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The Patient Teacher

Moments that shape you, that convict you, that teach you. Moments that lead to revelation and radical change. There have been many of these moments while in Cambodia, but one I really feel God has called me to share.

I am walking in the crowded streets of Siem Reap on a busy Friday night. There are nice restaurants and shops to my left and right, bright lights and music, and tourists everywhere with smiles of excitement and adventure on their faces. I feel a huge knot forming in my throat and I’m paralyzed by what I currently see and am walking up to. Feelings of helplessness, confusion, and intense grief flood my heart and mind as I look ahead and see a man, crawling on the ground. He’s on his hands and knees with a basket around his neck. Time seems to stand still. I am closer now, I look down, and see that torn and dirty clothes cover his frail body. His legs and feet are malformed and completely disfigured. He’s crippled. Then I see his face, desperation. One step more and I’m past him, I look back just in time to see a man drop a one dollar bill into his basket.

That was the moment. In my flood of emotions, I very clearly heard God say, “Meghan, I love that man. He needs to know that, serve him, love him.” God didn’t ask me a question, he spoke a sentence that required something of me. Tears streaming down my face right now, my hearts desire is to tell you that I turned around, that I walked back towards the man and knelt down to sit on the ground with him. To look into his eyes, say sousday (hello in Khmer), and give him the biggest hug my arms and heart could possibly give. To show love to him in the best way possible despite the language barrier, because I know my God is so much bigger than that. To sit down on the side of the street and share a meal with him, to provide food that would nourish his body, and with boldness and power, to pray in the name of Jesus for healing and freedom from sickness and despair. But I didn’t. I didn’t turn around. Instead, I continued to walk in complete disbelief and utter sorrow. Because how could my eyes have really seen that man in this situation? How can that man be crawling around on this filthy, trash covered, crowded street, begging for money, when there is an abundance of everything anyone could ever need around him?

My team and I got to a restaurant and began to order food and share a meal. Physically, I was there. Mentally, I was still focused on that man, frustrated because I didn’t do anything, and disheartened because of his situation. Conviction. Sadness. Turmoil. What just happened? When I saw the man, God told me to act, I continued walking. The truth is I ignored the voice of my Father. I didn’t obey, and I missed an opportunity to serve a person who God loves so deeply.

I reflect back on the night I saw the man begging in the street and I am so thankful all God is teaching me from that moment. I’m learning the deep need to listen to, and respond when He speaks. He’s teaching me about obedience. I realize the hindrance that discouragement and doubt can have in situations when we feel God calling us to move. I am experiencing all over again the freedom and deliverance that comes from basking in the grace that God so freely pours over me when I mess up. He’s a wise counselor who’s walking hand in hand with me, teaching me what obedience looks like.

I’ve learned that obedience is worship. It’s an outward expression of the love in my heart that can’t help but overflow when I’m really full of Jesus! It’s an overflow of deep intimacy and personal relationship with Him. He’s teaching me about loving courageously and boldly. Loving despite inconvenience, difficulty, and discomfort. How to love in the mundane and the ordinary. I’ve learned that He’s a patient teacher who gives strength, joy and encouragement to His frustrated and downcast students who feel like they have failed. He teaches tenderly, and forgives quickly. He erases should haves, regret and guilt, and pours out His compassion, mercy, and grace through the power of the Holy Spirit. He’s not disappointed in me, He’s proud of me! For all of this, I rejoice. I rejoice because His grace is sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in my weakness.

That moment of disobedience breaks my heart. But it’s one I pray I remember for the rest of my life because it’s one that God has used to change me. I now realize obedience is overflow. For there to be overflow, I have to look to God in those moments, focus on His supernatural power and fix my gaze on Him.

In Romans 5:5 it says And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
I truly do feel God POURING His love into my heart, creating a steadfast spirit within me that is stronger and more powerful than weakness and difficulty.

He gives me His Spirit, His  strength, His love, His heart, and equips me with all I need to live a life of obedience that glorifies Him.

In Ezekiel 11:19-20 it says I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
I praise Him because He is faithful and His promises are true. He’s a patient teacher committed to seeing me flourish and grow. He is developing in me a heart of obedience that desires to worship and serve Him, and Him alone.

Cambodia has been a place where I have been able to seek God’s heart with everything I am. I have cried out to Him in prayer, asking that He would come near, and sustain me on days when I felt like I had nothing left to give. God’s faithfulness and response has been overwhelming.

In Jeremiah 29:13, it says Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. “I will be found by you,” declares the Lord.

His promise, “I will be found by you,” is 100% true. I have experienced conviction, repentance, breakthrough, comfort, and unending joy being here because He’s taught me what it truly means to seek Him with ALL my heart. When I seek Him with all my heart, wait in His word, and rest in His presence, He supplies me with all I need. He fills me with Him, which results in obedience. To whole heartedly pursue God has meant letting go of things I once considered of utmost importance. God has revealed to me idols I didn’t realize existed. He has revealed strongholds, and been faithful to break them. He’s a God who’s jealous for me. He desires for me to be obedient to only Him and I’m so thankful he’s teaching me what this looks like. My heart is filled to the brim, I’m truly overflowing.

Dear Daddy, I praise You for who You are. I thank You for Your grace and forgiveness when I mess up. Give me courage and boldness to act when You speak. I thank You that Your loving kindness is my guide and that deep intimacy with You results in obedience. You are a patient teacher that loves me and encourages me. You are my number one fan, and I am your favorite! I pray You would open my ears to hear Your thoughts about me, that You would clothe me with Your affections. I thank You for conviction and repentance, for molding me in this place I am in. You are a proud Father and I am an overjoyed, heart overflowing, loved daughter. I pray You continue to reveal Your beautiful heart to me, and that You would make mine more like Yours. I love You and I pray all this in Jesus name,
Amen.

 

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