is a good start.  But by walking where He has been.

Here are a few observations from the book about “dangerous places.”

  • Jesus came to dangerous places first. “He didn’t send James, John, Thomas, or Mary to a place He hadn’t gone first.” (p. 69)
  • He’s still going to those places, because of His great love for the lost sheep.  “God also loves the twenty-first-century people of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia.” (p. 49)
  • He invites us to go with Him to those places. In fact, He sends us, as His hands and feet, His ears and mouth. “Because He desires to show His love to those in dangerous places.” (p. 88) “Love and truth takes on flesh and walks the earth, and He does so within us.” (p. 102)
  • As we go with Him, we get to know Him better. “As we do so, we find answers beyond romance and excitement. We find purpose, comfort, and the peace that Christ offers us—a peace beyond even the most horrific circumstances. We find the heart of God.” (p. 23). God stirred a deeper hunger for Him within Kate, and she responded with a desire for more of Him.

It’s like Paul said, “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.” (Phil. 3:8) He understood that it was in the fellowship of His sufferings that he would get to know Christ at His fullest (Phil. 3:10). Have you let Christ’s love for you captivate your heart like that? When you do, it will pull you to where He is going.  Not against your will—but to your delight. For in the journey, even in the pain, you will come to know your Beloved better. Nothing is sweeter than that!

Nate Irwin

Nate joined staff at College Park in 2002 as the Pastor of Global Outreach. He is also an elder for the North Suburbs Parish. Drawing on his own experience having grown up, and then serving as a missionary in, Pakistan, Nate works to challenge, prepare, and enable cross-cultural messengers of the gospel from College Park and to cast a vision for reaching unreached people groups through strategic partners. He is passionate about “finishing the task” of making disciples of all 17,000 nations in the world.

Prior to coming on staff, Nate served with TEAM as the principal of Zarephath Bible Institute in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Nate and his wife, Marty, have three adult children and two grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, travel, and sports of all kinds.

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