“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21
Too often when North Americans travel to Haiti they return to their North American mission boards with advice and grandiose plans about ‘fixing’ the problems where they have spent a week. The verse from Proverbs reminds us that true wisdom comes from submitting to instruction for a significant period of time and then, only at the end of long listening does it come.
Our culture rushes to fix things; we seldom have time to listen to God’s instruction because it takes way too long to wait; pray and wait. We would do much better to let our plans ripen a bit more in the light of the Lord before we launch into them. The attached photo is the Messif School in Ouanaminthe. This classroom has flow through ventilation and a corrugated metal roof; this is a wonderful school by Haitian standards. It has a Trinity/HOPE feeding programs which is a huge blessing by Haitian standards.
There is a song written by Elisha A. Hoffman in 1887 titled “Leaning on the everlasting arms” and the words capture the reason to place our trust on our Heavenly Father and not worry about our time frame, plans or ‘culturally correct’ directions.
“What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms. Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way, leaning on the everlasting arms; Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms. What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.”
I am comforted that James reminds us in the New Testament that God will give that wisdom if we seek it and not doubt. But while we pray for wisdom, let's pray also for patience to listen to the Lord's truth in Scripture so we may recognize wisdom when it comes!
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay