Only two days stand between me and my trip to Nicaragua. This trip is overwhelming for me. For me it is the grace of God displayed in my life. Going on this trip is life to me. It is opportunity and love.
Let me explain. My hearts desire is to serve God without reproach. Three years ago I decided that I was going to follow God’s plan for my life no matter what the cost. I learned that answering the call of God will cost you everything.
In the summer of 2011 I was sitting in my room on my day off from work as an Ocean Lifeguard in Brevard County Florida. That day changed my life forever. I woke up that morning and went through my normal routine of spending time in prayer and reading the word. However, that morning God spoke profound things to me. He opened my eyes to greater things.
That morning God showed me that I had been running from the call of God on my life and I was trying to do things in my own strength. He also showed me that I needed to change things if I ever wanted to have a wife and kids because I would have to be a provider. I knew that leaving Florida was going to cost me, but I did not realize just how much that was going to be until I started on my journey. Honestly, if I knew everything that was going to happen in advance, then I never would have made the move. It is the grace of God that kept everything hidden from me. Now I can look back and I am thankful for all that God has done during my time in Baltimore. If I never made the move then I never would have seen such tremendous blessings that have come my way.
On July 1st, 2011 I boarded a plane to go to Baltimore, Maryland for two weeks. My intentions were to return back to Florida after two weeks. I was only visiting Baltimore to check out a Bible College and attend a week long conference. I planned on going back to Florida for a couple weeks before returning to Baltimore for school in the fall. God had another plan.
Two days before my flight to go back home to Florida to say bye to all my friends and get my belongings, I heard God say, “If you go back to Florida you will not fulfill the plans and purposes I have for your life.” I knew why I would not fulfill them if I went back. If I went back then the girl I left would talk me into staying and I would not ever come back to Baltimore.
I knew that I wanted to do God’s will above everything else in my life. I wanted God to be glorified in my life. Right in that moment I made up my mind, I was not going back. I cancelled my flight and I have not been back since.
When I came to Baltimore I came with a bag of clothes and the books in my back pack. Everything that I left behind is still somewhere in Florida and everything I own now is what God has blessed me with along the way.
Going on this trip I am not only going to be able to go and feed the needy, pray for the lost and broken, and tell people about the love of Jesus; I am also going to be able to surf. When I think about being able to surf on a missions trip I almost feel selfish; I begin to ask myself if I am going for the right reasons.
I keep praying about it. I have even had thoughts of not surfing when I go, but something that God showed me is that it is okay. Getting to surf is overwhelming to me and it only shows me how much God loves me. He truly loves us. Getting to surf when I go to Nicaragua is a display of God’s grace and mercy.
I believe that we truly begin to live when we no longer think that God desires for us to be miserable in our sacrifice. I do believe that God wants us to be able to enjoy things that we are passionate about even when we are sacrificing things in our lives.
It has been three years since I have been in the water. At one time the ocean was my home. I felt more alive when I was in the water. I felt closer to God. When waves crashed around me and the water surrounded me I would almost feel as if God was wrapping me in his arms. That is how close I felt to Him. His glory surrounded me. Surfing was more than just something to do; however, it was my worship to God. My thankfulness overwhelmed me and God’s grace would overtake me. Even as I write this tears fill my eyes thinking of getting to experience that again.
By God’s grace I have found that the waves are going to be pumping when I go to Florida and Nicaragua. Right now there is a storm off the cost and ground swell is pushing in some nice waves. I am stoked to say the least. God provided waves during my trip.
I believe that this is the grace of God. I am going to serve Him and his people and at the same time I going to get to enjoy something that is intimate between God and I—surfing.
Needless to say, I believe that the conclusion of my blog post will be this—we have to learn the balance of sacrifice and enjoying God’s grace. We need to change our perspective of God. I know he can be seen so many ways; however, when we begin to see Him through the eyes of love, then I believe we truly begin to see Him as our Father and we begin to respond like true sons and daughters, instead of slaves bound by an oppressive ruler. There is freedom in Christ Jesus that produces life and life more abundantly. True sons and daughters enjoy that abundant life.
With love in Christ,