Friday, February 4, 2011

Of Circumstances and Grace

If you are looking for a picture of defeat, you could just look at me. Right now, in this moment, I am defeated. Completely broken.

It’s been a while since my heart has hurt this much, but right now it does. I thought I had learned how to respond to circumstances. I thought I had figured out how to be flexible. I thought maybe, just maybe if I was at my favorite place on earth, Satan wouldn’t attack me and it would be a good trip.

Think again...

I sat in the office this morning with tears streaming down my face as I wrote that. It was true.

This morning I woke up, pushed myself off the floor of the classroom where I was sleeping and glanced at the girl beside me. She didn’t look all that different, so I smiled at her, and continued getting ready for the day. I totally missed that she had gotten sick in the night and was feeling awful. Of course my grand observation skills left me feeling like a lacking staff member, but still I headed out to start my day with the rest of the team. Even with that over my head, it seemed like it would be a great day, I had such high hopes as soon as I stepped outside and saw my favorite mountains.

I can’t help it, Hualien just holds me almost in a trance with its beauty, maybe it’s the living here before that did that to me. I can’t say that the day suddenly went down hill. I can’t even say that without a few rough things the day wouldn’t have been good. But all it took was my skirt twirling around and I was the helper in an accident that sent the story for the only large group into disarray.

Then it happened.

During the large group, my camera broke. It suddenly just stopped working. No warning, NO EXPLINATION, just stopped. My whole reason for being in Taiwan was suddenly taken away from me. Circumstances couldn’t have made me into more of a failure if they had tried.

I could go on about the bad part of the day. But it just wouldn’t do any good. I laugh now, at how I was so determined before large group, pacing back and forth saying, “Satan I refuse to let you have my joy. NOPE you’re not getting it. Just because we have to come up with a new story you can’t have my joy.” Let’s just say I said that a lot more after my camera went down.

Friends, after today all I can tell you is God’s faithfulness is what makes passionately following Him worth it. I was in Hualien, my home, I had friends who would search high and low to try and find what I needed for my camera. I had a God who gives creativity to the leaders of our team, which made the story more impacting in large group than I believe the original one would have been. The rest of the day was far from easy, but Ryan graciously gave me his camera to shoot with for the remainder of the day.

All of that was grace.

It’s now the end of the day. Our team went out to a wonderful Aboriginal restaurant for Chinese New Year Dinner. I walked away so encouraged. The food was wonderful, but the greatest encouragement was when the owner shared her testimony. This woman is passionate about her culture, but even more passionate about God. Anytime someone comes into her restaurant it’s her goal to share with them about Aboriginal culture and also who her Savior is. She has been changed from a hard somewhat harsh woman; into one of the most welcoming restaurant owners I’ve ever met.

As far as experiences go, tonight was one of the best I’ve had in Taiwan. I’ve never had the chance to help make mochi or watched New Year fireworks from an open elementary school balcony. I’ve never laughed so hard in devotions or cried so hard at circumstances.

God is good. I wouldn’t have come away from this day thinking that if I hadn’t seen God so at work in Hualien. We leave tomorrow, but what I’ve seen today tells me, God is working here. His heart is for this little part of Taiwan and no matter the attacks I’ve been part of today, His grace is still there. Always.

So, pray for us. Pray that God will contenue to work so much Satan will still want to attack. Pray that we will have the faith to see through those times, and the zeal to overcome them. Pray that we won't walk away from this trip just having fun, but that we will KNOW God has changed lives through us, and our lives through Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Much Love,
Alana Miller

blog comments powered by Disqus