Wednesday, September 23, 2015

On Saying Yes {a guest post}

I've been asking my husband to write a post about our Guatemala trip. I know, you've heard my stories and perspective, but I wanted him to share too. And then when he did, I cried and wanted to go back. We're grateful for our Guatemala experience and how it's changed our family. And I'm excited you get a chance to hear more about that from Greg. 

How many of us actually like the idea of a God who calls us to submit our whole lives to Him? Isn’t that radical? Isn’t Him asking that of us crazy?

And how many of us Christians actually submit our will to His on a daily basis? I know I haven’t, not really, at least not on a daily basis.

Yet I do see examples in the lives of my friends and family – people submitted to the Lord and daily taking up their cross and following Him. These people are ministering to those around them, meeting physical and spiritual needs, and taking Jesus’s love into this dark and dying world even when it seems crazy to do so.

Last fall, I clearly felt the call of the Holy Spirit to look into this Guatemala mission trip with Bethel Ministries. I couldn’t escape the thought that God was calling us to this experience at this time. And despite so many failures in the past to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, this time I said yes.

As Christians, we follow a God who loves to shake things up and turn our world upside down. He called Gideon while he was threshing wheat in hiding, He called Moses while shepherding in Midian, and He called Elisha while plowing in the field.

If you are serving a God who never humbles you, never disrupts your world, and never calls you to do things outside your comfort zone, you are probably serving your idea of God, not the Lord of the universe. When He calls you, don’t expect Him to ask for anything less than your whole heart.

The cool thing about how He works is He doesn’t ask us to use our willpower to change our hearts or give us a long list of things to do in order to get an “A” at being a Christian. He simply asks us to be obedient and submit to Him when He calls. He asks us to say yes when our selfish flesh would say no. And as we submit one choice at a time, He then changes our heart and transforms our mind, spirit and attitude. He is the one doing the work, all we have to do is say yes. {Tweet that.}

The powerful thing about what the Lord did through our team in Guatemala is that He took us and transformed us for His purposes that week. For the nine adults and four children who answered the call, we left our normal selfish selves in the USA and became a unified team with one purpose of serving the Guatemalan families we met.

So as our team got together to go to Guatemala, you may have looked at us from the outside and said that we looked like a bunch of imperfect people, not really suited to do real ministry. And you’d be right. But the truth is He had a specific plan for us to meet with families and children in Guatemala and bring glory to His name. The families we met with didn’t ask us about what sins we were struggling with or how many times we had let God down. They simply saw the love of God in the food that we brought, the wheelchairs we distributed, and the houses that we built.

And through that, God changed not only the families we served in Guatemala, but He changed us. My daughter, Cate, experienced poverty on a level that she had never seen before. Yet she also experienced the joy of the Lord in a new way, as she played with and smiled with those children who trusted God despite their circumstances.

She experienced what it was like to say yes to God, and the radical, crazy, amazing love of Jesus became a little more real to her that week. The day before we came home, she talked with Kristin and I about baptism and what that meant. We prayed with her and sensed that she felt God was calling her to submit to Him and that she wanted to say yes. I had the privilege of baptizing her at our home church with our family and friends a few weeks later. She felt the call of God, and said yes. And I am so thankful that she did.

Our trip to Guatemala reminded me in a new and fresh way that Jesus is the only source of contentment and joy. No matter what our circumstances, we can take joy in knowing Him, and remembering that this life is fleeting and eternity awaits. Nothing else matters when we are confronted by His relentless grace. {Tweet that.} I am so looking forward to what He has planned next.

Read my other Guatemala-related posts here :: 


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