(Editor note: Written 7/10/21, 3 days after President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in his home.)
“I surrender all… I surrender all… all to thee my blessed savior, I surrender all”
I’m sure you’ve heard it. I’m sure you’ve sung it… but did you and do you mean it?
That’s the mountain-sized question I’ve been asking, but it’s a good thing I’ve at least a mustard seed-sized faith.
As it’s likely everyone reading this knows, the state of Haiti is currently in disarray amidst the tragic loss of the nation’s leader and, foreigners are getting a fair amount of flack as the perpetrators of this heinous crime were not all Haitian. A nation losing its leader is a massive thing to deal with and I not only sympathize with the people but empathize as well. I will however never feel the gravity and weight of what the Haitian people feel right now. In the middle of all of this it does suck to get hate for something you’d never advocate for or wish on someone. People are not happy and it makes sense, but it can make traveling for us non-locals a bit risky. This pain and mourning is all warranted, I just pray we don’t fight fire with fire.
In light of all of this, I have had a dream and plan to see my best friend from childhood find the Eve to his Adam and get hitched. It just so happens that the wedding is a week from today and I’m supposed to be the best man. How could I do that with the airport closed and the country shut down? This has been my burden and battle up until just yesterday; will I get to see Ian, my boy, my homie since fourth grade, watch his maiden walk down the aisle and say “I do”?
It may not seem like a big deal to some, but to me friendships are the gold God so graciously gives us in this life. Where would David be without his Jonathan? They would have died for each other. They would have fought to live these beautiful moments on this floating rock called Earth out together, with the grandest grins on their faces… and I was about to miss that opportunity. Yes call me dramatic, yes call me sentimental, I am both of those. All of that and more is what I navigated.
But a man is not his expectations and a man is not his dreams. He in his entirety, is God’s, is Yahweh’s. I had to lay it all down. I had to surrender all. I had to pray things like “God even if I don’t get to be there for him, I know you’re still working it all out for your good… Even if i’m not there I will still chase down your joy and your life!” this was not easy and Though You Slay Me me by Shane and Shane was on heavy rotation. On Thursday I decided to fast and pray for the country and deprive myself of the joys of food as a test of my reliance on God. I also felt led to read 1 Samuel and that’s where I found the fuel to write that intense metaphor a paragraph back.
During this fast I was sitting in my room, pondering the whole situation, thinking about the ecclesiastical brevity of life and singing “though you slay me, yet I will praise you. Though you take from me, I will bless your name. Though you ruin me, still i will worship!” with all my might. This is not my life, this is not all for me. Then… for some reason, God chose to implant the best man speech into my mind and onto the paper of my open journal right in the moment. I didn’t know if i’d even get the chance to recite it, but it didn’t matter, it flowed nonetheless.
The day after that the airport opened up, tomorrow I’m headed to Port au Prince, and the day after that hopefully i’ll be in the states ready to celebrate my guy and his lady becoming one!!! It’s all in God’s hands, and if it doesn’t happen… He is still working all things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. Amen!!!
(Editor 7/20/21 note: Jackson did, in fact, make it to be the Best Man in his friends wedding!)