By Jared Pierce

Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart,  and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.  

It’s a familiar verse but I struggle to apply it to my life many times. This is one of those times.

I have my understanding of what the Nuer need. We have been privileged to work among them for more than a year now, so I have formed my limited understanding of what they need based on much observation. My understanding is that they would benefit greatly from an outside perspective of the love of God. My observation has been that there are not a lot of examples to point to of sacrificial love. Without some picture of what sacrificial love looks like, it has to be difficult for the love of Jesus to really sink in.

In my personal culture, I can find with a little effort examples of husbands that love their wives sacrificially. I can find parents that work hard and sacrifice for their children. So I started to wonder if perhaps the Lord had chosen us to be a living example of sacrificial love and to speak of His sacrificial love and how it naturally flows into our lives as followers of Christ.

Now, as we face the final days that we have with Nuer, I have to reconsider everything that I thought I understood. So it is not, at least immediately, God’s plan to reveal himself through us, foreign missionaries. And we won’t get to spend the time and life with them that we thought we would.

I am encouraged, though, that the Lord must have bigger plans. As hard as it is for us to leave, we have to trust that the Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus in heart-transforming ways, even without anyone from the outside here. I have met men during my time that have a Spirit-driven desire to see the Church be more beautiful and more refined. They're willing to stand for truth even if culture will push back. In a time like this, I really am grateful I don’t have to lean on my own understanding and that all I have to do is submit to God in the ways I go.

I am grateful I can indeed trust that He can use whatever vessel He desires to bring the heart transformation we long to see.

I can rest in His radical love for the Nuer and His radical love for us.