Freshman // Pepperdine
Our God is an intentional God. His plans are absolute and perfect. As someone who idolizes logic, I tend to forget that my situations are from God and not by chance. Before my mission trip to South India, it was so easy for me to disregard how God has worked in my life. I took His intentional steps to get closer to me and categorized them as “coincidence” or “luck” or “bad luck”. God showed me the brokenness of my mind and how He can even use that for His glory.
In South India, we were given the opportunity to visit a rehabilitation center. This rehabilitation center was a place for drug and alcohol abusers to recover from their addictions. As we headed there, I remember internally complaining. Our team just finished up ministry in one of the most mentally and spiritually taxing places of the trip. Going to a rehabilitation center in the middle of nowhere was the last thing I wanted to do. Why couldn’t we go later when our team recovered? Why is it so far from home base? Why is the place so small? These were all questions that swirled in my mind as we arrived. It didn’t make sense to me.
As we entered inside, my team leaders asked if I could share my testimony to the people there. I hated public speaking but I begrudgingly said yes. Nervousness coursed through me as I got up to share. I only shared my testimony with close friends or little kids during VBS. These people were full grown adults, struggling to break away from the chains of drugs and alcohol. But, as I shared, I saw the eyes of these people soften. They seemed sympathetic and I got a sense that they were feeling genuinely encouraged. After my testimony, I got a chance to talk with a young man named Kirin. He came up to me and said this: “ I want what you have; I want the Holy Spirit to be in me too.” I was so ashamed of my sinful heart right there and then. I complained so much about coming to this place just because it made me feel uncomfortable. I couldn’t see the greater purpose of glorifying God and encouraging my brothers in Christ. But, here is a man proactively depending on God everyday so that he may one day break loose from his addictions. For him to want to be like me, for him to be encouraged by my testimony, it opened my eyes to my selfishness and how God can still use the greatest of sinners for good. We continued to encourage each other as we talked, constantly affirming that God planned for this specific interaction to happen.
That moment I had with Kirin signified a very important step in my walk with God. It showed me how broken of a person I am, how heavy my sins really are, and how merciful God is. I couldn’t care less about the things I gave up to go South India after experiencing that. God is sovereign and He is perfect. All I need to do is listen and obey with a thankful heart. Trusting in God is how I bring glory to Him.