Today at church we read and studyied Mark 8:27-38. I encourage you to read those verses. Something in my convictions this morning lead me to a bog post I wrote about a year ago with a different blog. Funny how true these words still are a year later. I hope you are blessed by it.
FWD: A Haiti Thanksgiving
I recently just came back from my second trip to Haiti. My reason for going was mainly work, through Bridges to Prosperity at Virginia Tech (you can read more about the club HERE). However, I wanted to keep my focus as much away from physical work, and more towards an eternal labor through the group and the community we were working closely with. My friend Nick Mason shared this verse with me today that is quite relevant:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”
This was a challenging mindset to keep to say the least. I quickly found that the trip was full of business, planning, work, and little rest. With only a few days left, I found myself emotionally dry and wrote this journal entry:
“It’s great to be back, and sad to see this trip closing. I have loved being back in the country, in the area, in the community. I was blessed to see some familiar faces along the way as well as my new friends in La Chambre, Hinche, and Pignon. Nothing seems new, surprising, or out of the ordinary about traveling to developing countries. I believe that this could help affirm a calling, by God’s will alone, into this type of ministry. I want more than anything for my time spent here to be not of pleasure, business, or duty, but of love and calling.
Weirdly enough, my time here has felt absent, abandoned, alone. Though I’ve been in prayer and surrendering daily, I have felt a dryness around me; a lack of the Spirit’s joy in me. I know that He is here, without a doubt… …but whatever this is, I don’t like the feeling of being away from or without my savior. He is my strength, He is my assurance, He is my hope, and He is my joy.”
I had spent the week studying 1 John, but something led me to 1 Corinthians that day. Needless to say, the Spirit had something to teach me there: listen, pray/give thanks, and lose (identity). I was humbled after reading the very first verse…
“Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes.” -1 Corinthians 1:1
Lesson #1: Listen. Due to my busy life (in Haiti, but more-so back at VT) I haven’t spent much time in silence listening to God. Boom
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you…” -1 Corinthians 1:4-6
Lesson #2: Pray/give thanks. I am surrounded, and I mean surrounded by people that I should be more thankful for. Just having the pleasure of seeing Christ shine through these people’s lives is a blessing and such an encouragment; I’m blessed that God put these people in my life, even if it’s for only a moment.
“…each one of you says, ‘I follow Paul,’ or ‘I follow appolos,’ or ‘I follow Cephas,’ or ‘I follow Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?” -1 Corinthians 1:12-13
Lastly, Lesson #3: Lose Identity. One of the toughest struggles in my book. Where is my identity? As I ask that question, it becomes more defined and becomes “What do I worship and pretend was crucified for me?”
I learned a lot through my trip. I learned to be thankful. I have hope in one thing, Christ, and He is what I strive to be my identity. He’s worth losing everything for, daily.