Growing up in Paraguay, Leah has several great stories of being stuck on the side of the road in mud. When rain (however infrequent) hit the hard, dusty, sun baked clay exterior of Paraguay’s “Gran Chaco” region, the road out of the tribe connecting them to the outside world turned into one large slip-n-slide making it nearly impossible to drive on.
In one story in particular Leah’s father, James, was forced to find shelter on the side of the road with nothing more than his “moto” (dirt bike) and the clothes on his back. Being stuck on the side of the road is not fun. And how much worse for those, like James, who serve/live in Paraguay who are secluded from civilization and left to fend for themselves in one of the harshest climates known to man.
This is somewhat close to the way we’ve felt recently, stuck. And it’s not just about being physically stuck in the mud, but rather in our everyday christian lives. As I was writing this blog post I was reminded of a commercial that one of our teachers in the training, George Walker, showed us called “Stuck on an Escalator.” Click on the title to take a look for yourself: Stuck on an Escalator
How frequently we’ve found ourselves stuck on the escalator, waiting for something to happen and at the same time sulking in disbelief as if somehow we have rights that we are being robbed of (which obviously, according to scripture, isn’t true). I’m convinced that many of us are stuck on an escalator today. Waiting for someone, or something, to come to our rescue and save us from our pathetic apathetic selves.
My friends, God has already done the rescuing. We have everything that we need to take the steps ourselves. The only question is whether or not we’ll obey and trust him. Whose voice are you obeying today? If you’re anything like me, I have a tendency to act as if I’m living in some sort of “spiritual orphanage.” As if I’m yelling out for help like the two individuals in the video did. “Hello?! Is anyone out there? I could really use your help down here God!”
For me, the stuck-ness that I’ve felt has been in our pre-field fundraising. Partnership development (fundraising) has been one of the most unique experiences we’ve ever had. We’ve had quick emotional challenges to face, we’ve faced the up’s and down’s of joy as churches and individuals have joined our team, and we’ve felt the long, daunting challenge of trying to somehow raise a large amount of money for something that the majority of the world would look at as a foolish waste of time.
God has challenged us, and we’ve been reminded time and time again that we need to depend on him for everything. It’s a lesson that God has been teaching us, I believe, ever since we were first justified by faith in Him. Though most of you aren’t in our shoes (awaiting the appropriate finances and funds to leave for the mission field), many of you are facing challenges of your own. Whether it’s a financial struggle, a marital feud, a car struggle, or wherever you find yourselves currently residing, you have the option (if you’re a justified believer in Jesus) to trust Him, obey Him, and respond to Him.
I’ve found myself at a crossroads recently. Will I choose to trust Him despite feeling the weight of a daunting task ahead? Or, will I look to myself? It’s an option that sounds all to easy, while in reality, it just may be one of the hardest things for any believer to learn.
Recently God has given us a lesson in trusting Him. The moment we began to feel “stuck” God graciously provided two unlikely sources of support out of the blue. He also used three people this month to donate $4,500.00 to His ministry. And as if that wasn’t enough, He brought a brother along side us named, Noe, who said, “God laid you guys on my heart and I just wanted to say hi and know how I can pray for you.”
Wow! We were absolutely amazed and awestruck and couldn’t help but smirk as we both immediately came to the same conclusion, “God, we just need to trust you.”