My mom gave me a few little gifts as we set off this most recent time to come back to Haiti. One particular item she gave me is a devotional book. I have to admit something here, something I didn’t dare tell her at the time, but I don’t really like those little books. You know which ones I’m talking about, where they have a paragraph or two-a devotional- of reading for every day of the year. I’m not sure why I don’t like these books. I think it stems from years ago, when I wasn’t really reading my Bible regularly, I would just open one of those up, spend a minute before God, and check it off my to-do list. It didn’t sink in, my heart wasn’t in the right place, and so I never really got much out of them. They were a crutch for me, a way to meet God without taking up too much time in my day.
She gave me this book as she and my sister drove me to the airport about two weeks ago. They both, in typical ‘Schmid’ fashion, had put together cute parting gifts for me to take back to Haiti. Yes, gifts for no reason, completely unexpected, which are the best kind if you ask me. They showered me with books, movies, candy, sweet loving notes, even a pair of cute flip flops! (oh, how they spoil me!!) I was a bit worried, because my two bags were already packed to full full full, and I couldn’t imagine how I could find room for these extras. So, in the parking lot at a gas station, the three of us worked hard to get each little treasure into the nooks and crannies of my bags. When it didn’t seem like anything else could fit, I secretly thought “the devotional book doesn’t have to go”. Ha. I know, some missionary huh? It’s the ugly truth! Of course I would never say that out loud, and watched as my sister made room for everything. Hmmm.
Out of respect for my mom, and the fact that I was now lugging it all the way to Haiti, I thought I should probably at least crack it open so I could honestly say I opened it. As a side note, she did tell me that she started reading it about four months prior and it has deeply affected her and her walk with the Lord. I smiled thinking and wondering how just a few little paragraphs each day could do that. And she proceed to tell me that it was written by a young missionary-which of course made her think of me, and did peak my interest a bit.
Well, I started this little book about two weeks ago, and man oh man, it was the devil the himself who didn’t want me to have this book. No lie. I made a deal with God that I would chat with him before opening it, asking Him to soften my heart to what he might want to say to me, through this book. If I was going to try the little devo book, I wanted to do it right! In addition, I’m trying to only read it after I have spent time in His word or doing a devotion so that I won’t fall back into bad habits of a quick read to ‘get through it’.
I have wanted to share almost everyday with you. With someone. But for now, I just read, and re-read them, meditate on them, and chat with the Lord about them. I am amazed at the way her truth and honesty come off the pages, and how she conveys they heart of the Lord through her writing. So, I just have to share today with you…
“Expect to encounter adversity in your life, remembering that you live in a deeply fallen world. Stop trying to find a way that circumvents difficulties. The main problem with an easy life is that it masks your need for ME. When you became a Christian, I infused my very Life into you, empowering you to live on a supernatural plane by depending on Me. Anticipate coming face to face with impossibilities: situations totally beyond your ability to handle. This awareness of your inadequacy is not something you should try to evade. It is precisely where I want you-the best place to encounter Me in My Glory and Power. When you see armies of problems marching towards you, cry out to Me! Allow me to fight for you. Watch Me working on your behalf, as you rest in the shadow of My Almighty Presence.” Rev 19:1 and Psalm 91:1
Instead of boring you or complaining by listing all the ways in which we are overwhelmed by the huge obstacles that face us, just know how deeply those words and promises affected me. Just know that most situations that we face here seem impossible. Haiti consistently reminds us of our inadequacies, and really does deepen our need for Him on a daily and minute by minute basis. But how encouraging to read and remember, that in those places of weakness, and encountering obstacles, we can more fully see the Glory of the Lord and His might power.
PS The name of book, in case you’re wondering is “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young.