Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Divorcing My Dreams?

“How can what is made say about its maker, ‘He didn’t make me’?  How can what is formed say about the one who formed it, ‘He doesn’t understand what he’s doing’”?  ~Isaiah 29: 16

“Therefore, the LORD is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the LORD is a just God.  All who wait patiently for Him are happy.” ~Isaiah 30:18

Have you ever just stopped, laid down, and looked at the clouds?  I mean actually watch them move, form, even disappear.  It’s something I haven’t done since I was a child.  I guess I’ve just been too busy.  Hmmm…….too busy to notice something so necessary to my survival.

Have you ever thought about the purpose of clouds?  Clouds are amazing and important.  They come in all shapes, sizes, and images.  They serve as barriers for heat moving both in and out of the Earth’s atmosphere.  They have many affects on our climates.   They help shift dust, bacteria, and other particles throughout the Earth.  They cool us down from the sun on a hot day.  They bring rain and snow to keep humans, plants, and animals alive with water and clean the air. 

When I was in Thailand I was by myself, so I had a lot of time to really pay attention to the things happening around me, the different nations of people I observed enjoying vacation, and I got to take in some beautiful nature.  While lying on the beach, I saw clouds completely evaporate in the sky, right before my eyes!  I had no idea they did that!!  It was really cool to see, a first for me. 

You see God, my Creator, took time to entertain me while I was by myself in Thailand.  Then I began to wonder, ‘How many times has He tried to impress me my whole life but I’ve been to distracted to notice?’  God was being artistic in the sky at that moment, seeing if anyone would take notice, and I was fortunate enough to witness it.  Now I’m sure this sort of thing happens all the time but how many times do we witness it because we take it for granted.  How many times do we miss out on the beauty nature has to offer, because our mind is somewhere else?  How many times do we miss out on the blessings He has for us because we think our own work and dreams are better than what our Creator has in store.

I, as well as some of you reading this, are too busy to listen to God, too busy to marvel at His creation, too busy to praise Him for all He has created for us to enjoy, too busy to thank Him for the day He has given us and the blessings we have received.  Work, families, social media, friends, the entertainment industry, and money distract us.  Maybe we are even distracted by chasing our dreams.  Some distractions are good and some are bad.  We miss out on the best God has for us because we are so distracted doing other things. 

Good Distractions that can turn into bad ones:
This is where I’m going to camp out in my blog today.  Most of you reading this know my intense, insane love for Brazil.  I want to go back there.  I want to be with those people again, loving them, educating them, and showing them who God is, helping them uncover the plans He has for them.  Every chance I had to go back to Brazil since I lived there in 2010 I jumped at pursuing, only for it to be shut down.  Finally I gave up all hope and ended up in Korea.  (I guess you could say I gave up fighting my desires against God’s will for my life). 

For years I have had no desire to go to Asia for missions, even though I knew how great the need was.  I just said in my heart, God will raise up other people.  But that was me following my own desires and not allowing God to use me to accomplish His great work!

Wanting to be a missionary in Brazil is not a bad thing.  God calls his people to “go into all the world and share the gospel”.  The problem is when you put your desires and dreams above God’s desires for you (even the good desires).  Paul had a desire to go to Rome and witness to the people there.  He finally got that opportunity at the end of his life but God had other plans for Paul before he ended up in Rome.  Paul had to wait.  Paul was one of the most influential people in getting the gospel out of Israel into other parts of the world.  He also wrote most of the New Testament in the Bible.  I wonder what would have happened if Paul would have just decided to go to Rome and forgot about all the other places he went to before.  Who knows?  Maybe the New Testament would look different.  Maybe God would have used someone else and we wouldn’t know who Paul is.  I wonder……..

You see, for years I have been telling my Creator “He doesn’t understand what he’s doing”.  “If only He would just let me get married I could adopt all these kids and help save orphans and bring awareness to adoption”. But I can save kids in Thailand before they even enter the sex industry if I allow God to use me and go where the need is greater. 

Or I would say, “if only He would just let me go to Brazil and work with those street kids I fell madly in love with. Then I can help them make a real life for themselves and uncover the potential that is within them.”  But I can uncover the potential of women in Thailand who are already in prostitution by teaching them things they weren’t taught growing up and teaching them

about their Creator who has better things in store for them.  These are things they don’t know because people like me have been waiting to obey.  Or maybe people are too busy enjoying their comforts choosing to allow others to go in their place, but others aren’t going and the issue is getting bigger, escalating at a tremendous rate.

Brazil is fine.  Brazil has churches everywhere and organizations that are making tremendous strides in helping the people.  Brazil is over 25% evangelized.  Parts of SE Asia are less than 1% evangelized.  The need is greater there.  People are dying without knowing their creator while I ignore it to fulfill my own dreams.  No more!  It’s time to surrender!

God has been so patient with me.  A friend once told me that he loved my passion for missions and was inspired by it.  He said one day I would realize the need in Asia and join it.  I rolled my eyes as if he were joking with me but it turns out he was right. Maybe one day, like Paul, I will be able to return to Brazil.  Who knows?  All I know is that I want what my Creator wants for me because He knows me better than I know myself.  I want His best for my life and I’m tired of settling for second best. 

Please pray for me this year as I finish my contract in Korea, prepare for becoming a missionary, and pray about my role in Southeast Asia.      

What’s keeping you from obeying?

The sky in Thailand is beautiful.
The snorkling tour I went on to Similan Island.

Phuket Sunset

This was the highlight of my trip and definitely one of the top 10 highlights of my life.  I adore tigers and think they are amazing creatures!  
Obviously an Elephant Trek.  

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