Walking Humbly With Your God
I’m walking on blind faith — but your grace is exhilarating. -May 21, 2015
I wrote these words a week before boarding a plane to Burma. I arrived in Southeast Asia without a clue of what to expect and no comprehension of the grace that the Lord would extend to me throughout the next two and a half months through His Burmese children.
I knew that I was called to global missions when I was fifteen. I rarely have so tangibly experienced the presence of the Lord, but as a sophomore in high school, my face upturned to the Lord, the words that my pastor was speaking echoed through my mind:
He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? -Micah 6:8
He repeated the verse multiple times. Walk humbly with your God. What does the Lord require of you? I tried to comprehend His grace. I tried to understand why I had continuously complicated His grace to a point of blasphemy. Meditating on the God-breathed words my heart began to ache for those that I had left just weeks before in Ecuador. It began to be nostalgic for the people that I had yet to serve. I was hungry to share the gospel. In that moment the Lord spoke to me, “Your life is bigger than this room. I did not give you a heart of complacency, but a heart of wonder, and I created you to use it.”
The next year, I spent Thanksgiving in the Dominican Republic and Christmas in Mexico serving His children. My soul was alive. The Lord was gracious to allow me to use the heart that He gave me to serve His kingdom in the way I know how.
Sisters, God isn’t asking us to figure out life on our own. He isn’t asking us to jump without first knowing that He will catch us. He doesn’t give us the desire to serve Him and His people without intending to walk us through it.
Early in my freshman year of college, I began to hear the Lord calling me to give my summer to Him. I was afraid of what it might mean to sacrifice my summer in favor of the Lord’s plan. So, I jumped at the first mention of a summer program: a ten-week urban mission program with my college church plant in San Diego, California. Being a part of it would have a comfortable option: a mission where I would have known over 100 people and spent my time at a well-paid job, wasting nights on the beach and journaling my woes in a hotel room.
I hoped to quell the Lord’s beckoning with an easy fix. Not to the discredit of the program, rather to the discredit of where I knew my priorities to lie.
I fasted and prayed and through time the Lord revealed that he had a different plan. I resigned from my position as a part of the San Diego team - broken, terrified, and ashamed.
But God is faithful.
I was discouraged, and in a season of life when the stress of college was settling its weight on my shoulders in the fullest force, the Lord was faithful to restore my passion. Through a series of events that can only be attributed to His ceaseless faithfulness, I was connected with a missionary in Burma. Two months later, I was on a plane to Southeast Asia.
The way to God’s glory was paved with cultural differences that captivated me. Each week I served local English initiatives, taught at colleges and conversational English spots, and on Saturdays I helped teach a Sunday School program at a rural village on the outskirts of the city.
This is a village whose reputation proceeds them. Known as the city’s blemish, the population is constantly held in contempt for their rugged and “barbaric” lifestyles and a political system based around the village hierarchy. It was racked by violence and intimidation. The lack of education was rampant as children dropped out of school or never went because they couldn’t afford it. The children had reddened hair and bloated bellies from malnutrition, and the adults wore their wrinkles as the battle scars of their past.
It was here that we would make our way through muddy roads into the warm embrace of hundreds of bright-eyed children. They would weave their small fingers together with mine, smiling at me with teeth rotted through.
We operated out of two of the homes in the community. Even under threat of relocation or abandonment, the men and women of these houses graciously opened their homes to our ministry every week.
It was in these homes, the light of the sweltering day streaming through the gaps in the bamboo walls, shirts soaked through with humidity, that I felt at home.
Each Saturday, in the late afternoon, the ministry hosted a church service out of one of the homes. I am confident in saying that I have never experienced worship like that. The people of the village closed their eyes and lifted their hands to the Lord, ages one to 100 worshiped with abandon. They prayed with authority and genuinely gathered around one another. They are the closest thing I have ever known to resemble the Acts 2 church, and I was able, even if only for a while, to be a part of it. I have never been so captivated by such precious souls.
These are a people who have been cut off by society because of the stigma applied to their lifestyle, and it was there, within the bamboo walls of the rural village, that I found my home. In a community ransacked by misfortune I have never met more people captivated by the beauty of the Lord. In the span of 10 weeks, I fell in love with the people the city is ashamed of.
We have a tendency to believe that following the Lord is boring because it brings with it so many rules and regulations, but the truth is that when you are willing to walk humbly with Him, He will take you on greater adventures than you could ever dream of.
*Note: The names of the city and the village have been excluded for the safety of the team working there. Burma is a country still closed to evangelism.