Since I have been home from my mission trip, I have read through all of my blog entries and experiences. I have been contemplating how everything I experienced on the trip applies to Peace in the Waiting.
Peace in the Waiting is not just about child or reproductive loss. It was born from that personal experience, but over the past 12 months God has shown me that it’s so much bigger than that. We are ALL waiting on something. Having peace during the waiting requires complete trust and faith in God, which is not always easy.
My Own Waiting:
- I am waiting for the Lord to show me how I can apply what I have learned from this past week here in the United States and my own community.
- I have to wait at least a year to be able to go on this trip again and reconnect with all of the people I just met and now love.
As I wait, I have to trust that God continues to provide for the people in Barahona. I have to be at peace knowing that God is taking care of Odetta, the widow with Parkinson’s – Day 5, and that I was merely a vessel in which God cared for her this past week. When you go on a mission trip, it’s easy to think that you are the provider and that if it weren’t for you those people wouldn’t have food. But, that just isn’t true… God is the provider!
Waiting by the People in Barahona:
While I didn’t ask specifically what the people we met in the DR are waiting for, I believe I was able to get a glimpse of it this past week.
- Some are waiting to see where their next meal will come from.
- The children are waiting for more people to come and love on them. Dariel is waiting on more chocolata from the next Americana (although my ziplock bag of Tootsie Rolls should last him a few days).
- Mothers with sick children are waiting for healing.
- Some are waiting for their crops to grow and produce fruit or for their animals to fatten up so they have food on the dinner table.
- The young people who have been able to afford to stay in school are waiting for graduation or an opportunity to go to university.
- People are waiting on jobs or the construction of the new resort to begin so there are more available jobs.
- There are many people who do not have jobs so they wait on the front porch for friends to visit, the rain to come, their husbands to come home, the day to end and next to begin, or maybe a little bit of all of those things.
Waiting by Hispaniola Mountain Ministries (HMM):
- I imagine the HMM pastors and staff are waiting for more teams to come and help be the hands and feet of Jesus.
- The organization is waiting for financial support to be able to continue the mission.
- Leadership is waiting for God’s leading to expand the ministry to others in need.
- They are waiting and praying for more people to develop the same passion for loving and serving people.
- They work so very hard every day of the week, week after week as new teams come in, so I also imagine they sometimes wait for the day of rest after hard work!
We are ALL waiting on something – no matter the situation or walk of life we are in. Many times we find ourselves waiting through periods of trial, uncertainty, frustration, suffering, or grief that seem so big and overwhelming. But, the life God has given us on earth is so short and temporary, including all of the trials we go through.
2 Corinthians 4:16-17 says “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”
To “be at peace” means to free your mind of worry or anxiety and to rest in God’s promise to work all things for our good (Romans 8:28) and to experience a state of tranquility or serenity knowing that God is in control (Isaiah 41:10, Luke 12: 22-26).
How do we find peace in all of our waiting? I believe the answer is simple but often over complicated … We trust every single moment to God and keep our eyes focused on Him and His Will.
When we turn our eyes away from God, we waiver from the true peace that can only come from him. God tells us exactly how to find this peace – through prayer and thanksgiving.
Philippians 4:6-7 says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When I think of the great need among the people I visited in Barahona, I am encouraged that our ultimate waiting is for Jesus Christ’s return for all who chose to believe in him. Many people I visited with know the Lord and have a relationship with Him, but there are also many who do not know Jesus Christ. We are still waiting because God wants everyone to repent and believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
“A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent… And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to be found living peaceful lives that are pure and blameless in his sight.” – 2 Peter 3:8-9, 14
Focus your eyes on the Lord in all of your waiting, and He will give you a peace that surpasses all understanding!