Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Help for a missionary

My daily read from the bible today was acts 27. And can I tell you that it was words to hear for a person in the mission field! This chapter outlines the hell Paul and other prisoners went through on their way to italy. Nothing went right, the threat of death hung over everyone from both nature and their captors. And when everything seemed to hit rock bottom, Paul gave words of encouragement saying, "we're gonna make it! But the ship is doomed."
But the ship is doomed? What!? I mean really, all most high omnipotent one? We're out here working proclaiming and teaching and working and sweating and the very ship keeping us afloat is guaranteed doomed? It just means so much from this year and three months: your work is ok and you will deal with it all and come out on the end, but remember that it's the journey and the end result, not the ship- not security and wealth or peace or family or all those things you cling to. It's as if god says,"I'm gonna strip you bare, you'll go without food for 14 days, the centurions are gonna threaten you with death regularly, and you're gonna want to die rather than continue...but this is all part of my plan. And I won't let you die, because you are mine, you hear me? I've got you, so STOP TRYING TO CLING TO THE COMFORT OF YOUR OLD LIFE!!" and then I think god would add some cute admonishment like "genius" or "brilliance" to us.
But as I write this, I have lost the furniture in my house to the battle of Caribbean mold, sleeping on a matress on the floor, I've now witnessed five cars go down to repair or regulations, I have no idea how to crank out the massive volume of work on my to do list, and my personal life swings back and forth from solid to precarious. I can't help but feel like these guys in Acts 27, but I read it and hear Paul say, "it's gonna look up, we're gonna make it...but the ship is doomed. Get over the ship, ladies and gentlemen."

-- Note to self: my ship is the preconcieved notion that even though I'm in America, things will work like they always do. But they don't. It takes two weeks and a lot of work to get a second day mail package, and people just don't read the fancy email newsletters and websites you create. Deal with it, that's your ship, and it's gonna sink...find a new way to get where you're going, and recommit to listening to Gods voice in scripture direct your path.