This is the third time I am starting over on this post. What to say and how to say it? I haven’t written in a while, which usually happens when God’s working on a pretty big issue in my heart. And this time is no different.
Whenever someone asks what is the number one thing I’ve learned in Nicaragua, my answer is always the same. And yet, it’s not a once-and-done sorta deal. This lesson is one that is learned painfully, over and over again. Living outside of my passport country is teaching me about the depths of my selfishness and the weakness of my flesh.
I know my Creator loves me. But I somehow still doubt His plan.
I know my Father wants to give me the desires He places in my heart. But I keep questioning Him.
I know my Provider ensures I have everything I need. But I still want more.
The ugliness in my heart brings me to my knees on a regular basis. But never more so than when He follows through on one of those promises and bestows a gift I so clearly don’t deserve.
Like this month. I am getting apartments ready for adopting families… and packing my own family to move to another country… at Christmas… without a clear understanding of what’s to come… while also trying to raise money to support another family… and entertaining guests to boot. It’s not pretty. I’m throwing things and yelling and desperately trying to understand His plan.
Sure, I am still stepping forward with what He’s asked me to do, but I’m dragging my feet and grumbling along the way. I give away my stuff, yet secretly complain about others’ lack of gratitude and the fact that I will have to replace that stuff when I get Stateside. I place qualifications on my service, as if I am the one calling the shots.
Over and over, God has proven himself worthy of my trust, yet I continually find reason to place my trust elsewhere… as if someone or something else might have a clue how to manage the world or even my life. I know he could give me whatever he wanted, but sometimes I just doubt whether I am worth it.
And then I find myself singing the words of that beautiful Christmas hymn with tears running down my face.
Father, forgive me! Again!
I am worth it. All of it. And you are too! I’m a mess. But He loves me just the same. He sent his precious Child here to prove exactly how much we are all worth. My doubt is unfounded. My unbelief, unwarranted.
My selfishness… completely pointless.
I know all of that. I really do. I just need to be reminded of it to help keep me on track. So if you’re like me, consider yourself reminded. Tell God about all your worries and fears. (He already knows anyway, so it’s not like you need to hide them from him!) Admit your weakness and accept His grace.
And then bask in His glory.
He can be trusted. He has proven that to me before… and yet because He knows I need it again, He shows me once more. All those things I was worrying about these past weeks and months? He’s taking care of them.
An apartment for our family to live in temporarily in South Carolina? Arranged!
Essential furniture for our new home? Yup!
A car to use as long as we need it? Provided.
Funding for January for the missionary family taking over our adoption care ministry? Done!
Our days here are few and my flesh is so weak. But I want you to know that God doesn’t leave anything to chance. He knows exactly what we need and takes great care in providing it for us. Unlike our flesh and our own wisdom, we can rest in His glorious arms.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (from Ephesians 3)