It has certainly been a long four and a half days since I arrived in South Asia early Sunday morning. After my overnight stay in Charlotte due to delays, I made my way to DC, Germany, and then two more airports in South Asia until I arrived at my final destination. Sort of. Once I arrived, it was another 5 hours in a car to a city where we would attend a training. From there, we drove to another village for another training and the next day, the same thing. I made it to D and A’s house last night, at last! As I said, it’s been a long four days… and a very busy four days.
When I arrived at the first airport in South Asia, I quickly realized (as I waited for what seemed like forever for my luggage to arrive) that the Lord was planning to teach me a great deal about resting in Him – about waiting and being still, trusting and listening, abiding and being patient. If I’m being honest, there’s a lot about this place that just doesn’t make sense to me, a lot that seems backwards and confusing. It would be incredibly easy to get frustrated and to harbor thoughts of annoyance and resentment in my heart when I don’t understand. To shut down when I can’t communicate with the very people I came here to serve. To run and hide when I’m confronted with uncomfortable tasks or circumstances. To lose my joy when I’m exhausted, or hungry, or hot, or just want normal food.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since being here in just four days, it’s that I’m so much weaker than I ever wished to admit.
I’m so human.
So hungry for comfort, convenience, and ease.
This is a good lesson to learn, for it’s only in learning this lesson and confessing my insufficiency to an All-Sufficient God that I receive His strength, His selflessness, and His power to endure discomfort, inconvenience and difficulty. In confession and repentance, there is freedom – sweet, sweet freedom in Christ.
Right before leaving to come here, I was reading in 1 Chronicles 21. To sum it up, King David disobeyed the Lord and was seeking to build an altar in order to make a sacrifice for his sin. He inquired of a man for his land, and the man offered not only his land, but also oxen, wheat, and materials for the offering. However, David answered him, “No, but I will buy them for the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
What is a sacrifice if it costs you nothing? It’s not a sacrifice at all.
I know that seems pretty self-evident. But gosh, how I forget. Paul urges the Romans, and us, in Romans 12:1, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” We no longer offer oxen or wheat or any other object, but we offer our very lives because of the One who gave His life for us. Is Christ worthy of anything less?
“As day unfolds, I seek Your will
In all of life’s demands
And though the tempter tries me still,
I cling to Your commands
Let every effort of my life
Display the matchless worth of Christ
Make me a living sacrifice;
Be glorified today.”
I will share more about trainings in the days to come, but for now, please pray for the training I will be leading tomorrow. It will be all women, and this is my first time leading. A will be there to help tomorrow, but eventually Lacey (who arrives next week) and myself will be doing this training on our own. Pray for my nerves and for the hearts of those who will be at this training!
Pray also for me, D and A, that we would have restored energy. We’re all pretty wiped out from the past few days. Pray especially that I would get over jetlag.
Pray for the community we live in, for many opportunities to share the Gospel and the boldness to do so! Pray that I would be able to help D and A continue building relationships with their neighbors and churches in the community.
In Christ alone,