April/May 2016 - Vol. 85
Michael Davis
 Freedom Through Service and Trust
ďHeís breaking me down so He can rebuild me.Ē
by Michael Davis

I moved to Detroit on August 31 2015, ten days after my 23rd birthday.  I had graduated from college a few months prior and had spent the summer working and fundraising, with everything leading to a year of service in YouthWorks-Detroit.  I was holding off on other work, grad school, the prospect of a relationship, being with friends and family, and a year of Michael in control of Michaelís life (Iíve had a lot of those).  I didnít have a lot figured out when I moved, and I still donít have much figured out now. Actually, I take that back.  I know a lot more than I did before, but my questions and moments of ignorance seem to be multiplying as well.  But God is working on my heart in a particular way here, and I see God move in Detroit in ways that Iíve never seen elsewhere.

There are so many things that Iíve learned in the past few months here, but there are a couple that particularly stand out.  One is that service, in the truest sense of the word, is based solely on love, and is thus extremely humble and understated.  Itís not glamorous or self-centered, nor does it seek attention or acclaim.  Itís about broken, imperfect people helping other broken, imperfect people.  Itís hard work, and it requires sacrifice and dedication and being faithful to someone or something.  

Iím fortunate to be able to live and work with some incredible people who know what it means to serve, and who live it out wholeheartedly.  They call me on to press forward and choose for love every day. Iím so thankful that there are others here who are doing the Lordís work and laying a foundation for something great. All Iím doing is plugging in and playing my small part, joining with them in one larger mission.  Knowing that gives me an underlying peace and contentment that I know comes from God alone.

The other big thing is realizing how little you really need in life to get by.  You get out of school and the whole world is in front of you, and there are so many things you can aspire to. Your perspective grows, as life becomes a melting pot of work, relationships, leisure, finances, responsibilities, time management, and everything else that comes with becoming an adult.  But in all of that, I think thereís a really beautiful simplicity that has become clearer to me. I have God, the significant people in my life, and the work that I feel called to (at least for the moment).  And for right now, thatís all I need.

Thereís so much background noise in our lives, but at the heart of it, it comes down to whether God is enough.  Godís really challenging me this year to put everything else aside and to follow Him with everything that I am. Itís an ongoing process and one that I continually struggle with, but that is ultimately what God is teaching me here in Detroit. Heís breaking me down so He can rebuild me.  By giving a year to serve and putting other things on the back-burner, I experience freedom and grace to follow Him more fully than I have before. Itís a year set apart for a life set apart.  Iím thankful that Heís called me to this adventure and that He continues to shape me into who He wants me to be, even though it can be hard at times.  I donít have much figured out, but I can trust that, for right now, Iím where Iím supposed to be.

See past related stories from Detroit Summer Outreach and YouthWorks-Detroit:
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