Saturday, July 23, 2016

Missions Trip 2016: The reality of the Holy Spirit's power through humility

Hello friends,

So, a whole lot happened on this year’s missions trip. My eyes were opened to new ideas and experiences, and I was so glad to know that I wouldn't be doing any of it alone. The people around me on the trip were incredible; they ARE incredible, though, that is definitely an understatement. Thinking about those people, my family, and what they have done for me leaves me speechless. Having a community in Crossroads to experience Christ, as well as see Him within each individual, has grown me and encouraged me and given me such a sweet perspective on life. I don’t deserve any of it.

So yes, I really don’t deserve any of it.

I am inadequate and unable to do anything for these people, let alone Christ. I am extremely unworthy and far from good enough, spiritual enough, smart enough. Nothing I can ever do or “accomplish” will be good enough, period. God had been revealing this to me especially on the trip this year, and He allowed me to understand how real that is — how unable I am, and how much I need to rely on Him rather than on anything that I can do (which isn’t a lot). I am nothing without Him. Because of this, I struggled a lot in my heart during the first few days of the trip.

Sometimes there is nothing we can do, and that is so humbling, yet possibly one of the most difficult realities to accept. Being the person I am, I really like to solve my own problems, trying my best not to bother others for help, but in this situation on the missions trip, I felt completely hopeless, simply because I could not “fix” the issue at hand on my own. I ran out of things to tell myself in order to make everything right again. My words and ideas and problem solving were all inadequate, so I sat and actually journaled about how I really could do nothing. Talk about being humbled.

The reality is that I need help; I need others, and I need prayer. Ultimately, I need Christ. I am not big enough to solve all of my own problems or strong enough to help those around me. I have no power in this, and understanding that reality in my heart allowed me to fully let go of my pride, look to Jesus, and continually beg Him for help.

Throughout the rest of the trip, I prayed a ton. I was constantly praising God in my heart, as well as asking Him for strength, encouragement, and love. As a result of leaning entirely on Him through prayer in every situation, my heart and whole being were overflowing with this unexplainably massive JOY. I could rejoice with those who rejoiced, praising God for all of the wondrous works He was doing — even those things we often overlook, like someone sharing the Gospel for the first time.

I smiled until my face hurt, almost laughing, because what He was doing within the lives of the people around me was so beautiful, none of it could be expressed with words. I was bursting with joy at being able to listen to and see others share the Gospel and be love to the lost, and could clearly and obviously see the joy they had in their hearts as it radiated from the words they spoke in love. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News! Seeing God work through every one of the individuals on this trip was a massive blessing to say the least.

Seeing the Holy Spirit SO alive within myself and others allowed me to understand how truly powerful He is, and how great the work He will do through us is when we just give it all up to Him through humility and allow Him to use us. He is waiting on us to allow His Holy Spirit to move — He is always there and is always ready to work. Whether or not we allow Him to is up to us. I am so unable, yes, but He is ALWAYS able, even within me. This brought me an unspeakable joy in Him.

God really is good all of the time, and I hope you take the time to further understand that glorious, perfect, unfailing truth.

Much, much love,
Ed