Tuesday, May 21, 2013

body of Christ

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Romans 8:31-32

This morning my devotion gave me this verse - and after my weekend away, it said everything I felt. 

Graciously gives us all things. 

My tired, frustrated, confused self was fed beyond what I could have imagined. Graciously given so much. Fed literally, figuratively, spiritually. I flew into Port-au-Prince Friday afternoon with MAF, and as we entered the city and flew just over the coast to the runway I felt my spirit inexplicably open-up. It was just the beginning. I would like to say none of the physical things gave me rest or sabbath, but the truth is they did. An air conditioned vehicle, gathering at a table to eat among friends, grocery stores & restaurants, oscillating fans, warm showers - - God used these gifts to refresh my weary bones. My greatest refreshment was in my company of course. Friends who have walked through this season of life with me, who are walking through the same kind of season - we shared joys and sorrows, disappointments and hopes. We talked and talked and talked. In English. About Haiti, about God, about heart matters. 

The fuzzy picture in my brain began to sharpen. The image in the mirror cleared, I stood in the bathroom Monday morning looking at my reflection thinking "Oh, there she is, there's the girl I lost."

This might surprise you, because as a missionary I should share the joys, the success the big beautiful God moments- and I assure you there are so many. So, so many. But they come at a price. God is here, God is big but He never promised it would be easy, and my friends, it is not. It is hard.  I have poured and poured and poured, not for my own benefit but for others, for God - and I do not regret one moment. I have not let God pour back into me though. Maybe I have thought others need Him more - but He has no limits. Maybe I have just been to tired to do anything but empty out my brain of all of it. I have lacked to ask Him for refreshment because I am spending all my energy asking for relief - for myself and for my neighbors. For my brothers and sisters. This weekend though, refreshment arrived, is still arriving. And as I reflected on God giving me grace for sometimes doing this thing wrong, I began to think about the refreshment I felt. It was not just a weekend away that did the trick. Not the environment or company alone - but it has been slowly revealing itself for a while now. In fact, refreshment has never left me. God was pouring into my very closed up vessel all long, you know why?

Becasue of YOU - -

 and Him, of course. The Holy Spirit prays for us when we cannot.  But, YOU, your prayers carried me through when I felt lost. Certain of where I was and what I was doing - because I know I am in God's will - but still feeling lost (it's a strange place to be). In that lostness, in that desert, your prayers carried me. They carried me each step my tired aching feet took. They are carrying me now. Your prayers have been the life running though my veins when I didn't know how to face the next plight of third-world life. Those prayers allowed me to do the work God called me too. Pray warriors, you are more a part of my journey than you know. You give hugs, prayers, comfort, money, time, energy each and every day. We are the body of Christ, and while I am his hands and feet in rural Haiti, you are the body willing the rest of me to move forward. 

Thank you for carrying me. Thank you for healing me. 

God has done so much in my little life in these almost 6 months. He us changing my heart in ways I didn't know possible. He is teaching me why he created me. He had to empty me to get me there - but His ways are perfect - and He has never left me - you have never left me. I am surrounded by love even when I am alone. 

Now, as I figure out what's next, as I decipher this plan He is setting in motion I ask that you continue to pray. Pray that I give, give and give more. I can, if you pray. Together, we can serve the people of Haiti - with Christ, the sick can be healed, souls can be won and hearts mended. I see it everyday, thank you for being a part of it. 

A mountain top view of Port-auPrince