“Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles and the judgements that he uttered.”
I am currently sitting on the couch at our home in Kenya, all alone, fighting off a fever. If I am being totally honest, Kenya is not where I want to be right now. My heart longs to be wrapped up in the arms of my family and friends once again. I want to dance again, every single day. I want to attempt to bend candy canes at the candy store. I want to belt out songs in the car with my closest friends. I want to walk along the ocean shore, and see the mountains every morning that I wake up. I want to feel my fluffy little puppy licking my hand in the morning, and I even want to see my twenty one year old, evil cat. I want so much, but do I want what the Lord has for me? He has done some pretty incredible things the past year, and even more amazing things the past five months I have been on this adventure. A year ago, I was preparing to graduate high school, dance in my last recital, and move on to the bigger and better things awaiting me at college. I did not know that one missions trip to Antigua, Guatemala would change the course of my life forever. I did not expect to move to Guatemala, and then half-way around the world to Ongata Rongai, Kenya, teaching fifteen classes every week to some of the most precious children I have ever met. I was supposed to pursue a career in occupational therapy, and help people with disabilities. Instead, God brought me here, where I am able to hang out with people with disabilities every single Wednesday afternoon. The faithfulness of God. Have I already forgotten the incredible work He has done in my life? That He would even think of choosing me and using me is far beyond my comprehension. I am unworthy to live such a life. I am unworthy to teach kids about Jesus, and I am unworthy to be in Kenya, Africa. What have I done to deserve such favor from God? And yet, here I am, wallowing in self-pity, wishing I was back at home living my comfortable life, completely forgetting the wondrous works the Lord has done. I am but dust, a mere pile of useless ashes, but in the hands of God, my life is transformed into something beautiful. I find purpose, joy, peace, and hope, oh what hope I have found in a life surrendered to the Father’s will. Unfortunately, none of this has been easy for me. I want to be in control of my own life. My heart wants to seek the Lord, but my flesh wants to seek myself. There are times that I wonder what would have happened if I had rejected the call of the Lord on my life. I wonder why God took me away from home, my family, friends, dance, my career. I wonder if my life would be better doing what I originally wanted to do. I wonder why God had to strip me away from all that I have ever known, to teach me more about Him. Maybe I am the only one who thinks this way, but I am confident that all twenty one of my teammates feel this same way sometimes. It is our very nature to question the work of the Lord. It is our very nature to doubt His hand, when nothing He is doing makes sense. I want so badly to be okay with not knowing. I see the Lord bringing pieces together, but the jigsaw puzzle still remains unsolved. I don’t know why God brought me here, and my heart longs to see this puzzle complete. I want to know why me, but in this time of my life, God has not given me many answers.
The why, however, is not the question that matters. The question that I must face every day is, can I be okay with not understanding the ways of my Father? Do I trust Him, and is He enough for me? I long to answer yes, but no, not on my own, not a chance. I can’t finish the next six months without Him. It has to be me leaning on Jesus, resting in His grace, and reaching for Him. My heart has to seek the Lord, because He quite literally, is the only thing that I have. My heart need not despair and be overwhelmed with anxieties, why’s, and what if’s. “I would have lost heart had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage” (Psalm 27:13-14). It is all a matter of who I am following. If I follow my heart, and seek my ways, then I will likely drown in pity and sorrow. If I follow God, however, I find a cause for joy, a reason to hope, and a purpose that is far beyond myself. His presence is enough, and daily he draws me into the Holy of Holies, just to talk to me, and hold me. I cannot conceive all that His mighty hand does, and I if I were able to understand, He would not be God, but a manmade idol, trapped in a box. What is truly wonderful, is that He doesn’t ask me to understand, all God asks of me, is to be present in His presence, be still and know that He is God, He is in control, and He will never fail or forsake me. On a day of great discouragement and despair, I have found the greatest encouragement and strength. Great are you Lord! My heart will seek you and rejoice. In the chaos, in the mess, in the uncertainty, one thing remains: Jesus. He is all that I need.
Application: Today, I will be present in His presence, continually coming to sit at His feet. I will spend this day to read, pray, listen, and meditate on the faithfulness of my Father, instead of seeking the will of my flesh.