For the last couple months I have been very consistent in my times of prayer and worship with God…that is – consistently avoiding them, in fact, running in the opposite direction. I know that as a missionary “I am not supposed to have this struggle,” but I do. Last Wednesday, with much resistance, I finally somehow ended up in a worship service followed by a sermon which was way too relevant to my current circumstances to not have been written just for me. God knows what we need, when we need it, and how to communicate with us in a way which we will learn to hear and understand. He is good. He meets us in our mess, and brings us into celebration.
Worshiping, we entered into the familiar place of intimacy and connection with Jesus. I began to hear what He was speaking to me. “Believe I give you the strength to carry on. Believe I give you the strength to stand.” Over the last three weeks I had been adjusting to my new life here in Costa Rica and let me tell you – it has been harder than I had expected. Lonely. Overwhelmed. Uncertain. Directionless. Learning to adult is difficult enough, throw on top of that a second world country, no job, a foreign language, and no car with none of the people whom I would usually turn to around me. I began to revert to past, unhealthy coping mechanism which only left me to feel guilty and wonder if I had even experienced any lasting transformation since I met Jesus. So, there I stood weak, broken, faithless, and God in His grace began to tenderly encourage and restore me.
And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’
And they began to celebrate.
That night I decided I would not allow this wave of discouragement and obstacles to crush me, but I would speak to the wave who my God is. I made up my mind to believe that Jesus gives me the strength to carry on.
“And she arose and came to her Father. But while she was still a long way off, her Father saw her and felt compassion, and ran and embraced her and kissed her.”
The next morning I shared with my Spanish teacher how I had felt doors were closing and plans were falling through and my future was uncertain. I told her how I didn’t know where I would live or where I was going to get any money, that I felt lonely and didn’t have the motivation to do what I knew was the right thing because it felt impossible. I told her how God then spoke to me, and that I knew he would part the waters and make a way for me to come out of this season. She practically jumped out of her chair! “My Pastor just wrote me this morning saying that we need an English teacher at our church!” “And I have a project I need help with!” As the morning unfolded with “coincidence” after “coincidence” we came to see just how faithful God really was to run after us, embrace us, and kiss us. He loves to see our little flickers of faith, and He loves to honor us.
What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man that you care for him?
You have made them a little lower than the angels and
crowned them with glory and honor.
Only a day and half of faith brought forth opportunities and provision I never imagined possible. Fellowship. Strength. Trust. Direction. As of now, I have a ministry, a job, and an affordable place to live. As for my Spanish teacher’s project, I will be typing up the book she has dreamed of writing for missionaries who want to learn Spanish. In return I will get a free Spanish lesson/week. This was the Lord’s doing and provision in my life. When I responded with relationship to God in faith there was a release that happened over me because Jehovah Jireh is His name (Yahweh Will Provide) and I have intentionally invited Him to enter every realm of my life.
If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
I know that this is all a part of God’s desire to have personal relationships with all of His creation. What lies ahead feels so big, too big for me to do in my own capacity. But taking steps bigger than yourself is the key to growth. It’s faith. It’s uncomfortable, yet it’s an opportunity to come to know the Holy Spirit as Comforter and Enabler, to experience the Father as Provider and to learn that Jesus is your strength. In this process of getting to know all the different sides of God’s character this changes the very core of who I am and what I am are capable of, and as I become more of who I was created to be it brings the Kingdom of God into reality.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
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