When our circumstances seem dismal, or if our surroundings are a space less than what we’d hoped for, we may very well be exactly where God intended for the purpose of influencing people for His Name’s sake.
In Acts 25, despite having been imprisoned for two years, Paul found himself with an audience of the governor, a king, and some other very influential individuals. Paul, true to form, made the most of his opportunity, and proclaimed the truth about Jesus before them.
The fall that followed my graduation from university, I took a giant leap of faithful obedience, and joined YWAM. (Youth With A Mission) After several months of training, my cohorts and I found ourselves in the slums in Bangkok, Thailand. The air was so thick that it felt as if we could chew it, and the scent in our surroundings was that of stagnant water and garbage, stewed in sweltering heat. For many of us, this was our first introduction to anything outside of the United States, and there was a bit of culture shock, to say the least. However, by the grace of God, we got it together, and began to serve the community in the slums where we were staying. Each morning, we went out to the waterway and dug out as much garbage as we could load into our baskets, and carried it away to the pick up site. Day in and day out, we faithfully worked, giggling at ourselves, and making the most of our time, despite the dismal circumstances.
Unbeknownst to us, just over the wall, in a palatial home, was a very high ranking government official. This man had observed what we were doing each day, and he could not understand why we would come and do what we were doing. He invited a couple of the guys on our team to come to his home to speak with him, and they had the opportunity to share not only our intent to love and serve the people of Thailand, but they shared the gospel as well. The official was so impressed, that he invited our entire team into his home for appetizers, arranged for a tour bus, and funded a sightseeing adventure for our team that we would not have otherwise had.
do not determine;
that’s only through Him.
May we all turn,
to trust in each space;
He is working,
rely on His grace.
For He can use,
whatever we bring;
so let our hearts,
the truth to exclaim;
we never know,
who’ll embrace His Name.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your word, and for the gift of life experiences to demonstrate how faith in action really works. Thank You that You use us, Your children, to touch lives and transform communities, if we are only willing to serve where we are planted. Forgive us for grumbling if things seem uncomfortable or less than we had hoped for, and help us to keep an eternal perspective, knowing that whatever we experience here is nothing, compared to what You have prepared for us in heaven. Teach us to trust You more, and help us to speak truth in love as You lead, so that hearts may turn to You. May many come to know of Your glorious grace and the eternal hope that is held in You alone. Be glorified in all that we say and do. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41