Last week was one of the most eye opening weeks of my life. I spent a week the furthest west I have ever been, in the delta of Mississippi at the intersection of two roads in a community called Ferrell-Sherard. This place automatically finds a place in your heart. You literally drive on a completely straight road for an immeasurable amount of time surrounded completely by farms. You come across this cluster of small, colorfully painted homes with a brick building in the middle of them. It's the Habitat for Humanity guest house where me and 36 other BCM-ers were to stay. It's a place there will forever be in my memory. The people have so little there, but are completely/humbly thankful for what God has given them. The residents would introduce themselves as homeowners if they owned a home. How often do I meet someone in Kennesaw to hear "I am Steven and I am a homeowner?" Never. One couple ( the pastor and his wife) came and met with us one night to tell us we would be working on their house some. Come to find out these people had lost two homes and two children. Still so faithful and relient on the Lord. One home lost in a fire, another lost in tornado. I heard the wife, Mrs. Debbie, telling us about giving her sons organs up when he passed and her emotion when she met the man who had her sons heart. She said, while getting teary eyed, the connection was so strong. I write all this to say that sometimes when God calls us, we don't know what we are in for. In the end, all our fears come back to one thing, the unknown.
While we were in Mississippi I was asked to do a devotional one of the nights and I hit on this very topic. I used a scene from Monsters Inc. to set this up. There is a great scene where "Boo" is discovered in the restaurant and the people go into mass panic mode. They don't know what happens when a child is in their world. The mosters overreact and start seeing/saying crazy things like the kid blew up a car. Basically showing a perfect example of how we react to the fear of the unknown. So I wondered how I could tie this into some scripture and thought of a story in Matthew 8:23-27.
Jesus and the disciples get on a boat, whether it was to travel or to get a break from the crowds, and Jesus goes down into the deck to sleep. A storm comes up and whips the boat around scaring the disciples. They quickly go get Jesus out of fear who in reply asked them why they have so little faith and stops the storm. I chuckle when I read that passage. Think of the disciples freaking out like the monsters from the movie. I can imagine them running down there "Jesus help! The waves are 100 feet high. This is the worst storm I've ever seen. The boat will be destroyed." and Jesus simply tells the storm to be calm, and they are over. I bet the disciples (although in awe), felt like ding dongs, for lack of a better term.
The crazy thing is, jump back a few books and look at the kind of disciples Jesus picked out. Matthew 4:18-21 talks about disciples who, when called, "immediately"(nasb) or "at once"(niv) got up and followed him. They were more than willing to serve even though they had to give up their known (being fishermen) for the much scarier unknown.
A lot of us are ready and willing to serve. One perfect example I think of in my circle of friends is a guy named Daniel. There is a guy who's heart is willing to serve no matter where God leads. Something I admire greatly. Daniel recently got accepted to Journeymen where he found out Thursday, he will be serving in Japan. On friday Japan experienced one of the most intense natural disasters in history. Everything in my gut says God has big plans in Japan after that. Yet Daniel, who is facing I'm sure an unbelievable amount of unknowns has not wavered.
Many of us are like the disciples, and like my friend Daniel. We are ready to go where God leads us, but unknowns cripple us. What we have to realize is God will calm those storms. Bottom line, Romans 8 especially verses 28-30. God takes care of those he calls, and gets the glory for it. Win win situation. Love. Like Crowder says in his new song on the Passion cd, "Let's risk the ocean, there's only grace"