He starts before it begins.

June 29th, 2016 Posted by Immersion Internship - 2016, Nikkie Brink

MATTHEW 14
Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”
“Lord if it is you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come” he said.
Then Peter got out of the boat, walked on water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out “Lord, save me!’
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “Why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat the wind died down. “Then those in the boat worshiped him saying “Truly you are the son of God”.

The word that brought me here.

Prior to these verses in Matthew 14, the Word says that the disciples were terrified and cried out in fear when they saw him walking on water. I have always wondered how the disciples didn’t know that Jesus was the one coming towards them. I mean he had just fed the five thousand (plus) with 5 loaves and 2 fish! However, in reality, the disciples reflect what my walk with the Lord can often look like. Fear and doubt took their presence in my time leading up to the internship. Making the decision to apply should be the easy part right? Not for this girl. The Lord’s patience and perseverance is the name of the game in my life.

Let me take you back. In 2010 I fell in love with a new part of the world. I had the opportunity to experience Africa. Since then the Lord has radically changed my heart through this continent. For years when I would pray, I would ask why Africa has had such a special place in my heart and what that means. Every time I leave, I leave in tears. That had to mean something. It has to mean something.

Giving up control. Is that real, do we ever really have control? Well I certainly liked to think that I did. My entire life was planned by me, at least that’s what I thought. The decisions I have made in my life have always worked out great. I took this as The Lord blessing me. I have a wonderful family, amazing friends, a fulfilling job. But I always felt the pull of something more, something different.

After my short term mission trip to South Africa in August of 2015, something was different. I felt a pull to return to Africa very soon. Researching programs and opportunities for the winter months was at the top of my priority list as soon as I returned. Why in the winter? Because that’s what would fit into my schedule of course! Praying into what it would/could really look like, nothing really fit. I was puzzled when the opportunities I found did not weigh on my heart like I knew it should. I loved the concept of the internship, a nice thought but does it fit into my schedule, nope. However, the idea never left my mind. Every single day it was weighing on me. After prayerful consideration I decided it wasn’t for me and that I was going to be okay with a short(er) term trip. Ok cool God, let’s go to Guatemala.

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Day 1 BOOM. The Lord speaks!
Our evening devotions opened up to Matthew 14. I’ve never heard the Lord speak so clearly and so loudly. God spoke, telling me that I’ve made the decision about the internship on my own, that it was my decision not to apply. I began to question, did The Lord bring me this far from home to tell me this…can that really be? After a week in of praying over this while in Guatemala, the Lord was persistent in my reluctance. I came home ready to face my doubt and apply for the trip. After even more stubbornness the Lord remained faithful, through song, through scripture, through others, through prayer. How many hints does it take! The struggle to apply didn’t always come from myself, it also came with valid concern from the people who know me best. In realizing where my fear came from, the Lord brought me to the “control issue”; if you want to call it that. The control that I was taking into my own hands over my life. The Lord started showing me his plan and what an honor and privilege it is that he has a plan picked specifically for each one of us. I chose to trust in him into the unknown; and I applied. It sounds like such an easy concept- trust the maker of the heavens and earth, trust my creator. He’s growing me! A lot.

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In preparing for this experience my initial reaction was to pull back and keep control on everything else since I was giving it up elsewhere. I began seeking the Lord to reveal to me why Zambia, why now? I should be past the point of searching for something else. I should have my life figured out by now. His answer was to wait, in time I will show you why. But he was faithful to confirm that this was it, this was his plan. Isn’t it strange how when you ask the Lord for something and he finally answers we are reluctant to do it?

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Trust. The Lord is teaching me trust. That’s what letting go is all about. I’ve never been more grateful for the Lords patience. Here I am months later and the Lord has been revealing to me the ‘why’ Zambia question I once had. Reveling it piece by piece, not all at like I would have hoped. Do I know all the answers yet? No. And I’m finally to a point where I think that’s ok. I’m finally to a point of living in the present. No matter where he brings me, he’s going to lead me. And I think that’s pretty awesome!

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NikkiBrink ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nikkie Brink • 2016 International Immersion Intern