January. January was the last time I let my fingers start going across the keyboard to write a blog post. Today is a new day as I break away from my writing hiatus, and finally write again. I haven’t felt the need to write in a long time, although I do really enjoy putting my thoughts on paper. Today I want to share my recent events and thoughts about God.
On Friday July 4th I left for a short term mission trip to Los Angeles, to be returning on Sunday the 13th after working all week at skid row with the homeless population. These last five months have been a lot of planning, fundraising, and meeting with the team in preparation for our time down there. We sent support letters, had car washes and bake sales, met each week, and did evangelism projects together so that we as a team could become one. Through all of this I have been stoked for this trip, I have never felt so strongly that God was going to impact the team like he will on this trip. So needless to say I have been super excited to go down to L.A and see what God has in store for us.
Unfortunately I made it a little less than halfway to Los Angeles. Saturday morning I woke up at our campsite with an intense pain in my side, and I went to use the restroom. While doing so the pain in my side increased a ridiculous amount to which I fainted because of how painful it was. Shortly after the team took me to the nearest hospital where again I fainted, but learned I more then likely had appendicitis, thankfully we didn’t need to act on it right way. So this resulted in the team going on without me, and I headed back home. After doctor visits here we went from believing I had appendicitis to thinking it was a kidney stone, but soon to find out I had inflammation and I had so much waste piled up that it was hurting my insides. So I’ve been sitting at home with stool softeners and lots of solitude with God, cleaning out my insides and digging in to the word.
Now I’ve been face-timing the team in the evenings, keeping up with the devotionals the team is doing, and sending verses and tons of prayer about what they are doing down there. But I got upset when I found out it was all due to lack of bowel movements. I wasn’t able to be in L.A serving God because I had to poop? It felt pretty crappy (no pun intended) to learn I was at home because of that. Last night I was doing the evening FaceTime with the team waiting for our youth pastor to give the message, when another team using the same program and housing as our team joined us for the message. They joined because their leaders were at the hospital with a student from their group because she had gotten fairly sick and wouldn’t be going on with them anymore. What a coincidence, or was it? We believe I was held back so that our team had a connection with the other team, so that they weren’t alone, so that they had common ground with us. God held me back for a reason, and this could very likely be the reason, now the other team was able to connect with us, do worship with us, and listen to a message with us because we had an ability to connect. Both teams are going through the same thing of losing somebody on their trip, and it made it a whole easier when they learned they weren’t the only ones.
Lets think about that. God was in control the whole time, no matter how upset I was, or in wonder of why I wouldn’t get to go on the trip I had been beyond excited about. God is sovereign! How foolish was I to be mad at God, when it was His will to keep me from going. God has been in control, and He has been in control since he made the earth, and get the kicker; He’ll be in control until the very end! Now why could I not process that as it was happening? It seems pretty obvious that God is wholly and completely sovereign, there’s plenty of verses about God being in control.
God created all things and holds all things together, both in heaven and on earth, both visible and invisible (Colossians 1:16).
Imagine that, the God who created all things gets to say how its all ran! God is in complete control.
Now I would say I’m writing this post to encourage those who read it to not worry when things don’t go your way, or life is a tough. And I say this because knows everything, and whatever happens is His will. Think back to the book of Job, Job asks God something along the lines of “Hey God, what the heck are you doing to me? Why does my life suck when I follow you greatly?”. God answers Him and basically says that He has been in control since day one, and that Job needs to realize God is sovereign. Yet at the same time, we need to realize that God does not need us, but we need him. In no way do we actually help God, God merely uses us as an instrument to conduct His will. We serve Him not because He needs us to, but because we need to grow closer to God.
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. (Acts 17:24-25)
Continue to serve and do things for Him, but know it is not by your power but by His that we accomplish His will. We must let God increase, while we decrease.
John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.