During college I was chosen to participate in Youth in Mission and spent a summer in Fiji. What a place to be called to minister! Those weeks hold so many amazing memories. I saw God move and I met many people whose lives and stories have had a lifelong impact on me.
Not long after we had arrived our team had been out all day ministering to people in welfare villages and hospitals. Night was coming and our last event for the day was in a village not far from the missionary's house. After meeting the room full of people, sharing a meal with them, singing, and sharing the Gospel it was time to go home. It seemed like everyone in the room stood to walk us up to the house where we were staying. I remember certain things about that night very clearly- the faces of strangers who would soon become friends, how dark it was because there was no electricity in the village, the fact that there was only 1 lantern and I was not going to be carrying it. In fact there were many people and a good distance between me and the lantern-carrier. I really couldn't see anything. It was dark, really dark. All I could do was follow as best I could the person who was walking in front of me. I had to just step and trust and stay close to the person I was following. My commitment to do "anything" feels a lot like that night-- I think I would feel more at ease if I could hold the lantern and look ahead to where I am headed, but God is asking me to stay close and just follow Him step by step. If I sit too long and think about stepping out on faith into the unknown it seems a bit frightening, but even more than that I'm afraid of messing up, of not doing just the right thing in just the right way.
That night in Fiji as we walked on that dark path, I started hearing the sounds of running water and the ground began to get slippery. Despite my best effort, there came a point I took a step forward and my left foot slipped off the edge-- I started to fall. I could feel the inside of my leg start to slide over the edge of the path and inwardly I started to panic. That night in the dark in a new place where I had never been I had no way of knowing if that edge dropped 1 foot or 100. I couldn't see where I was going, and I didn't know how far I might fall. There's something else though I will never forget about that night-- the person who was walking with me. As I was slipping I felt the hand of the woman walking next to me grab me by the elbow and lift me up until both feet were firmly planted on the ground. I don't remember if Akesa said anything to me on the path that dark night. What I do remember is she reached out in perfect time-- as I started to slip she steadied me and she kept me moving forward. I know that's what God does too if I'll step out in faith with Him. I want to shake off my fears of falling- of failing- and follow Him into "anything" trusting that His timing is perfect even if I am not.
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Truth, righteousness peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life.
Ephesians 6:14-17, The Message