The Life We Don’t Deserve
I recently went on a mission trip to Criox-des-Bouqets, Haiti with Dezyém Chans Ministries [now Second Chance Haiti]. There was one specific day, that I would go to say was my favorite day. Twelve of us piled into a van and drove about 3 hours to a village in the mountains called, Beloc. We had about a 2 mile hike, while carrying rice and beans in our backpacks. My bag specifically, contained 13 Walmart bags full of beans. My bag pretty much weighed me down, (I even fell down a steep dirt hill at the very beginning. Haha.) but I was so excited that I could hardly hold it in. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to hike into a village, bless families with food that I have carried on my back, and pray with them. As soon as we started walking, a young girl(pictured above), wanted me to carry her. I picked her up, trying not to let my bag pull me to the ground, and carried her all the way from start to finish. She added about an extra 40 pounds to my weight that I was carrying prior to holding her, but I don’t regret it for one second. Was I dripping sweat? Absolutely. Tired? For sure. Would I go back and do it again? 100%. If I could, I would go do it over and over again, because that is my passion. As I was carrying this Haitian child in my arms, and trying to carry a backpack full of beans, I thought to myself.. “Wow, I am so blessed. I am living out my passion right now. Walking in a Haitian village sharing the love of Christ to the broken and hurting.” I remember praying to God and saying these words, “Jesus, I am sorry. You chose to put me in these incredible moments and opportunities, yet I can’t even stay consistent in my walk with you. Why are you choosing to bless me? Why am I getting to do the very thing that I am so passionate about, yet I am so inconsistent and terrible to you? I am a dirty sinner, who fails you multiple times a day.. Yet you still pursue me, and allow me to do things that I have always wanted to do.” I was humbled by this moment. I have learned, Jesus will always stay consistent in His blessings, even when we are inconsistent. These are the things, that I can’t wait to ask Jesus when I go to Heaven one day. These are the questions that I will never be able to comprehend in my earthy mind. This is what keeps me going. This is my motivation.
Then I started really thinking, I deserve to die. Like I really deserve to die. I don’t deserve to live freely. Jesus took my place. That should have been me taking the beatings, being mocked, and hung on a cross.. Not Jesus. How many times have I rejected Him, and did my own thing instead? We are so used to just being a “routine Christian.” Go to church most Sundays, maybe a mission trip when we are “ready”, try and do a devotion/read our bible at least 3 times a week, because every day just isn’t happening.. We literally deserve to die. My love for Him is full of imperfections, but He answers with forgiveness and goodness. We don’t deserve the free gift that Jesus has bestowed upon us. We are the ones who nailed Jesus to the cross, the ones who cried out, “CRUCIFY HIM”, we are the ones who killed an innocent man who loved us. He endured the cross for people like me who struggle to believe in His perfect plan all the time. And yet, He sees the ugly parts of me, and doesn’t abandon me to make it on my own, but shows compassion and mercy for my filthy, rotten soul. Jesus had the power to come down from that cross at any time that He wanted, but He stayed... He hung on that bloodied cross and endured the excruciating pain for you and I. Love held him to that cross. Wow, what a beautiful Savior. Francis Chan says it best, “Have you ever wondered if we’re missing it? It’s crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe— The Creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor— Loves us with radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss. Whether you’ve verbalized it yet or not, we all know something’s wrong.” When there was absolutely nothing to love about you, God still loved you. True love is when a man wipes away your tears, after you left Him hanging on a cross for your sins.
Since returning from my 3rd mission trip, I have spent countless hours falling on my knees after everyone has went to bed. I bow low on the hardwood floor, in front of my bed and weep. I don’t do this because I feel guilty. I do it, because my heart had been broken for the things that break God’s. I kept seeing babies lying in the dirt crying for mothers who won’t come because they’re dead. Teenage boys digging through trash to try and numb their hunger pains. Grandmothers working twenty-hour days to find enough food for their dead daughter’s children, asleep on the dirt floor while chickens defecate around them. I knew, in spite of not feeling equipped, that I am called to do something. To not simply come back, and get back into my normal routine of work, school, and church. I knew my life could not be the same, because once God opens your eyes to people’s suffering, he beckons you to respond. I can no longer pretend I haven’t seen. I can no longer pretend everyone in the world lives as I do. I know better. And it has wrecked me.
“Once our eyes are open, we can’t pretend we don’t know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.”~ Proverbs 24:12
God has seen our unloveliness—The deep brokenness and rebellion in our hearts—And instead of withdrawing, He pursues us to the very end. The good news of Jesus is not that in following Him everything goes right, but that He is enough. No matter what happens. Be at peace. Victory is on your side. Love.
So Others May Live.