If I could summarize what God revealed to me during my trip to OTR into one sentence, it would be: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). This promise was something that God continued to reveal to me not only throughout my time at OTR, but also thereafter. I realized that there are 2 parts to that verse: 1) be still, AND 2) know that I am God. We cannot have one and not the other: how can we know that God is God without being still before Him and truly enjoying His presence? And how can we be still (and have a peace of mind) if we do not recognize that God is God?
Leading up to this trip, one of my biggest prayer requests was that this time would be a time of rest for me…perhaps not so much physical rest, but spiritual rest. It has been a challenging season of my life (and this season is still going) – my decision to stay and settle down in the Chicago suburbs a few months ago has been harder than I thought or expected. I have been asking and wrestling with God in the recent weeks about this season of transition, marked by countless nights when many tears were shed and all I could do was cry out to God. I was frustrated, discouraged, and honestly, really drained. In hindsight, with the way different things planned out, the OTR missions trip could not have taken place at a more perfect time. Many doors of opportunities were closed right before I left on the trip; though deep inside, I was hurt and discouraged, I prayed that the OTR trip would be a refreshing time, where I can be spiritually renewed from the inside out with prayer, worship, His Word, and His people.
“Be still, and know that I am God”
Restlessness is something that I have been struggling with for a while – I don’t know how to rest well. I am always on the go, from accomplishing daily tasks, to finishing school at a fast pace, and even to filling up my schedule to allow maximum productivity. I was leaving no room for God to work in the quietness of my soul…if my heart was even quiet for a moment to listen to His voice. So, it is actually through this season of transition that God is teaching me how to rest well (physically and spiritually), how to be still and soak up His presence, and how to have faith and trust Him with everything I have.
During our trip, we built relationships with fellow brothers and sisters from around the country, had the opportunity to share the Gospel on the streets of OTR, as well as to the children during the Kids Camp, and witnessed the goodness and faithfulness of our Heavenly Father. Seeing the confidence in prayer and faith that the OTR staff members had convicted me to reflect on my own faith. I feel that I have such little faith in what God can do. Especially in this season of transition, do I have faith and trust that He will, in His perfect timing, provide and make His path known to me? Can I merely be faithful to what He is calling me right now in this season and truly cherish this time?
God answered my prayer (not that I expected anything less)! In fact, He gave me more than spiritual rest; He also gave me this abundant joy and peace that cannot be given by anyone else other than God Himself. He knew that I needed this trip not only to teach me about rest, but also to teach me about His sovereignty. However, I had to come face-to-face with my brokenness, my pride, and my selfish desires in order to see His perfection, His love, and His desires for my life…and needless to say, I was deeply humbled.
Moving forward post-missions, God is reminding me time and time again to just be still AND know that He is truly God (and I am not)! Though there are still good and bad days, I am learning to fully rest in Him in the midst of life’s hardships, grasping the greatness of His provision and growing in faith and character through this season. He is truly all that I need – and the only One who can satisfy. As I have been rebuked, yet transformed, with greater perspectives, may I look beyond my circumstances and fix my eyes on Him, for everything happens according to His purposes. May my heart grow in love, compassion, and humility for God and His people daily.
I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to receive God’s blessings and convictions through this trip and be a witness of His faithfulness to the people in Over-the-Rhine. Thank you for your prayers for our team! They were felt during our time in Cincinnati. To God be the glory forever and ever. Amen.