Last week, somewhere between Monday night and Tuesday morning it became very real to me that I was on a plane bound for Western Africa with no return ticket. For years we have prayed and planned to move overseas to share the hope that we have in Jesus. Yet there I was, before even stepping foot on foreign soil, full or anxiety and completely afraid.
On the plane, there was no one cheering me on, no church rallying behind me, and no idealized picture of successful ministry. I was on a crammed full flight and clearly the culture had already changed. The men next to me rattled through their prayer beads, lines packed the isles waiting for the bathroom, and loud voices greeted each other in the Wolof language. The rest of my family was asleep, and I felt like there was a spotlight pointed at all my insecurities.
As alone as I may have felt in that moment, the feeling was absurd. God had made it abundantly clear that He alone was the one leading us and providing for us to go to West Africa… why then would He abandon me now? He hadn’t.
It wasn’t long before testimonies of saints who had gone before me flooded my thoughts. I was reminded of the Apostle’s work, Hudson Tailor, Amy Carmichael, and the updates we still receive from the church planted in New Guinea by Stacy’s parents and their partners.
Next, scripture began to reinforce those testimonies. I was reminded of how it is Christ who leads us triumphantly in 2 Cor. 2:14; How I was not to be ashamed of the Gospel by Romans 1:16; how even in the midst of my insecurities I am complete in Him in Col. 2:10, and how my confidence ought to be in the fact that Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me in Hebrews 13:5.
My soul began to settle, and I too fell asleep.
A little more than a week has passed since that flight, and while I might like to say my faith has remained consistent… the truth is it has wavered. The greater truth though, is that Christ’s faithfulness cannot waiver. Abundantly, He has provided and cared for us. Abundantly, He has loved us. Graciously He leads us, though we are surrounded on all sides by unfamiliarity. Often times it is the unfamiliar (such as the call to prayer, or the beggars on the street) that remind us of why we are here.
(Posted by Mike 2/25/16)