I have always been in amazement of the way the Lord came to this earth, humbled Himself and served His people. This idea has really made me into the person I am by pushing me to ask myself what really matters in this world. It is so easy to get caught up in all the “stuff” and even easier to pass up opportunities to serve God’s kingdom. Even in small ways. And that’s what I wanted to talk about today.
In July (the 12th-19th), I spent a week on a mission trip in Robeson County building wheelchair ramps with First United Methodist- Graham. I was really excited to go- but if I’m being honest with myself and you, I wanted to do more. I wanted to go out of the country and have this life-changing opportunity to serve God and His people. I was so blinded by this desire, that initially I was kind of disappointed. Then God worked His magic on my heart and got me to see the big picture; His picture.
After a week of building wheelchair ramps and seeing the reactions of the people receiving them, that is when the heart change happened. I was right where God wanted me to be. I went into this mission trip thinking I was just building ramps, and left it knowing that building ramps is more than that. It’s a ministry. The work we did allowed people to leave their house for the first time in a while, brought family back together, and improved their overall quality of life. And I realized- I take all of those things for granted in my own life. It’s the little things that we need to be grateful for. And this can only be realized in its purest sense through the reality of God and gratitude for all He has given us.
When the week was up, we all went home. Sad it was over but so grateful for the experiences we shared. This is typically when mission trips end, but not for us. And that’s just the way God works. In amazing and unbelievable ways. Nearly a month later, on August 8th, there was a need in Mebane for a wheelchair ramp that was expressed and we jumped on the opportunity. This is the timing and working of God and I truly believe that without Him, nothing would have fallen into place as perfectly as it did on that day.
So on that Saturday we met at that house in Mebane, early in the morning, still rubbing our eyes, and we built a ramp. We worked hard knowing that it had to be finished that day. And when we laid the last stone, we all looked at each other knowing we had just been working in the presence of God. When it was finished, the lady we had built it for was able to be released from the hospital after a month of not being able to come home. She cried, we cried, we prayed together and hugged and rejoiced! Because God is so good.
And there I was, in my hometown, 7 minutes from my own house. And I had just had one of the most rewarding mission experiences of my life. I love when God gets in my face and proves me wrong. I could feel Him saying in that moment, “Told you so.” I didn’t need to go far away at all. I just need to make my love for God stretch further than it had ever stretched before.