in ways we did not expect to be. We were deeply inspired and touched by the people we met: the missionaries and their families, the people at church, the homeless at the week serving long-term missionaries at the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) base in St. Croix, Virgin Islands. We were soup kitchen, and so on.
While our experience there was absolutely terrific, I cannot say it was a complete feel-good experience. Sometimes serving made us tired, sometimes we wondered if we were actually helping or just taking up space and making noise, sometimes we had internal issues within our family team, and sometimes we couldn't sleep. But I am grateful, so very grateful for all of that. Why? Because of Romans 8:28 (above).
Serving God, worshiping God, and advancing His Kingdom will not always be a feel-good experience. Sometimes, that uncomfortable feeling you may get when you are at church or sharing the gospel is a feeling of being stretched.
If you're not allowing your faith to lead you to uncomfortable places and to do uncomfortable things, you're probably not being stretched. The same way our body feels uncomfortable when it stretches, we should allow ourselves to feel a little uncomfortable so we can stretch our faith. Through our not-so-good moments, my husband and I were driven to pray through the awkward and ugly feelings. And in the end, everything worked out so perfectly simply because God is faithful.
Think of a rubber band in a sling shot. The farther you pull back on that band, the farther the rock can move. The farther we stretch our faith, the farther the Holy Spirit in us can move.
How can we stretch our faith, you ask? By doing something you haven't done before, or by doing something you haven't done in a while. It can be as big as going on a mission trip, and it can be something as simple as regular prayer with a friend each week.
The possibilities are infinite. Now go stretch!