Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.
I love this verse. It is one of my favorites and one I remind myself of often. For me, this verse has become a promise, and God has proven himself faithful time and time again. Countless times has God done more in my life than I could have imagined. My greatest testimonies come from experiences I never dreamed of. God gives great gifts in the form of many surprises, and like the power of his faithfulness in my past, I have no doubt there is more in store for me than I can dare dream.
I leave for Thailand in three days. Seventy-two hours stand between me and the other side of the world. Pinch me because it still feels so surreal. There are many things I look forward to. I look forward to seeing new sights. I look forward to breathing in new air. I look forward to watching the sun rise and set in the eastern hemisphere. I look forward to trying new foods, but most of all I look forward to experiencing God through an entirely new lens and through an entirely new culture. My list of “I look forward to’s” goes on and on, however, I am trying to move forward with no specific expectations. I expect God to be God as I remind myself to abide in him moment by moment. His ways have always been greater than mine.
As the big day approaches, I am surrounded by people asking all sorts of questions. Two of the biggest questions I have been hearing are..
- Are you crazy?
- Aren’t you the slightest bit scared?
- Maybe a little bit.
Adventures are a great way of learning for me. I like to live on the front lines. Reading about adventure and living vicariously through the experiences of others doesn’t suit it for me. I want my own adventures. I want my own experiences. I want to learn hands on.The way I see it — the crazier an adventure sounds, the crazier the experiences will be. If it sounds crazy and is crazy I’ll probably learn like crazy, too. Maybe my logic is off a bit, but I have yet to walk away from a crazy life experience without learning a tremendous amount. I think God likes crazy. After all, what wasn’t crazy about Noah building an ark for a flood which was to last forty days and forty nights? What wasn’t crazy about a young boy using a slingshot and stone to kill a giant? What wasn’t crazy about a virgin giving birth to the son of God? What wasn’t crazy about a man who transformed from murdering thousands of Christians to one of God’s greatest apostles? I definitely think God likes crazy. I like crazy, too. Crazy keeps my on my toes. It keeps me begging God for more.
I lied a little bit when I said I wasn’t the slightest bit scared. I know for certain I have absolutely nothing to be the slightest bit scared of, but I am human nonetheless. A few things trigger fear within me as I think about going to Thailand. Every day, throughout my day, I continually remind myself of God’s fearless love. Occurring countless times in scripture God instructs us not to be afraid and provides reasons not to fall victim to fear. He provides promises of safety, protection and provision. I am about to do something I have not yet done in my life. I am doing something some people consider crazy. Most people wouldn’t consider flying around the world alone the best and safest idea. Maybe they’re right, but I have a different perspective. A former student of mine told me I taught them an important life lesson. “Miss H., you taught me fear is a choice.” I don’t recall outwardly teaching such a lesson, but those words stick to me like glue. Fear is a choice, and I choose not to fall victim to it. I chose to put my hope in a love which casts out fear.
To Mom, Dad, and concerned family members, I am not flying to Thailand alone. I will not be sitting in the airports alone. I will not be navigating foreign territory alone. When I arrive in Thailand I will begin a beautiful journey of building upon relationships with people God has purposely placed in my life. God has a plan, and even though trust may be difficult, it releases the heavy burdens which fear places on our shoulders. I have no need to fear, and neither do you. I trust in the One who calls me to walk on the waters. I trust in the savior who calls me according to his purpose. I trust in the promises of a God whose words will not return to him empty. In Thailand I will be surrounded by the prayers of the righteous, I will be led by the great Shepard, and I will be comforted by the ultimate comforter.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Deep breath.. Deep breath, Mom and Dad. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified. God is before us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. God will carry out his purpose and he will do superabundantly more than we dare ask or think..infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams. To him, to the fourth man standing in the fire and the one who conquered death, to him be the glory forever and ever.