Have you every waited so long for something you thought it would never actually happen? I've been waiting on God for the past 2 years. With every ounce of my being I've wanted to run ahead and make things happen. But every time I would tried to make a move, God would say wait.
At first it was easy. People would ask why I wasn't plowing ahead and I'd tell them God said wait. Simple. But weeks turned into months and months turned into years and the simplicity of waiting got complicated. My prayer time started to included desperate petitions for God to end the wait. I feared my waiting period would be in biblical proportions! 7 years.. 15 years.. 40 YEARS! What exactly did God mean by wait??
I can't say it was easy, but this waiting period changed me. I had to become more confident and more focused on who God was and what He was doing. I had to spend more time in prayer, seeking wisdom and direction. Even though I felt like I was going to crack, my trust in God was growing. It had to.
Thank God for his faithfulness. After 2 years of waiting I felt God finally say "Go!"
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. - 1 Thessalonians 5:24
I spent the month of August in the States. I was really excited to return to Honduras and see what God had in store. As my plane landed this past Thursday I prayed bold prayers. I asked for open doors, divine connections, and great provision. I think I skipped a little as I walked away from the plane. I was confident everything from that point on would go smoothly.
My confidence was confirmed when I flew through immigration. No lines and a friendly officer! Thank you Lord! I couldn't get the smile off my face... That is until I rounded the corner and realized my suitcases were missing. What? Ok, this happens I told myself. Not the end of the world. I would just need to return to the airport the next day. A 3 hour round trip bus ride. No problem.
But the next day began with a bang. In the middle of the night I was wrestling a freshly poisoned rat out of my dog's mouth. This led to a flashlight search of my front yard and a google search on dog poisonings. My alarm rang all to soon after that and I got to the airport very tired.
I stood waiting for my luggage for 3 hours. The whole time I kept trying to keep an understanding smile on my face for the kind airline agents. After I got my luggage all I needed was a quick security check and I would be free to go.
I've never cried at an airport. Not even saying good bye to loved ones. But this day Honduran customs confiscated ALL of the dried chiles I had brought from Chicago. Hot sauce, moles, stews! I saw months of delicious meals (and $20) walk away with a security officer. The tears were coming and I desperately prayed for them to stay in my eyeballs. (Ok. I know I'm not the only one who has been overtired and over emotional...)
I walked sadly out of the security check point sniffling and rolling my suitcases (which were now also missing a wheel.) As I stood in the hall of the airport trying to get a grip, a young boy walked up to me. He was raising money for school books and was taking donations for grasshoppers he had woven out of palm leaves. The humble sincerity of his request made me stop. I talked with him for a while and my heart melted. We parted ways and I was reminded of why I was in Honduras. I was here to love the people around me with the compassion of Jesus.
Leaving the airport my attitude changed. I haggled with the taxi drivers as they laughed and only ripped me off a little. The taxi got me to the station just as the bus was pulling away and a nice man helped me run my broken suitcases to the bus. As we drove down the crazy streets of Tegucigalpa towards Comayagua a smile returned to my face. Everything was going to be ok....
Just as I put my earbuds in... BOOM!!! 2 tires flew off of our bus! The bus swerved out of control and into traffic, leaning heavily to one side. The driver managed to stop the bus but we were stranded.
Everyone was now standing in the middle of the street but the driver had disappeared. Another bus stopped and said they had seats but I couldn't leave my 2 suitcases under the bus. I was about to be left standing alone, on a median, in the middle of a dangerous city.
I walked to the rear of the bus (now dangling precariously over the ground) and opened the storage hatch. I started to crawl in when this young woman pushed me aside. She worked her way into the bottom of this broken bus, in the middle of a dangerously busy street, and yanked out my 50 pound suitcases. I said thank you a million times but I was speechless.
This should have been the end of this series of events but it wasn't. I called my taxi driver to meet me at a bus stop way outside of town. It wasn't until the bus turned into the city that I realized I had sent him to the wrong place. I called and called his cell phone but it was out of service. Finally reaching him, I apologized profusely. He paid no attention to my apologies and kept asking if I was ok.
I really wanted to hate the day. I wanted to sit and feel sorry for myself but I couldn't. The list of people that had shown me undeserved kindness was endless. And they were all strangers.
It really matters how we see things and how thankful we are. It matters that we are full of compassion for those around us. Today I was the object of this compassion. Today God showed me how much His compassion can impact a life.
Honduras will never work according to my standards. I will always run into problems and hard times. But I'm not here to fix the system. I'm here to love the people. It is this love and compassion that will bring hope to others just as it did to me this day.
When God finally said "Go!' I wasn't expecting my first experience to be an object lesson. But I am so thankful it was!
I've set this grasshopper on my table to remind me everyday to "Go!" and share God's love and compassion with the people around me.