I want to confess that our time here in Cambodia is very different than what I expected it to be. We have been here more than two weeks now, and God has had us focus on praying and encouraging the staff here at the base in Battambang. When I envisioned coming back to Cambodia where I spent more than two months only two years ago, I thought we would be doing some of the same things as I did before. However, God has us doing things that are quite different but exactly what He needs to be done.
Right now, it is the hot season in Cambodia. Ironically, we came from the hottest part of the season in India to the hottest part of the season in Cambodia. I heard an American who lives here remarking that it was 106 degrees in the shade. Being from Texas, I understand the heat and know it well. However, I do not like how it is so humid here that your clothes are constantly soaked with sweat even when indoors. At any point in time, I could take off my shirt and wring it out and fill a bowl with the sweat. It is not fun and definitely is not attractive, but it is where God needs us to be.
The only relief that we have had from the scorching heat was a violent monsoon that came out of nowhere. It tore up the carport covering and part of the eating area and literally drenched our room before we were able to do anything to stop it. I was outside for less than five minutes rescuing the truck from being demolished and came in dripping wet. I guess it did not really matter because our room was half submerged anyway. Apparently, we got more than two and a half inches in about 30 minutes. After all this, I have found some comfort in this verse, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God” (Isaiah 43:2).
While repairing a broken bicycle and dripping with sweat, a lady that has been here a while said something to me that I took as an encouragement from the Lord. She said that right now, in hot season, is exactly the right time to come and encourage the staff. The heat is not fun, classes are about two months from being finished in one of the schools, and most people are worn down at this time. It would definitely be more comfortable to be here not in hot season, but God knew that He needed us here right now to encourage His people.
When God calls us, He is always directing us to what He needs us to do, He is just waiting on us to be obedient and come into line with where He needs us to be.
His people are much more important than our personal comfort! Over and over, we have to remind ourselves that we do not make decisions based on our own comforts. If that were the case, we never would have come to Cambodia, India, or on this faith journey at all.
God gives us the strength to grow beyond our comfort level so that His work may be done where He needs it and at the time He needs it to be done!
Where you are right now, ask yourself. Are you in a place where you are comfortable? Is it pleasant both physically and spiritually? Are you being stretched so that you can grow or are you resting comfortably in what you have?
God constantly wants to be stretching us beyond what we are able to do for two reasons. One, He wants us to grow and be able to do greater things in the Kingdom. Secondly, and more importantly, when we are able to accomplish things that we could never do on our own, He is the only One who will receive glory.
I know that you are sitting there and have the desire to do great things for the Lord and to bring great glory to His name. Ask Holy Spirit right now, where have you settled into a lifestyle of comfort? Ask Holy Spirit to stretch you and do great things through your obedience to Him. Pray that He will give you everything that you need along the way, and trust that He will provide it. Pray that He would use your life to bring great glory to His name!!!
I bless you to know that God is the great provider! He gives strength in our weakness!!! He gives mercy in our failures!!! He gives us the ability to grow and change more and more into His image!!! He gives us a continual life of adventure in obedience so that the comforts of this world do not make us ineffective for His Kingdom!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!