This coming week I get to share my testimony with our first group of students. Not just with the three assigned to our site, but to the full group, including the summer interns. I’m excited, and actually a little nervous, too! I haven’t had to prepare and give a 20 minute presentation in English in a long time!
But, God is so good, and I’m looking forward to telling a bit about how He has been at work in me and through me. Of course, the older I get, the more of the story there is! How do I pare it down? I also want to connect it to the students. So that in my story, they can see how God is at work in theirs, too.
As I’ve been pondering, I thought back about my first posts on this blog. The one about my bed. You remember, my queen-sized four-poster natural pine bed with the carved pineapples on top… Yep, I can still wax eloquent about that bed!
Yesterday I was typing random thoughts while eating some fresh pineapple. I had just made salsa with mango, pineapple, red and yellow bell peppers, red onion, tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice. All of the ingredients were fresh, brightly colored and full of flavor. Seriously, the fruits and vegetables here are crazy-delicious!
It again occurred to me that in God’s amazing way, He had truly provided in ways I could never have imagined. While I was pining (pun-intended!) away for my bed, He had entirely something else in mind.
You see, if I was still living in the U.S., I would still have my super comfy bed, instead of one whose mattress sags in the middle. I’d have those lovely four-posts with their carved wooden pineapples on top. But… oh, how much I’d be missing out on! And, not just that sweet, fresh, amazing, real piña, either.
I realize comparing a bed to a piece of fruit is like comparing apples to oranges, but that’s my point. Paul says that God is able to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or even imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). To me that means there’s no way for us to compare it to anything in our current understanding.
When in the same book Paul earlier talks about the incomparable riches we have in Christ Jesus (2:6) he means just that – without comparison.
Back in the U.S., I had no real clue what I was getting myself into. I couldn’t. It’s like comparing apples to oranges. There was nothing in that context to help me get a firm grasp on this one. Don’t get me wrong. There was (and still is!) so much about my old life that I miss, and miss dearly.
But, in His glorious grace and mercy, God is at work in me, changing my wants and desires. The wooden pineapple of my old life to the fresh piña of this one.Oh, friends, how could I have ever imagined sitting in El Callejon studying the Five Solas with young women eager to learn more about God? Or allowing the Holy Spirit to give me words to share with a woman whose ‘marriage’ has so many similarities to what I experienced? Or talking with those who truly know what it means to pray “Give us this day, our daily bread” as they may have none tomorrow?
It wasn't possible, plain and simple. What an amazing and great God we serve! Who invites us to step out of our comfortable lives into a life we didn’t know existed. Into a way of meeting Him we never could have dreamed of.
No, in His love, God didn’t give me another pineapple bed. Instead, He has provided something I didn’t ask for, but now can’t imagine not having. To Him be all glory as He continues to work out His will in each of our lives. How immeasurable, how incomparable, is the One we serve!