[ It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. – Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV ]
It’s been five months since I’ve last been on American soil. Five months since I’ve been able to hug my mother, tease my sister, simply be with my family, worship alongside my home church, or spend time with some sweet friends. As time stretches on I have days where I feel so weak. Days where my heart physically aches to see my loved ones in the states.
It hasn’t been an easy season. Sometimes I lie in bed at night picturing my loved ones faces, aching to see them once again. Sometimes I feel so frustrated with the chaos of so many responsibilities. Sometimes I cry and cry. Sometimes the enemy tells me I’m not good enough and that all this heartache isn’t worth it. The enemy tells me poverty is just too extreme here, that my time here in the Philippines hasn’t brought about any change.
But dear friends I know that my time here in this nation is purposeful. I know that it hasn’t been easy but I also know Abba didn’t say it would be. I do know that He has promised to never leave me. He has promised me a Helper. One who guides my every move, who consoles me on the nights I feel so lonely, who listens to all my worries, who fills me with a peace unlike anything else. I am here on this earth to glorify my Heavenly Father with all things. I am not here to save anyone nor to end poverty. I am here to love so deeply, so extravagantly, so tenderly so those around me can only see Jesus. Jesus in all His splendor. The Jesus who gives the widow a friend, the lonely a family, the fatherless a father.
Sometimes I lie in bed at night and my heart floods with a peace so overwhelming.
Sometimes I laugh so deeply because He fills me with joy uncontainable.
Sometimes I hear Him whisper, “I’m everything you need. I am all that could ever satisfy you.”
Sometimes I look into the eyes of a mother as she bears a child and I am filled with gratitude for a God who is breathing into another precious life.
Sometimes I sit on the streets with the children, exhausted from a long day, and as I hear their giggles I am reminded I am exactly where I need to be.
There are days I feel so tired. Even though I feel this way, I can deeply rest. I rest knowing Abba has never left me. He is closer than my very breath. He is my everything. My source of life. The only one who could ever satisfy, the only one worthy of all my days. I’m here to freely give forgiveness, to show mercy, to serve cheerfully, to love like my Father.
When you take a moment to stop in the chaos of life and rest in the Father’s presence you will find rest. You will find peace. You will find fullness of joy.
God says to us, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
When my heart aches and when I become too attached to how I feel, I stop and rest in the presence of my Heavenly Father. I rest in His promises.
When you carry things you aren’t meant to carry, like worry or fear, it leaves you no room to carry the peace you’ve always been meant to carry.
Stop yielding to fear and start yielding to the Father’s heart. You can hand all things over to God and know He will care for you. He’s never once forsaken me and He won’t ever.
Even though it hasn’t been easy I am grateful for the hardships. For these hardships test my faith. These hardships remind me I am nothing without my God. My weakness is used to show His strength.
[ So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. – 2 Corinthians 16-18 MSG ]