Thursday, April 17, 2008

Wrestling with God

As I laid my head on the pillow to sleep, aching back, fighting the unfamiliar bed and surroundings it didn't take long for my frustration to kick in on several levels, but the foremost being how can I be contemplating taking off around the world when I'm having trouble sleeping in an unfamiliar bed in a room that is completely safe in this sleepy NE Georgia town??

For as long as I remember I've wanted to do missions work. Over the years I have not managed to get out of this country a single time (except a day trip to Tijuana, Mexico if you count that). Believe me I've gone through my time of being angry with God over it too. Some of my best memories from college however are from ministry teams. Having children wrapped around you, serving someone a hot bowl of food and listening to their stories, mud fights after practice, etc. I also well remember that before every occasion I would have to deal with fear to the point of sickness sometimes.

Screaming from within is all the excuses for not embarking on such a crazy journey. Can an introverted, only child really handle that much "community"? Do I trust God that much? (Am I even saved usually comes somewhere close behind that one lol) Finances?!? Did you forget you're shy and quite fearful? (Much Afraid and I are closely related - Hinds Feet on High Places good book that gives me great hope). You don't know the Bible well enough. Etc etc etc. Let's just say I'm keenly aware of my shortcomings and fears. The accusations and excuses are far too many to number, and yet...

  • I read in my Bible a call to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the widowed, orphaned, poor, etc. and I find an urging to actively follow out those verses.
  • I read stories and blogs of missionaries and think "what if..." I try to be realistic and logical because that's my nature but it's just not working so well for me on this one.
  • I find myself crying out to God for people I've never even met (usually when I should be sleeping).
I'm in a different place than I was a short while ago.
I'm deeply grateful for this country I call home. I don't agree with everything by any means but I'm also not looking to just get out. I appreciate the modern conveniences, but could probably live without most of them. And yes, I want to see all the sights but a building is just a building - a life is precious.

And so as I tried my best to get to sleep on my rock hard mattress instead of the comfy, cozy bed I've been blessed with the past 3 months, all these things bounced through my mind I found how blessed I am to even have a bed as my mind wanders to those trying to make concrete comfortable. I found myself wrestling with a God who allows suffering and yet loves us with an incomprehensible love. I found a part of me that wants to be okay with not being comfortable or having all the answers as long as God is at the center of it all. And somewhere in it all I found sleep, until the birds began their serenade at about 5 a.m.