Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Most of you probably know this, but for those who don’t, Ryan, Kaleb, Adam, Candace, Annsley and I went on a mission’s trip last week to Haiti. Although there were many experiences and interactions that taught me so many things, there is one in particular that I would like to share. As we arrived at the orphanage and began to work, sweat and serve, my corrupt heart began to work and fill my mind with sin. As the daily gifts of God that I have always overlooked were removed; complaints, despair and selfishness quickly became a struggle. My service that day at times, I fear, did not please God. But God in his good and amazing grace showed me my sin that night and gave me truth to battle my sin. He revealed to me that service to him not filled with joy and done for his glory, motivated by a love for him because of his work at Calvary, is not pleasing to him. Left to my own sin and myself I would have served the Lord in a manner that displeased him and brought him no glory. But again in his amazing grace, He gave me 1 Peter 4:13, “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed”. This verse strengthened me and showed me that I was called not only to suffer for Christ, but also to rejoice in it! And to rejoice because of the glory that will one day be revealed to all of those he bought with his blood and followed him. As amazing as this was to me, God showed me something even more amazing. Everyday after working, we would go into the orphanage and worship. As I looked around and saw the kids and teenagers singing and dancing, worshiping God, I was greatly affected. I was here in Haiti for one week! I wasn’t even really suffering; I was having fun! Yet I was the one struggling to rejoice. These people were the ones that had to suffer for the rest of their lives. They were the ones called to live in poverty with no hope for a better life in this world. Yet they were rejoicing! What made them happy was the forgiveness of their sins and the hope of the future glory to be revealed to them. These people pleased God because they rejoiced in their sufferings. God challenged me with this, and comparing my sufferings to theirs, I should be rejoicing in everything I do. We, as Americans, sometimes just have too much to rejoice in other than God. We place these gifts above him and lose sight of the Giver. David Trogget shared about an African pastor who said, “I cannot wait to get back to Africa, where the only thing people have is the Gospel”. The Christians of Haiti never lost sight of the Giver because all they had was the Giver. Father, please give us the grace to never lose sight of you amongst all the gifts you have given us. When you remove these gifts and you bring suffering into our lives, may we always rejoice and serve you with gladness because of the future glory that is to be revealed.