May 10, 2017 | We expect the Lord to speak
Over the past few months, the Lord brought six individuals together and we began preparations for our short-term mission trip to Cambodia. I love the diversity of this group. Different ages, different occupations, half the group new to missions, the other half seasoned travelers. Each of us has something unique and special to contribute; while we all share the same passion to be the hands and feet of Christ and share His love with the people of Cambodia.
Whether new or a veteran of mission work, these trips bring a dichotomy of thoughts and feelings. We are all excited to see what the Lord will do in us and through us during our time in Cambodia. We are eager to experience a new culture, learn more about the work of SEAPC, and especially love on the children. We expect the Lord to speak to us in new ways and we hope to come home changed.
Along with the excitement, we all have concerns about going on a trip like this. We will leave behind spouses and children, businesses and careers. Six people who barely know each other will be living together like family. The culture shock. The heat. The absence of modern conveniences. The loss of our creature comforts.
Comfort. In our society, we have become accustomed to being comfortable. In fact, we are so used to being comfortable that we unknowingly begin to feel entitled to it. We tend to avoid situations that make us uncomfortable. I wonder if we are missing the mark here. Did God really intend for us to be comfortable?
The Bible is full of stories of people who were called out of their comfort zone. I doubt Abraham felt comfortable when asked to leave his homeland for an undisclosed location. Moses was uncomfortable speaking to the people. Was Esther comfortable approaching the king? John the Baptist was not comfortable baptizing Jesus. Peter was not comfortable with Jesus washing his feet. Mary was overwhelmed when chosen to be the mother of Jesus and Joseph was pretty uneasy with his pregnant fiancé. I cannot think of one instance where great things happened inside of one’s comfort zone.
Perhaps a primary benefit of going on a mission trip like this is that it forces us out of our security and self-sufficiency. In doing so, it frees us to rely on God and gives us access to His divine ability – an ability we would not have inside our self-made comfort zones.
So, as I prepare for this trip, I am going to take the advice of my teammate Denise and “learn to be comfortable with the uncomfortable”. I cannot wait to see what God will do!