BY: Amy Wagner
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Deuteronomy 32:1-2:
“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
May my teaching drop as the rain,
my speech distill as the dew,
like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
and like showers upon the herb.”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Recently my family took our first mission trip together–straight to the third-world country of Bolivia. Now, most of you won’t think much of this since our church has been there a hundred times and even my own daughters have gone on previous trips. BUT this was a big deal for us for several reasons. First of all, the cost. For all four of us to go we had to come up with almost $8000. Secondly, I’ve never been out of the country which was a little (ok, a lot) scary to me. Thirdly, we had only four months to pull it all together which for us was a seemingly impossible mission.
Needless to say, it all worked out (to God be ALL THE glory). He pulled it off and put people and ideas together that allowed us to raise the funds. Sidebar, I would like say a sincere THANK YOU to all those who helped. We packed up, arrived without issues, and had an amazing time (outside of me having altitude sickness the entire trip).
Leading up to our trip I had heard so many amazing things happen and life/heart changes that others’had experienced as a result of this trip. I was ready! I was open and I was prepared to receive this incredible blessing that God was going to lay on me during my time there. This trip was going to give me long awaited answers to my questions and I was going to experience radical transformation from the epiphany that God was going to bring me.
It. Didn’t. Come.
After the first two days I actually wondered what was wrong with me. I witnessed each member of the team, including members of my own family, have these encounters and connections that I just wasn’t getting. I didn’t understand. I finally, in frustration, asked God the question, “Why don’t you want to tell me anything?”
My problem, and the problem that happens to a lot of us, is that we get in our own way because of this tunnel vision we have. I watched for the heavens to open and expected God’s voice to come to me explaining everything that was meant for me — my own personal “burning bush.” But…that’s not what He had for me. By day four, He opened my eyes and I began watching my team members interact with the kids at the Hope Center. I watched as my husband played with the children in the courtyard, pushing them on swings, chasing them, kicking a soccer ball around. While I listened to each of them talk about their connections, I saw the smiles, the tears, the happy and the breaking hearts. My heart was in watching others connect and make an impact for Christ. Wow! No big lightening bolt moment, no burning bush, just witnessing the simple, sweet, tender moments of each life that was being touched through personal encounters. Jesus was talking to me through them. It flooded me while I stood back, allowed things of the world to fall away, and began to BE IN THE MOMENT. Things seemed to slow down as I sat and watched each individual and the way they used their love of Christ and personal gifting to reach out and connect. It was peaceful. It was Heaven.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: We look and expect cosmic, epic moments in our lives and feel a little disappointed if it’s not what we receive. In fact, we may be so focused on getting our “burning bush” moment that we sadly look right over the true vision and voice of God. Things of the kingdom aren’t always going to come the way we expect them. God won’t always yell His message to you from the mountain tops. Sometimes, His voice comes in a sweet, quiet whisper. Listen. Watch. Be Still. You will get everything God has for you. AND, sometimes, great things come in the smallest of packages.
PRAYER: God, I want to give you glory and praise for the revelations you bring to me, whether a burning bush moment or by whispers you put in our ear during the unexpected sweet, tender moments when we don’t expect it. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to go to places and experience your wonder and mercy in ways that we don’t normally see in our daily lives. It’s so awesome to witness how you move, work and love in a blessed nation like the United States or 4000 miles away in Bolivia. Your mercy has no boundaries.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me
Take me deeper than my feel could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior.
–Official song of the 2013 Bolivia Trip — Christmas Edition
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John & Amy Wagner have been members of Life Assembly for 9 years. Children – Andrew (22), Brianna (20), Alex (16). Amy is a certified counselor and works part time at the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce. The Wagners take great ownership in Life Assembly and feel very blessed to be a part of such a wonderful church family.