Post Baltimore Update #2

It has been about 2 weeks since coming back from Baltimore. I have had some time to reflect about what happened during the trip, but the adjustment back to reality was a little tough. As some of you know I am a physical therapy aide, which involves standing up all day. I am not sure if I was jet lagged, or just exhausted from the trip (probably this one), but for the first week back every day I went to work I ended up hitting a wall after only a couple hours. I would feel completely wiped out, which isn’t good because I need to look happy for the patients. However, God provided me with enough energy to get through the day, as always.

Apart from energy, one challenge was how I would respond when non-Christians asked he how my “vacation” was. Even before the STM I have been praying that I would be bold for God and be able to provide a truthful answer to friends, coworkers, and patients that asked. I would say that when I was asked about the trip, I was able to respond with a decent amount of information. I could tell that I was still nervous and didn’t really pounce on the opportunity to share about how much God blessed the trip and even share the gospel with those that asked. I described my trip to people, hoping they would ask more questions, but a lot of the responses were “oooh that’s cool….” That kind of ended the conversation. But I see that there is still room for improvement in my area of boldness, which leads me to one big thing that I have been reflecting on, trying to figure out how to grow in, and apply to my life.

As you guys know we did street evangelism in Baltimore. My big prayer request was that God would provide me with boldness. When we got there, God definitely gave me some of that, but after seeing how excited people from Baltimore were about sharing the gospel with people, I began to wonder why I wasn’t too excited. I even volunteered on the first day to stay by the waters because I assumed I would talk to less people (I was wrong).

After some reflection, I reached this next question: “how much do I love God?” Loving God always seems to be the answer to everything. I come to the conclusion that if I truly loved God and his gospel, I would be truly excited to share this good news with everyone. Boldness would not be my biggest worry.  I would want to show people who He is through my actions and words. I would want to live my life for him all the time - not just when its convenient or when I have to. I know I do love God, but God showed me that there are a lot of holes in my love for Him. I am still reflecting on this and I know it is a sanctifying process, where I hopefully will grow more and more in my love for God, but I came to a couple other possible answers that may be both true. Either I don’t really love God as much as I think I do, or my view of loving God is skewed and I need to learn how to correctly apply true love. It is hard to tell when we can’t even truly see what’s in our hearts, but either way God has shown me something. I need to grow in my love for Him and live it out. It is hard when all I want to do is love myself, but every day I try to put to death what is earthly in me and put on Christ. Yeah I fail, but through God’s grace I am able to get back up and try again.

After this trip, I do feel like I grew in my love for God, but it needs to grow so much more. One way apart from reading His word and praying, is serving Him. Currently I am not a part of many ministries at Lighthouse, but from serving on the STM and other ministries at my home church, I know I have experienced God’s love from other believers and directly from Him. It is amazing to see God working in the world first hand. I want to continue that and do my best to serve God by loving Him and his people more.