Saturday, July 2, 2016

Guatemala Mission Trip Part 1: The "Molly Metaphor"

The night before our flight to Guatemala we brought our bags to church and our cat (Molly) to a friend’s house. She complained most of the way. My daughter held her carrier in her lap, occasionally giving her treats, which made her happy…for a moment. As we traveled in this manner, attempting to console Molly, my daughter noticed some similarities between our relationship to Molly and God’s relationship to us.

He knows the entire plan: We knew that leaving Molly at home would leave her uncared for. There wouldn’t be anyone to feed her, give her water, clean her litterbox…or love her. We knew where she was going and it was ultimately in her best interest.

He is always with us: Though Molly was in a carrier, she was on my daughter’s lap. We were close by, watching out for her.

He provides. My daughter gave Molly treats to ease her discomfort. Words to comfort her. We attempted to console her every step of the way.

He loves us. No matter how irritating Molly’s complaints were, we loved her. We wanted her to be happy and comfortable. But to truly love her, we had to do what was best for her.

I love that God used my daughter to reveal these truths. But it's nothing new. Most of us know this. Even so, we have a tendency to do the following:

We fail to trust: We know that God has a perfect plan, yet we tend to question Him, thinking we know better. If only God would do things our way…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. -Proverbs 3:5

We feel alone:
We behave as though He has left us or as if He was never really there. We feel the need to act on our own our own power.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

We worry: We act as though we are in control. We attempt to circumvent difficulty by preparing for every possible situation in advance…as if we possibly could.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7

We feel unloved: Deep down, we know how unworthy we are in our own right. How selfish we truly are to the core. We fail to acknowledge that we are made righteous not in ourselves but in who we are in Christ.
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:10
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

By breaking us out of our comfort zone and sending us to another country, God clearly showed us how strong these attributes are in ourselves. I hope to share more about our experience in Guatemala soon, but for now I pray that, whether at home or afar, within our outside your comfort zone, God will reveal Himself and His will to you. I pray that you will make your requests known and trust Him to provide what you actually need. I pray that you will feel His presence and know that, no matter who you are, no matter what you've done…

You are loved,

J F Rogers

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