I cannot believe that I leave for Taiwan tomorrow morning! I have spent many months, weeks, days and hours of preparation for this trip and the time has finally come. It’s surreal!
The word “unknowns” has frequently come to mind when people have approached me asking about my missions trip to Taiwan. Lots and lots of unknowns… For example, I don’t know who will be on the missions team with me. I don’t know what my dorm room is like. Not sure who my roommates are. I don’t know the language. I don’t know the culture well. And the list goes on… However, in the midst of recognizing and processing through these “unknowns” it’s driven me to trust and depend on The One who knows everything. The Maker of heaven and earth. The Creator of the universe. The One who placed the stars in the sky and calls them each by name. He knows. He knows my every need. God does not call us to a place and leave us there helpless. He is our Comforter, Great Counselor and Shepherd. Through each and every stage of life He is near. So, despite all the “unknowns” that can so easily cause my mind to wrestle and worry, I’ve been learning to surrender those anxious thoughts to the Lord and pray. Scripture commands,“be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-8) How cool is that? When we choose to refuse worry and turn our thoughts into prayer the Lord promises peace. It sounds so simple yet why do I struggle with this?
I’m convinced a big component to this struggle is the prideful nature in us to control. It’s in our DNA. We want to know everything (or as much as we can know) so that we can perform our very best in order to mask our flaws. (…anyone relate?) The issue with this mentality of striving for perfection is that without failing (or making mistakes) we don’t authentically grow. And without risk taking our character is not challenged and refined. Losing sight of opportunities to trust in God’s sovereignty is jeopardized when we take things into our own hands. Jesus took so many risks. He risked his reputation, friends, family you name it. He gave everything for us without hesitation. Yet- why is it that I hesitate before taking risks? The discomfort that is involved in risk taking can be immense although the end result is often far greater. Even though I wrestle with surrendering all my anxious thoughts to The Lord, I’m on a journey of surrender. I want to live a life taking risks for Jesus despite all the unknowns. Who’s with me?