While in Belize, I learned a lot about perceptions. Perceptions of who people are, can be so far off. Have you ever experienced that? When you perceive someone to be a certain somebody, you are judging them purely on the outside. How arrogant, Kristin! I think of some of the people we met in Belize – some of the people that I had hesitancy talking to, were the people who left the biggest impact on my life. My own arrogance in thinking that I knew what “type” of person they were, almost stopped me from sharing God’s love with them or praying for them. I am ashamed to say that, but it is something God taught me while there. We have all been on the other end of someone’s judgmental thoughts and words – we all know how that feels. So how dare I do that to someone else? When I put all selfish and prideful mindsets aside, is when it leaves room for God to work.
God worked through divine appointments in Belize – I define that as God’s sovereign will. I remember one of our team members saying when you follow God, He will make clear what He wants you to do in a given day. That is so true! Isn’t every day, then, a divine appointment? Isn’t it God-ordained? I remember waking up thinking what I would do in the day and did I think I would be broken in the way I was? No. But God had these little divine appointments set up and all we had to do was follow in obedience and walk. I never thought God would introduce me to a girl like Natasha. I never knew handing out beans and rice would open up the hearts and tear ducts of those we spoke with – though none of it was our doing – it was purely God setting up every situation and changing the hearts of not only the people there, but of US.
I would say one of the biggest lessons we learned in Belize was “NO FEAR.”
How many times in the Bible does it say “do not fear” or “do not be afraid?” I’m sure I could Google it and find it written probably at least 300 times. How many times in battle did God say those words to His followers? How many promises in the Bible include these words? Our theme we have learned is “go all out, no fear.” In life, really, what do we have to lose? No one can snatch our salvation, so really, what do we have to lose? If God has called us to something, go into it with NO FEAR. This is a lesson God is teaching us right now, so have we arrived? No. We worry. We doubt. A LOT. Too much. But if we are to be true Christ followers, fear should not be a part of us. What are we willing to give up for the sake of Christ? Have no fear in whatever God may call us to give up. I would much rather be on God’s side, than fear’s side, so we are working on the whole NO FEAR idea :).
And when fear is not present, thankfulness can walk in. When I do not have a spirit of fear, I find myself in humble thankfulness to God. I think about Charles, the man in a wheelchair who I talked about in earlier posts. He had a heart of thankfulness. Yes, he has days he said, when he wishes he could walk. But he is thankful for the lessons that God has taught him through being paralyzed. He doesn’t live in fear of the situation God has him in – he has embraced it. That is what I want to do and need to keep working on doing – embracing the life God has given us right now. It is a season of waiting, but it is God-given; God-allowed. Embrace it! I look at how God ordained for us the opportunity for us to go to Belize. It was nothing that we did – it was PURELY GOD. I look at the things Dan and I have been able to do and the ways that we have grown through this waiting period. Do we always “embrace” the moment? No, sadly no. But God places people in our life to challenge us – like Charles. Just be thankful. Don’t live in fear of the future b/c God has it all figured out. Just be thankful and humbled that Someone has chosen to go before us.
These are just a few of the lessons we have learned while in Belize. There are plenty more, but I hope this gives you just a taste in the way God has worked in our life!