So here’s where I’m at right now. I’m being fed so much spiritual food. It’s crazy how in the kingdom I can eat and eat and eat and still want more and still find room in my spirit for more. I won’t try to explain everything (it would take many many pages to communicate the details) but I will say a couple of things.
I think the thing that I’m most excited about in this time is the adjustments God is making to my heart. He’s shifting my perspective on who he is, who he’s made me to be, how I go about ministry/relationships, how I pray, etc. His holy truth keeps hitting me again and again.
On top of that, God has given me some amazing experiences of Hawaii itself. The weekend before last I got to join a group of people who wanted to explore the island. We took this monster 4×4 pick up truck and drove to the North side of the island, to Waipio Valley. Kona is on the West side of Hawaii and it’s really hot and dry and there’s a lot of new lava that covers a lot of the ground (by the way there’s not a lot of sandy beaches on West side, most of them are composed of lava rock haha).
So we got in this car and we drove North. We kept going and as we gained altitude things got greener and greener and we steadily got closer to the lush forests of Waipio.
But before we got there, our journey took us through what looked like the valleys of Wales! There were steep hills of green grass rising all around with grey rain clouds and cows and horses grazing away. There were forests and groves of trees that weren’t tropical but were like the ones in the UK! It was amazing to think we had just come from the dry heat of the coastal area. I was legit wanting to just move to a house in the middle of these hills.
Eventually we made it to Waipio. The view was incredible from the top of the valley looking down. We had a CRAZY risky ride down this road that they only allowed 4×4 cars on. We got to the valley floor eventually and saw these paradise-like waterfalls coming down the head of the valley. It was raining and slightly chilly even (crazy as it sounds, I should have brought a raincoat and more layers to Hawaii). Enormous trees and plants rose all around us and we crossed a river littered with smooth rocks and boulders.
We took pictures of the valley and the falls and headed back up the side of the valley. We had a few close encounters with vehicles coming down the road but we made it up there alive, praise be.
Our trip took us then to the city of Hilo, directly East of Kona on the other side of the island. It was raining so hard there. The atmosphere was more humid and the temperature was cooler than Kona. I regretted more than ever not having a raincoat as I sat in the back of the pickup, until a kind soul lent me theirs.
We got food and took the car West, driving straight for Mauna Kea, the heights of which reach 4200 feet (half the height of Everest). I was still in the back of the truck with a friend as the rain came down harder and I used a towel to cover my legs. Thank God for the slipstream of the car so the rain didn’t hit me as bad as it could have done! We did spot a glorious rainbow on the way. I love that rainbows are on the number plates of all the cars here. #rainbowstate #GodsPromise
Our car took us higher and higher through what I thought was fog, but turned out to be clouds! We gradually rose above the cloud level and were greeted by the sun’s glorious rays. The view went from glory to glory as we climbed higher. It was like looking at a vast mountainous ocean made of white foam. The foothills were red mounds that grew steeper the higher we went.
We passed the observatory and went straight to the top. When we got there, I literally could not believe my eyes. This is partly because the oxygen level makes you feel strange and heady. It’s like you’re in a dream and you can’t fully take everything in.
All around us were smaller hills covered in snow and ice! And I had come with were two thin jumpers and SHORTS! *facepalm*. I had to wrap two towels around me and even then my teeth chattered like someone had put them on Vibrate mode. I panted with the effort of breathing and drank in the view.
As the dusk approached, it was like the sun wanted to show off all its best tricks before disappearing. We soaked in the show of blue, pink, peach and red. The cold could not ruin this experience.
Eventually, the sun set and we departed with some pictures and many dead phones (the cold was so bad it actually switched them off before they reached then end of their battery life). But still, we had one more thing to do.
Back at the observatory, I examined the majesty of the stars. I’ve never seen so many in my entire life. The lower altitude of the observatory means that there is more oxygen for your eyes to see the stars in the sky. I don’t know how that works but it’s cool.
I loved that day and I love remembering it and writing about it, but I am not kidding when I say this: encountering the love and joy of Jesus is more precious to me than anything I could experience on this earth, whether it’s the beauty of Waipio Valley or the majesty of Mauna Kea. This earth and all it’s beauty is nothing, it means NOTHING, if I don’t have Jesus. My wanderlust by itself would NEVER fulfill me the way Jesus does. All the exploring in the world is pointless without knowing the insane love of Jesus.
More precious to me is the memory I have of last week, when on Ministry night I met with Jesus and fell in love with him more powerfully than ever before. His joy came too with all its power. I raucously laughed and giggled in the presence of all my friends because he filled me up with uncontainable, silly, embarrassing joy. Every time I asked for more he poured another bucket load on me till I was experiencing something closer to a waterfall of love and happiness.
THAT is why I’m here. Not for a beautiful place. I’m here because HE sent me here and his purpose is to train and equip me for the works of the Spirit. Nothing supersedes that. Nothing supersedes knowing him. I could explore the most beautiful parts of planet earth and never find the satisfaction and peace I have in him. If you’re reading this and you’re thinking to yourself “Gosh I wish I was experiencing Jesus like that”, then ASK him for it! He is so faithful and will never refuse you. He knows your deepest desires and will satisfy you if you tell him you want him.
Keep asking for more of him and he will not fail to pour into you more than you could imagine.
You are loved and adored by a Father who doesn’t know how NOT to be good. It’s in his very nature to be true to you no matter how you feel or think.
LOVE to all my family reading this, whether related to me or not!