Ecclesiastes 3:1 says,
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven,”
and continues on to say in verse 11 that “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
There is a time for everything; life is full of seasons. It surprises me how I am already tired around 9 p.m. and (usually) wake up without an alarm around 6 a.m. Tonight we had a time of worship in the choza (prayer hut) with a fogata (pronounced foe-ga-ta, meaning “bonfire”), joined by a chorus of night creatures (mainly bugs!), beneath an awesome star-filled sky. We encouraged each other through music and the Word of God. We read Psalm 34, in Spanish and in English. What beauty!
“I will bless the Lord at ALL times;
his praise will always be on my lips (it is always the time to PRAISE!)…
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together (We are in this together; life is a journey that is better traveled with another/others).
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all of my fears (The Lord is faithful; He will answer; Lord, deliver me from my fears! They are many…)…
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame (at all times, we need to look to him; to fear him is to care more about pleasing Him than others; in this way, we can be secure as long as we are seeking his face…)…”
Everything is beautiful in ITS time; God determines this time. Also, do we allow him to define what is true beauty? It is our hearts He sees and searches. It is through discipline, trials, sorrows, patience, trusting, and some not-so-pleasant things that our faith grows; we learn; our character is made stronger; we learn to always be content (Philippians 4:11-12); our hope in Him is solidified. He has set eternity in our hearts; much we cannot even fathom! Isaiah 55:8-9 says,
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'”
God is great! He is worthy of our praise, and we can TRUST Him. God wants to reveal himself to us more and more; He wants us to be closer to him, for us to share our lives with him (and with others so that they, too, may know him). I just wanted to jot down a few of my thoughts tonight. I am constantly being reminded of the raw beauty in this place; of how I am NOTHING without Him; of how much I need Him in every moment of every day; of the reason why I am here.
Mark led us to read from 1 Thessalonians 2 last night. This is a passage that has been brought to my attention many times within the last several years; it brings more light and truth and conviction to my heart every time. As missionaries, as servants and followers of Christ, we need to soak up these words and live it out. What we must do is:
-preach the gospel boldly, with confidence, because God has entrusted us with it
-be gentle, sensitive, and love others
-to share not only the gospel, but our very own lives, with others
-encourage, comfort, and urge each other to live according to the Word and what He calls us to
-suffer for the sake of the gospel.
And now, it is raining! The sounds change; some things get louder, while others fade away. God is moving, working things out according to his plans. Are we willing to be a part of this bigger picture? (Now the rain is coming down in torrents! I can hear nothing but rain!) Are we willing to say, “Less of me, and more of You, Lord” (John 3:30)? Are we vessels that can be used to bring Him glory?
In Huaticocha, it is a time of building, of preparing for greater things to come! We are praying and believing for the funds needed to complete the school (Instituto Ninawachi) building; there will be an open house on October 16, to share the vision and to invite people willing to serve Christ as missionaries to study here; a team will be coming next week to serve and to see firsthand what God is doing; we are waiting for Cheryl and Ulises to come back so that our team will be complete again(!); the surrounding communities and those further in the jungle are HUNGRY for the gospel and for the love and hope of Christ. The need is too much for us alone; we are desperate for God to work miracles and for others to join us in prayer and in supporting this ministry.
Time, when placed in God’s hands, truly is beautiful. Now, it is time for me to sleep! ha! What time is it for you? (: