Thursday, November 23, 2017

Nothing Is Wasted | Internship Stories


He sat in the tall, black conference room chair. Through the multiple windows behind him, I could see the apartments which the three other summer interns and I called home.

“It’s God orchestrated…”

After two others had already shared how God brought them to the Voice of the Martyrs, he was emphasizing the theme apparent among the ministry: God is at work in a unique way, bringing people together in a manner only He could orchestrate.

From paintings and college connections, the stories of how employees came to VOM are varied, but as we interns heard more and more stories, I was increasingly amazed. From the daughter of a missionary whose parents interacted with Nate Saint to a fumbled choir audition leading to sporadic missions trip and ensuing Oklahoma introduction, VOM’s staff is comprised of unique individuals with unique stories.

Even more, the conference room conversation further emphasized the experiences each unique individual had gained. Sometimes, it didn’t seem like previous experiences related to anything the employees could foresee. However, each experience taught something. It may have built character or given a skill set. Later on, they were able to see how it was used.

I drummed my fingers on the table, thinking of the questions I’d brought to the table as I left from college and headed to this internship.

What does it mean to live like God is working out His ultimate plan?
What does it mean to trust God when you don’t understand how the pieces are fitting together?

I’d heard about so many of our persecuted family members forced to grapple with ideas of God’s sovereignty and the tangible realities of trust. Forced out of homes, tortured, and even killed, I heard this truth ring out among their testimonies:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21).

This internship was showing me much.

We can plan; we can go in a life of service to the King, but ultimately, the best place we can go is straight to the truth of the Bible, to a trusting surrender to Christ and a daily picking up of our crosses, and to a reliance on His promises.

My persecuted family spoke of forgiveness and joy, despite not being able to always clearly understand the “why” of His plan.

My new VOM friends spoke of trusting in God’s plan despite unforeseen challenges along the way because they know they are obeying the one who is the Way.

For, nothing is wasted.

Each difficult situation we are faced with is an opportunity to choose to rejoice always and pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Each experience we don’t understand is a time when we can choose to love those around us more deeply (Mark 12:30-31).

Each day is our choice to come, follow Jesus as we praise Him for what He’s doing in His-orchestrated plan – bumps, failures, triumphs, and all.

For, nothing is wasted.

© 2017 Deborah Hope Shining
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I definitely don't want this to be a monologue. What are your thoughts? Questions? Ideas?

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