There are many things you can ponder whilst riding a speeding moto going 55+ miles an hour on a bumpy dirt country road.
A particular realization struck me after the moto hit a rather large speed bump in which I caught air...
There is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for the roller coaster ride you jump on once you step out in faith and join God in the work He is doing in an unfamiliar place. The biggest thing to recognize right away is the work starts with YOU, and IN you, in ME. No matter the amount of preparation, classes you take, books you read, or even hours spent in prayer before taking the proverbial leap off of the cliff into the unknown with God, you can be sure that He has many, many, MANY unexpected, unforeseen, and completely heart wrenching yet magnificently transforming things in store. The key to transformation, however, is welcoming, embracing, and actually ASKING God for MORE of those unknown things.
"Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." - Jeremiah 33:3 -
*He does this so we can be changed, moved, and WOWED by Him, for His praise and glory.*
"How great are His signs, and how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation."
~ Daniel 4:3 ~
I can attest to this firsthand as I recount all of the amazing things God has done in the short two months I have been here in Jeremie, Haiti. God has brought amazingly purposeful relationships into the lives of myself and my Haiti family. He has healed many people of physical ailments including one young man who struggled with severe pain in his leg, and after one of my teammates prayed for him, the pain was completely gone! This tangible experience with God lead another young man who witnessed the healing, named Mario (you can read about it in detail on my teammate Mike's blog), to surrender his life to Jesus. He along with several others have dedicated their lives to Jesus, and have recently been baptized, JESUS!!!
Many other people have been prayed for, encouraged, healed, have heard the gospel presented, given their lives to Jesus, along with many who are just plain curious about us as we walk around saying "Bonjou, Bondye beni'w!" ("Good morning, God bless you!") to everyone. The biggest testimony is we keep coming back.
So many have been touched through prayer, displays of kindness, and the fact that someone is taking the time to sit and talk with them, especially when we make efforts in broken Creole. "Dezole zanmi'm yo!" ("Sorry my friends!").
Even though it hasn't been easy, God has touched my heart in supernatural ways with living among the Haitian people here in Jeremie. He fills me with His love for them every day, as I pray and intercede on their behalf. I absolutely cannot do this without Him. Life here is hard, there is a lot of sorrow, pain, anger, and distrust, my heart breaks daily for those who are living poverty stricken and without hope. He is "breaking my heart for what breaks His," and I am so grateful I GET to be used by Him here. But in the midst of all of that there is joy, there IS hope, and there is radical love to be had by an all- pursuing Savior. He is already at work here, and has been working in me as well, healing my heart from long past inner hurts, showing me how He is going to use the transformation right now to comfort others who are hurting, to draw them close to Himself and show them the real, tangible love of the Father. For His ultimate glory. Hallelujah!
*Yes, He is so good to do the excruciatingly unexpected, but completely necessary in your life.*
"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
~ Philippians 1:6 ~
So as it was, all of this came to me on a terrifyingly fast moto ride in which thoughts of perhaps seeing Jesus that day did run across my mind. God DOES unexpected, unforeseen, and completely heart wrenching yet magnificently transforming things. That is an absolute truth.
Embrace that truth today.
God has reminded me that I am a work in progress, I don't have to strive, or force anything, but I can trust that He IS and will CONTINUE to do a good, fabulous, extraordinary work in me. We are ALL works in progress and our amazing Father promises to complete that work until the day of Christ. For that, I am eternally grateful.