I have now been in Honduras for a couple of weeks and enjoying it very much. Every first day is always so exhilarating. It’s full of memories and the eagerness to make more. I love the missionaries we’re staying with — I always laugh my hardest with them, and I probably learn the most I possibly can in each day. I know, even before I buy my plane ticket, that I will be blessed by the people here more than how I will bless others here. I am so very thankful to the Lord for His wisdom and lovingkindness in His desire to sanctify me through the people here.
I’ve been wanting to share photos with you all from these past couple of weeks, but today I have had this tugging on my heart to share something I’ve learned instead.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.
Just a few days ago, I was having a conversation with one of my dearest friends. Mrs. Montoya, my mommy for the upcoming couple of months, is someone whom I absolutely treasure. She is so full of wisdom, just like my own mom, and she contributes so much to my sanctification process while I’m here.
While I was at the breakfast table the other morning, she, some of her kids, my sister and I were talking about how poor most of the Hondurans are, and how even they (our missionaries) don’t even live like them. We are under a completely stable and constructed home, we are always positive about our next meals, we have medicine, we have a car, we have books, we have furniture, we have a mop, we have dishes, we have washers and dryers, we have computers (ha. I’m rolling my eyes now), we have opportunities, and, ultimately, we have Christ. Just across the street is a poorly constructed house (if you want to call it that), and they have barely any of the things I just listed.
While we were conversing, it dawned on me. I know I have told many of you that I could definitely live here like the average Honduran — and everyone always responds to me with, “What?? Could you really?” It’s because everyone is thinking the reality of how half of Honduras lives, and I still confidently and proudly reply, “Yes! Of course!”
And recently I’ve felt ashamed, yet thankful, because I’ve portrayed myself as capable of doing anything– such as living like a destitute Honduran. However, in reality, I don’t think I could live dirt poor, without a stable house, without the knowledge of when I will next eat and if I can afford it, and of never having a true home
–Unless I am enabled to do so, by the power and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. I can do nothing apart from Him.
Then, today, I was speaking with Mrs. Montoya, and we were talking about self-righteousness and pride. That many of us believers think we are immune to “great” sins and are invincible. We think we can’t do certain things — and yet, we’re capable of ANY sin because of our sinful human nature. A great many pastors fall into sin because they have that pride and everyone is shocked. We always ask, “How could he have done that? He’s our leader!”
Because of sin, of course.
How sorrowful it is to know that one is capable of any sin physically possible, yet one is incapable of acting righteously on their own. There is joy for the believer, though! It’s such a sweet thought to those who belong to Christ, that the Holy Spirit will enable us to act righteously. There are things in my life that I’ve done that I’m not proud to admit, but they have been humbling experiences. I am very knowledgeable about how many sins I am capable of committing, but it just reminds me to go to my knees and ask the Lord for His mercies and to grant me the ability to honor Him in my thoughts and action.
It reminds me of Paul who said in verse 12, “I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.” The Lord gave him the grace to deal with those circumstances, and I pray that when suffering does come to me, He will grant me that grace.
Philippians 4:13 is such a simple, but humbling verse.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13.
(This does not mean I wouldn’t like to live here. I mean, I keep coming back, so… ;) )