The past several months here have come and gone in much the same way that I feel so many of my months here have. At first glance, life seems to have it's predictable routines, schedules, norms, and nothing much is out of the ordinary. But when I take a step back from my daily grind (which I'm not very good at and does not come naturally to me), is when I'm able to see something else starting to take shape around me.
God daily is building a pretty incredible testimony all around me of who He is and what He is about and about how He moves. In my own weakness, doubts, fears, insecurities, mistakes, lack of faith and trust in what is going to happen next, God doesn't change or give up or lose hope. Going to an orphanage everyday in attempts to make things better, extend mercy and grace to demanding orphans and the demanding caregivers who are supposed to be showing these same kids of the love of Christ round the clock is exhausting - both physically and spiritually. It's far too easy to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and hopeless when I look to how I by myself can even begin to think I might be able to meet any of the needs of the children we serve. But the truth is, by myself I've got very, very little to offer these desperate children. My energy, grace, patience, and wisdom runs out really quickly when surrounded by the number of kids God keeps putting within 10 feet of me for hours and hours on end. Caroline honestly has nothing to offer at the end of the day - actually I often have nothing lovely to offer at 6 am either when I'm supposed to be waking them up and getting these precious little guys dressed for school. If you haven't grasped my point yet - I'll say it again... I cannot meet the obvious needs that are 2 feet in front of me everyday by myself.
The needs of these children are huge. Their wounds are deep.
So what do we do? What do I do? Honestly, I think most days I get scared and just run from whatever is in front of me. I hide. Isn't that what we do when someone asks us to help them? Don't we usually just convince ourselves that someone else will take care of it and that it's not our responsibility? Or I figure out what I can do on my own and just run myself into the ground trying to meet unlimited needs with my limited energies, time and resources.
Isaiah 58 says that if we "spend ourselves on behalf of the hungry and meet the needs of the oppressed" then "our light will rise in the darkness." A few verses before that he says that after we loose the chains of injustice, set the oppressed free, share our food with the hungry, provide the poor wanderer with shelter, clothe the naked... that then when we call out to the Lord, He says that it is then that He will answer and say, "Here I am."
I've got 2 choices:
1. Love and serve out of my own strength till it runs out
2. Call out to the Lord and beg Him to use me, fill me, and serve through me
These choices might seem really similar but it's a trap I think people in my line of work can all too often fall through without realizing it.
In this fight, God is right there. It's His fight. It's not my fight. When I submit to where God is already leading, what God is already saying, the ways that He moves forward, I realize that He never gives up, He never quits, He never gives up on any child, nothing is too great for God to heal, no need is too huge for God to meet - He wins every single time.
I know that I personally have the tendency to want to fix things on my own, within my own abilities, resources and strengths. It is then that I fail, give up before it's over, and lose hope.
God's love never fails, runs out or gives up. I need THAT flowing through me because this is one HUGE fight.
God thank you for placing me in the middle of something too big for me to conquer alone. Thank you for humbling me so that I have no choice but to rely on you if I ever want to see anything get done. Thank you for your grace when I screw up. I praise you for creating me with a relentless spirit. Thank you Jesus for renewing my resolve by giving me a glimpse of yours. Let us not grow weary in doing good.