Have you ever wanted something the Lord didn't want you to have, at least not now? Have you ever pushed against the Lord's will, trying to get it anyway? Two clear experiences come to my mind.
Back in January, seven days after the earthquake, Patrick Georges (one of our co-directors) and myself had our car loaded and were on the long, dusty, potholed roads leading to Dajabon, the northern border crossing from the D.R. into Haiti. We were trying to deliver food, water and medical supplies to the victims of the earthquake.
The Lord had continually given me a hesitant spirit about this northern journey. With every mile forward the Lord would tell me "no." Yet - I'm a stubborn man. I said to myself - you're just afraid or nervous about the trip (which was certainly true). So I plowed on, running through every road block the Lord put before me - confusion, fear, threat of death - we kept right on going. We finally reached the boarder and the Lord said "for the last time, I'm telling you - No."
He gave me several convincing reasons why I should listen....and I did. We turned around and headed south for the day's journey to the southern border of Jimani. We entered Haiti a day later.
I heard the same voice of the Lord as I tried to enter Haiti this week. We had a wonderful ministry project planned, a group of college students passionate about serving, and the joyful anticipation of getting to give the children their Christmas boxes from their sponsors. It was going to be a wonderful trip!
But again the Lord said "No, not now."
Since the recent presidential elections, Haiti is in the midst of great political unrest. There have been rioting and protests in the streets. We could have gotten in, but the Lord, our Protector was telling me - "No."
We were all very sad we had to cancel. But - we trust the Lord and know that His wisdom, His will and His timing are perfect.
Obedience is costly. It cost us havoc with our schedules. It cost us a good deal of money. It cost us disappointment. It may even cost some of our students the trip, as rescheduling may be impossible.
Yet... the payoff is worth it. The payoff is the freedom and peace of knowing.... we obeyed our Lord and we're in the center of God's will. We acknowledge that in all things, and in all trips - God is God.