As I was reading through my devotionals tonight, it didn't quite hit the spot. So I decided to read the evening before's:
"Choosing to suffer means that there must be something wrong with you, but choosing God’s will— even if it means you will suffer— is something very different. No normal, healthy saint ever chooses suffering; he simply chooses God’s will, just as Jesus did, whether it means suffering or not."
What does it mean to suffer or to suffer from what? My mind immediately went to thoughts of Haiti . As some friends of mine have just returned from their first time in Haiti, it can't help but bring up the very fond memories of Haiti, of the children, staff and such joy and laughter. While the memories are fond, my love for Haiti causes an ache in my heart as I desire to be there verses here. I long for the simplicity and feeling so in line with God's call, feeling like you are in the center within His' will as you serve the orphan and the widow... literally. In coming back home, there is the transition period which is sometimes a few days and sometimes it is a few months. For me, I was annoyed with the selfishness of Americans and annoyed with the fact that people just didn't get it and didn't take the time to listen to me as I was processing and as was trying to understand what God just did in my heart.
As I have have now been to Haiti on three separate occasions, among at least 3-4 other mission trips I continue to learn more about myself and about the process. Oswald Chambers states it in last nights devotional: "Look at God’s incredible waste of His saints, according to the world’s judgment. God seems to plant His saints in the most useless places. And then we say, “God intends for me to be here because I am so useful to Him.” Yet Jesus never measured His life by how or where He was of the greatest use. God places His saints where they will bring the most glory to Him, and we are totally incapable of judging where that may be." People may view my time in Haiti as a waste because I went with other peoples' money or because I stopped pursuing a career or education or vacation for a moment. But God calls us to love to the ends of the earth. God places us where we can bring Him the most glory. So for two weeks that was in Haiti, then again and then again. But right now I am home and God has me here until He leads me back to Haiti or calls me elsewhere. I think it is important to remember to serve and invest where I am. I don't think that jumping into service should be taken lighthearted because processing the journey of serving in another country is so important, but I think it vital to make a connection point based on the things that God taught you or me in that place of growth, learning, or brokenness.
For me, I invest in the relationships I have in Haiti by sending notes and care packages, I support the missionaries in whatever way I can whether that be financial or supply-wise. I pray and encourage those I can who are serving or who are in the process of understanding it all. I know when people were praying and weren't, when you're in the mission field you can feel it. You can feel the power of the Holy Spirit moving when you are being lifted up in thought and prayer. Also, I serve in outreach because for me it is where I feel most alive and feel where God is working through me. While I still long for Haiti and the days of tap tap and moto rides, lots of laughter with the kids, and pizza on Fridays... I don't just sit here awaiting until I can go again. I stay active in serving and loving on those in my current end of the earth and I share my stories in hopes that it will inspire, impact or cause the Spirit to move in someone else's life through service or missions.
Good luck to you as you serve or search for where God would lead you next. Pray for me as I do the same!
We all go through Holy Suffering as God teaches us, grows us, stretches us, and heals us. But we suffer through it all for the GREATER good and cause and for our GREATER GOD!!!
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." -Acts 1:8