There was amazement and wonder in Truma’s eyes at the Midland County Fair on Saturday night. The lights, the animals, and all the people had her captivated and in a state of giddiness. She was having the time of her life and it was clear that her little mind was exploding with new sights, smells, and sounds—glorious things she could have never imagined on her own. While we rode the rides her smile was as big as I have ever seen it and it was truly a pleasure for her grandparents and I to experience it all with her.
What would the world be like if every day we all recalled a fresh sense of awe for the God who created us? What if we woke up each morning and recalled the joy of His saving grace? I know this is something I don’t do every day, but why not? I wish I had a good answer but I think the truth of the matter is that the sin that remains in my busted heart causes me to put other things before God. Oftentimes they are good things like helping a homeless friend renew his CDL or reading a book on theology, but it is a constant battle for me to adore the Lord above all else. I find myself trying to make myself acceptable to God rather than rejoicing in the fact that He already did that work on the cross.
This realization comes at a season of my life that I never dreamed I would experience—working full time in homeless ministry and joyfully laying everything on the line for the Lord. There is SO much to do right now. I am simultaneously trying to juggle managing Breaking Bread Mobile, the construction of a tiny house for Parade of Homes in October, a baby due at the same time, preparing for our new park home to be delivered at the same time, raising personal support so we can keep doing this full time, among other very significant decisions we are in the process of making. To be candid, I am running out of gas and there is no end in sight, only more things headed our way.
By no means am I dealing with the things Paul was when he wrote the above passage, but the spirit of what he wrote applies to us all. I need the power of Christ. I am not sharing any of this to complain or get sympathy, but to boast in my weakness. I know that I cannot possibly do this on my own, but God can and I want Him to be greatly glorified when He does. In following the Lord’s calling, we often get a lot of pats on the back and people paying us compliments, but truthfully if God hadn’t hit me like a freight train back in 2011 I’d still be lost and deceived by the empty fruits of the world. Y’all, everything good that is going on with our lives is from the Lord.
What I am longing for in this season is a renewed childlike faith. I want to wake up every morning in awe of our great and merciful God like Truma felt about the array of twinkling lights at the carnival. If I treasure God above all else, the fulfillment of the duties (read opportunities) of the Christian life that I feel need to be happening will result as the fruit of my dependence on Him. I know this truth but applying it is another story.
Every day I wake up and pray for the opportunities to share the Gospel with the people I serve on the truck. It's often hard to do feeling so spent myself. Some days I fail miserably to even try to present it, some days I feel like I am beating my head against a wall, and then on those rare and beautiful occasions I get to witness to someone who has had their heart opened by the Lord. I don’t have a script, a tract, or a set of guidelines. Most of the time I take people through my testimony and how the truths of scripture have been displayed in my walk with the Lord. Those days are so energizing, but unfortunately they don’t happen as often as I’d like.
Lately it’s been hard to muster the energy or motivation to do more than fix peoples’ coffee and get them fed. The enemy has piled on by directing a few of those that I serve to make negative comments about my service and take shots at my pride. I feel sure that God is at work on my heart but in the middle of it, I can’t quite see what He is doing yet. It seems that due to my stubbornness, God gets my attention by letting me totally exhaust myself. Clearly He wants me to understand that the approval of man should be the least of my interests, but I think bigger than that, He wants me to return to treasuring Him and being satisfied in Him over everything else. He is taking me through this season to graciously restore my childlike faith. I am grateful for a His mercies that are new each morning and constantly draw me back to Him in a broken world that constantly pulls me away.
I appreciate your prayers in this season of sharpening in my life and there are many others that need our prayer and service right now as well. Hurricane Harvey hits a special nerve for me, personally knowing the power of natural disasters. However destructive and painful it was, the storm on April 27, 2011 in Tuscaloosa was a turning point for me. It taught me about the fragility of life, my need for a savior, and the goodness in the people of God who link arms in service to those in need. Seeing destruction of the magnitude that now exists on the Texas Gulf Coast, my heart aches for those who have lost everything. I can’t explain natural disasters, but I can assure you that God’s word is true when He says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
“Through the storm, He is Lord. Lord of all!”
· Psalm 51
· Our unborn niece and her family.
· The Eternally Homeless- those who’s home is not in Christ.
· Those affected by the storms
· Our friends’ newly launched Wildflower Ministries of TBC for the restoration of families and establish a foster care community in Big Spring.