Friday, March 2, 2012

What do I have to do with anything?

Before I moved to Honduras, many people spoke to me about how I needed to prepare myself because God would test me on the mission field in ways that I had never experienced before.  They weren’t kidding.  I think when you make the decision to distance yourself from everything familiar and comfortable, the challenges of life become significantly magnified. 

I grew up living comfortably.  My parents have always been hard workers and my dad always made sure we had what we needed, and for the most part, what we wanted.  When you’re a child, you are so na├»ve about reality.  You don’t realize the struggles, sacrifices and hardships that may be alive around you.  Wouldn’t you love to go back to childhood?

Over the last 3 years, my family has experienced more loss, heartache and uncertainty than I thought possible.  The loss of loved ones – both unexpected and expected, my dad losing his job and our family struggling to get by, working through emotions of anger and misunderstanding, me moving out of the country with no means of income and my dad having a heart attack just this past Sunday.  That doesn’t even include the tests that we have either kept to ourselves or experienced as individuals.  During my time in Honduras, my faith has been questioned and tested, feelings have been hurt and bouts of loneliness have masked all other emotions.  There have been times when I felt like my body would just give way to the overwhelming sensation of hopelessness.  You always think, “it couldn’t get much worse,” but sometimes it can.

You know what is so beautiful about this grey picture?  God has been and is alive in it all!  When we thought our sadness of losing loved ones would never go away, we were restored with the hope that they are living in the presence of Christ.  When worries of financial strains flooded our daily thoughts, God provided in only ways that He could.  When sickness struck and family was miles away, God was the ultimate Healer.  If our lives were always easy and effortless, there would be no reason for God and His power.  We are merely the bodies that God has chosen to live out the plans He created.  God is not some evil man in the sky who chooses to release havoc and hurt on those of us below.  Rather, God places us in situations where He knows we will grow and learn, and that growth will come because we have to get to a place where we have no other choice but to call out to Him.  None of this is about us and it never has been.  It is all about a God who loved us so much that HE sacrificed it all through his son.  He is alive in all things and our lives are about bringing glory to His name and nothing else. 

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."
-Victor Hugo

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