Each day, sweet opportunities present themselves in order for us to bless each other. The tricky part is realizing these opportunities before they sneak past us.
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
-1 Thessalonians 5:11
I just moved down to Haiti this past September. Meaning that I have only been in Haiti for 57 days. Prior to moving down, I tried my best to not have many expectations. I feel the best way to transition into a new place is to in fact have no expectations. This way, the reality is rarely compared to an expectation that has been previously set. Physically, such as housing and/or food, I was successful in this theory and was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the physical transition was. However, when it came to living in a missionary community, I was surprised to find out that I had subconsciously set expectations. And these expectations were very high.
I had never lived in a missionary community. I have done camp ministry, but I believe that was a little different. I had the expectation that missionaries were those Christians who “had it all together”. The ones we seem to always talk about, but rarely meet. Which is funny, because here I was coming to be a missionary, yet would never say I have it all together! I expected that this community would be close to perfect. I laugh though because I believe these are the times that God truly surprises us. It seems He always knows our expectations and purposely hands us the opposite! I arrived in Haiti expecting a perfect missionary community and instead was handed a clump of clay.
“But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
– Isaiah 64:8
The clay in this verse is most commonly symbolized as an individual. And that individual is you. YOU are the work of His hand. And this is true! How amazing is He that He has created and formed each of us as an individual for His purpose. However, I believe the clay in this verse can also be a symbol applied to communities. Christ forms communities into what HE believes is perfect and necessary. A community is like liquid as people flow in and out of it. Changing its’ form and the direction. A community may not seem perfect to us but it is to Christ.
The COTP community is made up of many broken individuals simply striving to live a life that is pleasing to God. I believe it’s when we realize that our communities are not perfect that we truly understand the great need for us to encourage and build each other up. Let’s catch these opportune moments and bless those around us today!