I’m not sure how many people know, but Nadine & I are planning on going to Haiti in February for a short mission’s trip. We have seen God providing for us through many incredible ways. We were able to send away for our passports two weeks ago, and are eagerly waiting for them to arrive. As I pray for God to prepare my heart, I am finding that He’s not doing it in ways I was expecting.
The past few months have been an incredible ride of faith. By incredible, I don’t mean that it’s been smooth-sailing, bump-free, or fear-less. It’s been more like a wild stomach-losing ride that’s left me breathless and wondering how I’ll make the next turn, or the next day. It’s been a constant leaning on the Man in the boat. I have, at many times, panicked instead of trusted. I’ve cried out, We’re perishing! When in reality we are just being rocked a bit.
As part of my preparation, I’ve been feeling very needy. Not exactly what I had in mind, God, I think. Especially three weeks before Christmas. Yet He’s been telling me this: needy is a good place to be. It allows room for God to meet us and others to bless. Yet it’s hard to admit need, isn’t it? Hard to let God take me where I feel uncomfortably dependent on Him alone. Hard to be in a spot where I’m accepting other’s help instead of offering my own. A lot of times, people have no idea they’re even doing it. I can’t express it enough: we need to listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. They might just be the echo of someone’s prayer in need. Twenty dollars tucked in an envelope… no one knew the gas tank was empty and there were places to go. A gift card for some coffee… no one knew how badly this mama needed that break. A meal… no one knew the fridge was empty. A letter, a comment, an encouraging word… no one knew how many doubts have risen up to try to break down this heart with discouragement. Generosity trumps need.
We each have our own poverty. It is a difficult thing to embrace. Yet I think it is something which brings us closer to the power of God. When we have an empty, impoverished part of our life or soul, God is able to fill it. If we have need of nothing, then we have no need of God. This must be why Paul said that he would glory in his weakness. We often think of poverty as the obvious famine-ravished country in Africa. Yet there is more to poverty than just a hungry belly. Sometimes it is financial: five dollars left in the bank, with bills still arriving in the mail. Sometimes it may be more hidden: a relationship which is torn, a loneliness that is insatiable. Sometimes it is a poverty of the spirit and soul, a feeling like there is nothing left to give, nothing to offer. God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (Matt. 5:3) We are blessed. No longer self-sufficient. God’s blessings are more meaningful because He is able, in our poverty, to meet our need. When we experience poverty, that is when we experience God’s power to provide. And when we’ve experienced that power, it is impossible not to give back to God and touch others in need along the way.