Today’s guest post is written by Donna Bostick…
A Love Like His
“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.” (Isaiah 57:8-9)
It was late October 2008. My first missions trip to a third world country. Haiti bound. Approximately forty-five days after the hurricane. A team of fifteen. The goal to visit orphanages to love on the kids including dispensing of clothes, shoes, medicine, toys, colors, and of course candy to the kids.
The prayer of my heart – to love without hesitation. An easy task for most – right – not so much for me as we were told that some of the kids might have aids, some of the kids might have sores covering their little bodies, and some of the kids might have oozy eyes and noses. Not exactly something that I was looking forward to – not sure what I was expecting but the thought of contracting aids during a missions trip – not at the top of my bucket list.
It was mid-day when we landed in Port-au-Prince via an American Airlines 757. We then took a bus across town to a smaller airport and were loaded onto a tiny plane with 18 seats which was to fly us to Les Cayes located along the coast in southern Haiti. Upon landing, we were carted off to a white van, our mode of operation the rest of the trip.
As we bounced along the make shift once flooded roads, my hands began to sweat and my heart began to pound as we inched closer and closer to our first stop – our first orphanage. As I crawled my way out of the back seat, the kids swarmed us! I had no choice but to love without hesitation. They were crawling, hugging, tugging and loving on us like crazy! It was so amazing to experience the love of Jesus from these kids – kids that loved like Jesus. And this scene played out for the next four days with each visit to a new and different orphanage.
“God does not ask of us that which does not ultimately benefit us. Regardless of what kind of change God asks of you, and no matter how difficult what He asks may seem, obedience to His voice will always result in blessing in the long run. That’s just the kind of God we serve. He wants to give us marvelous things and experiences that we perhaps never dreamed of, but first we have to let go of our own little world and begin to venture into His.” ~~ Shannon Ethridge
I read the above quote on the plane ride home from Haiti and it sums up the trip better than I ever could. You see, God did that for me – He gave me marvelous things and experiences in Haiti that I could have never dreamed of! He let me venture into His world. I was truly blessed beyond measure and comprehension.
I left Kansas City with the attitude of what I was going to do for the kids – I was the one with plans to love unconditionally – plans to love without strings – plans to love like Jesus – but God totally had something else in mind for me. It was not about what I could do for the kids – but was about what the kids and the team did for me.
I was on the receiving end of “agape” (unconditional) love – up close and personal from everyone that I touched, saw and hugged on the trip – from my friend’s 15 year old son to an 86 year old grandpa who had an orphanage built in memory of his wife to two little Haitian girls that stole my heart that I affectionately named Silly 1 and Silly 2. (Partly because all they did was giggle and laugh with me or at me plus the fact that French Creole is not my second language with English barely being my first.)
I experienced the love of Jesus in the flesh! I experienced unconditional love by orphans – children without homes, children without parents, children without families, children without clothes to call their own, and children without food. It was through these orphans that God taught me how to receive. God taught me how to open my heart, my mind and my life to what He wanted to teach me about His love. He taught me that His thoughts were so much higher than mine and that His ways were much higher than mine. I experienced Haiti as God saw fit for me to see Haiti. And trust me; it was a far better view through His eyes.
As I think about how God is preparing me for the Living Proof Live event, it’s all about Him transforming my heart into a heart like His – step by step – day by day – experience by experience with Haiti being one of those experiences. It’s all about Him drawing me closer to His heart as He chisels away making me more like Him. It’s my responsibility to “Be still, and know that [He is] God.” (Psalm 46:10).
It’s in our being still and abiding in His word that we begin to know who He is. By knowing His voice, we will hear it more clearly which in turn will prepare our hearts to receive Him and His teachings in and through Beth Moore and others that He will place in our paths as we journey toward His heart.
Father God, open our hearts to what you want to teach us along this journey to your heart. Give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and a desire to obey you. Transform our hearts along the way into hearts that desire you. Hearts and minds that desire to obey you and become more like you. Thank you for loving us and for calling us to follow you. In Jesus’name. Amen.
(The current Preparation series is intended to help you look for, notice, and acknowledge God working in your life. At the end of the month, I’ll give away a free ticket to the Living Proof Live with Beth Moore event in Springfield, IL, October 25-26, 2013. All you have to do to qualify for the free ticket drawing is to comment on one or more blog posts throughout the month of March. The ticket will be given away on April 1st (and it’s not an April Fools joke!). (If you live too far away to attend the event, I have an alternate giveaway and will then pass along the ticket to someone else.)