I wake up early in Nicaragua. This is a strange thing for me as my natural tendency is to sleep until the last possible moment and even then I get out of bed begrudgingly.
But the sun rises early here and so do I. The early mornings are filled with charm. The sun is already warming me as a soft breeze blows through reminding me of God’s goodness, his sweetness to me in allowing me to experience difficulty and blessing almost simultaneously. The birds wake early as well, their conversations swirling around me. They have no sense of propriety. They say what they want to say when they want to say it and for some reason this too is charming. Sometimes I feel afraid to share my thoughts freely. Perhaps this is discretion. I pray that it is, but sometimes I wonder if I am not saying what I need to say for fear of repercussions, secretly wondering who will find issue with my words this time.
This saddens me the way we are so quick to judge one another, to criticize, to demean others. But it also saddens me that I allow the opinions of others to affect me in this way.
This was the word our missionary leader, Dan shared with us our first morning here. It means to be calm. When things change unexpectedly and they don’t go the way we want them to go, tranquilo. When we face delay after delay in our flight schedule which results in arriving without our bags, tranquilo. When we struggle with the language barriers, tranquilo. When plans change again, tranquilo.
Tranquil happens to be my favorite word, but somewhere along the way, I have become a bit more controlling about my life and the way I want it to go. Being here in Nicaragua is reminding me to let go of my false sense of control. After all, I am not trusting in Jesus when I try to manipulate situations to work the way I want them to.
The result of tranquilo living is a restful life. It is peace in the midst of adversity. It is continuing to trust when situations seem to be spiraling out of control. It is not acting in a mean or spiteful way when it doesn’t go my way.
Tranquilo reminds me to let go of my own way and to fully trust God’s plan for me. It means that I don’t get to say any longer that I am not a morning person. It means that I can appreciate cold showers. It means that I can jump into a pool in shorts and a t-shirt. It means that I can step off of a platform and trust that the cable will hold and the guy on the other side will be able to stop me.
Today we are going to a school to lead a VBS program for around 150 kids. I will admit to you that I am nervous about this. The craft we have prepared is fun, but I am not sure that it will work with 50 kids at a time.
I don’t know how this is going to go, but what I do know is that God is always faithful. And if a craft fails, but he is glorified, then we have succeeded.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7