I'm looking at my propped open suitcase and wondering how in the world I am going to get all my "necessary" items to fit inside. Before I finish packing for my next trip, I set my heart before the Lord, and in His way, He answered me. My devotional reading was Matthew 6:26, "take no thought...". Here I had been taking ALL these thoughts into consideration: how much bug spray, how much aspirin to help my aching bones, how many snacks, how much, how many, how in the WORLD am I going to get through the next ten days camping in a Mexican jungle?!
"Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God."*
I figure I will have an opportunity to see lots of birds in the air! Perhaps I'll even see tropical parrots, along with ten thousand mosquitoes, snakes, lizards, and crawling inconveniences of a wide variety. Even as I write this my heartbeat elevates, my breathing becomes shallow in anticipation of the higher altitude, and I feel far from careless (except maybe in my decision to go).
"...don't you think He'll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you?"*
In the comfort of my air-conditioned apartment, where I work up a sweat just putting things inside the suitcase, I confess, worry has clouded my heart. And yet, on this day, He is reminding me, HE attends to my needs, He's proud of me, HE will do His best for me!
"What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving."*
After reading the King James translation of the passage, I checked the verse translated into modern English offered by Eugene Peterson in The Message. I relaxed. That is how it reads, Jesus Himself (words in red) saying, "relax, respond to God's giving!"
God, is GIVING us (which includes the reader) the opportunity to go into the dark recesses of a Mexican jungle to share the Truth of His love of the world through Christ, His only begotten Son. Over the next twelve days.
He is GIVING us a chance to exhibit His mercy, by providing free medical assessment and treatment to jungle villagers who, in many cases have never seen a doctor. He is GIVING us children who come with parents, siblings and friends, to shower His love on through games, crafts, and stories.
He is GIVING us the darkness of night where we can show a gospel message film on a screen hung between palm trees.
He is GIVING us these days to impact lives for eternity!
"People who don't know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works."*
We know He is good. We know He is alive, and we know how much He cares for us because of the gift of His Son's life as a ransom for many.
"Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out."*
The God-reality, in spite of news reports, economy upturns and down-turns, tornados and terrorists, IS our King is on the throne and in control. He is not slow in coming but that NO ONE should perish without understanding His love.
The God-iniative is working in the hearts, bodies, and minds of a rural people in the middle of remote region in Mexico to come and see what these "strangers" are doing here. His initiative moved me to accept the invitation to join a medical mission team sponsored by East West Ministries.
The God-provision will take care of the bugs, my back, my stomach and getting the necessary into my suitcase. His provision is experienced through your prayers and financial support.
If I do fail to remember to pack something, I still don't need to worry because HE is my provider and protector.
"You'll find ALL your everyday human concerns will be met."*
These are my "human concerns" where I ask for prayers:
For our luggage and supplies to make it all the way to Tuxla-Guitierraz
For health and stamina in high altitude and food source
For communication with the locals through translators
For the medical staff to have supernatural discernment on treatment and provision for all needs
For the children and our "program" that we are not sure how it will "work" during the daily clinic
For the nightly showing of the Jesus Film to impact the community
For Sergio and Beth Mattasa our team leaders to have all the necessary preparations and precautions taken care of
For travel into the jungle, safety on the roads
For the binding of the enemy and his minions who will definitely be agitated and activated by our presence in their territory
"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow."*
Let's focus on what He promises, that many will come to know His Son, through our participation in this opportunity.
"God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."*
The time has come for me to finish packing and zip the "suitcase" of my worries and anxious heart. He is faithful so we CAN be careless in His care..
And in His service
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*Matthew 6:26-34 The Message