It was a long night spent sitting in cramped quarters. What was I thinking? About half way in, I began to think my traveling days were over. I reached my limit of “discomfort by choice.” And then there was a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. The Hours to Arrival ticked down and anticipation of reaching my destination began to build. You see, I got on this plane because I believed it would transport me to the place I wanted to go and even in the midst of exhaustion brought on by a long flight, a sleepless night and thoughts of “Are we there yet?” I never lost faith that I would eventually find my way to the Arrival Gate.
What is your definition of faith? Webster’s defines faith as:
a firm belief in something for which there is no proof
something that is believed with a strong conviction.
It is something believed but not only that. Webster uses words in this definition such as firm, complete, strong when it comes to that belief.
In air travel you cannot “sort of” get on the plane. One foot on land with the other in the air is just not going to work. You have to get completely on the aircraft to reach your destination. That is also the way with faith. You have to be ‘all in’ to get where arrive at the place God is taking you.
There is, however, an element of faith that is also a continuous journey. When flying, there are always a few fellow passengers wrought with anxiety. They believe with certainty that this time may just be the time they will crash and burn. They pace the aisles or pop a sleeping pill just to get through. This may not be too far from the truth in how we treat our own lives. We get up each morning and tentatively set our feet in route to see if God’s promises still apply to today’s set of problems and worries. We struggle with the pain and discomfort as we wonder if this part of this trip through life will ever end. And then, as promised we see the glimmer of hope that God is indeed delivering us safely to our appointed destination.
I think that destination just might be a complete faith; one that firmly, completely and with strong conviction puts our confidence in God’s word and his ways. I believe God is developing in us a habit in which we trust him on everything. He proves Himself over and over that there is nothing outside his power to bring the best possible outcome in us. As we go, we develop more and more assurance in Him with a confidence that He will do He says he can do. Each day that we plant our both feet firmly in that confidence brings us closer to arriving at Complete Faith.
In Romans 4:18-23, Abraham is described with the words “against all hope…he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what he had promised.”
It goes on to say, “This is why ‘it was credited to him righteousness.” These words ‘it was credited to him righteousness’ were not written for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness–for us who believe in him…” [Emphasis added.]
Righteousness. Now, that’s a pretty great perk. Let your faith grow. Be “all in” when it comes to trusting the Lord. You do not want to miss out on what God has for you.
As for me and future travel? I will continue. Living would not be as satisfying if not for the lessons God teaches through the sights and sounds of this great excursion called life.
The Lord will indeed give what is good…” Psalms 85:12
You count on it!
Best beauty treatment ever –
SOAK in the essence of Jesus.
- Scriptures – Write them on your heart.
- Observe the words and ideas.
- Apply their wisdom.
- Kneel. Communicate with an open and obedient heart to the One who has shown us how to live well. Spending time at the feet of Jesus will give anyone, men included, a healthy glow. Try it. You won’t be sorry.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 31 ESV
I’m happy to announce a new feature on my blog. On a Mission will feature women who have taken on Jesus’ command to reach out to their communities and into the world beyond to love others. I hope that you find the stories encouraging as you get to know these extraordinary Girls on Adventure.
I would like to meet Madison Lamb in this very inspiring post by Beckie Lindsey.
Not Your Typical Teenage Dream
What were you interested in when you were sixteen-years-old?
Friends? Clothes? Music? Sports?
Madison Lamb enjoys many of the typical things most teenage girls do. She likes hanging out with friends and drinking coffee. But Madison has also found a love for something that is not so typical for a young woman of her age. She desires to go into full-time ministry serving as a missionary.
It all started when Madison was in eighth grade—except she didn’t actually know it then.
She signed up for her first mission trip.
Her first mission: a six-day trip to Mexico. Madison and a group of other kids her age along with several adults helped construct walls and roofs for houses. On the fourth day of the trip, her group visited an orphanage where many children had been taken to live by their own parents because they lacked the means to care for them. However, a heartbreaking fact Madison learned, was that some of the parents still came and visited their children in the orphanage, but leave them in hopes for a better life than they could provide.
“I’ll always remember the sweet little girl named Bethlehem that stole my heart,” Madison said. “After the orphanage, we visited the dump where many locals go to scavenge. We took hot dogs wrapped in tortillas to share. It was life-changing to see how these people live.”
Each night Madison’s group listened to powerful missionary speakers from all over the world. One guest speaker named Brad had served as a missionary in Papua New Guinea. He stayed long enough to learn the language and translate the Bible for the locals.
“I learned so much. It was amazing, but I still wasn’t really sure if it was something I wanted to do. So, I didn’t tell anyone, but I was thinking and praying about it. I wasn’t ready to be accountable, I guess.”
The Lord was using the experience from this trip to plant a seed.
A year later when Madison was in high school, she was asked to go on another mission trip, but this time as a teen mentor for the junior high students. Madison agreed and the Lord was busy planting more seeds.
“I got to give a twenty-minute speech to the students about my mission experience. I didn’t realize how much they would look up to me.”
When Madison got back from her second mission’s trip, her heart was completely changed.
“I need to do missions! This is what God wants for my life!”
The future plan is to go to college—hopefully a Christian University with study abroad possibilities and major in Literature and Christian studies. She is also researching missionary training schools and looking into teaching English.
While Madison is still in high school, she intends to explore more missions and reach out to other teens. She says a major concern for teens is a lack of confidence and poor self-image.
“Unfortunately they are looking for attention in the wrong places. Society tells them so many things that conflict with God’s message,” she said. “I used to struggle with body image like a lot of teens my age. But then I read and understood that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God, the creator, loves me and made me beautiful. I want others to know this too!” (Psalm 139)
Everyone needs to know they are loved by God.
Madison believes that if teens understood more about God and the Bible, they would be better equipped to handle the many pressures they face today. “When I put God first, my whole life changed. I love my Bible! I write verses on my hand to help me through the day. Others can see it too.”
Madison has some special people in her life. She says most of her close friends are Christians which helps her. There are also adults that have helped her relationship with God grow as well. “My parents are great! I have met many leaders at church too. My small group leader, Emma, taught me how to pray. I can call her and she’ll meet up with me for coffee. It’s so great to have her support.”
At the age of sixteen, Madison has learned some fundamentals and essentials that every Christian can benefit from, no matter their age.
- Read your Bible and share it with others.
- Memorize scripture. It helps keep you on track.
- Prayer is powerful. Do it every single day.
- Find your value in God, not society or anything else.
- Surround yourself with other Christians.
- Find a mentor.
- Be a mentor.
- Look to God to find your purpose.
Thanks for the inspiration, Madison!
COMMENTS AND PRAYERS WELCOME!
What do you think about Madison’s dream? Did it inspire you?
Beckie is a wife and a mother of three grown children and two adorable cats. She is an award-winning poet, published freelance writer of magazine, website and newspaper articles as well as devotions and studies. She is the editor of Southern California Voice, a division of One Christian Voice, LLC., a national news syndicating agency. Her desire is to see others not only know the truths of the Word of God, but to also experience them personally and practically in everyday life.
To learn more about Beckie:
Southern California Voice: http://socal-voice.com/
It’s been some time since I visited Tajikistan, but the lessons will remain in my heart forever.
Our plane touched down in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. We were all ushered into a cement block building to wait in line for passport control. One-by-one we were summoned into a small room to present our visas and answer a few questions. Small problem. I didn’t speak Farsi. I stood there, listening very carefully but not comprehending. Somehow the man behind the desk seemed satisfied with the documents and my affirming nods that he released me from his presence.
Outside the building and reunited with my traveling companions, I was caught up a flurry of activity. Porters were grabbing at our luggage trying to gain a few American dollars in their pockets. Owners of taxis crowded in demanding that we use their service. It all felt very confusing and a bit scary trying to make my way in a strange land in the dark of night.
Then a familiar face came into view. Our contact came toward us warning off the aggressive drivers. He grabbed the bags and motioned for us to follow. He guided us safely to a van that was waiting to transport us to our destination.
As the week played out, I learned many things about the culture I had been plopped in the middle of. Village life was quite different from the world I had left at home. For safety’s sake, an escort was needed wherever I went. I covered my hair so I would not find myself the topic of whispers and ridicule. Bathrooms were a challenge. Electricity was intermittent. Meals were served on the floor. Men and women did not socialize in public. There were military check points, calls to worship, and houses hidden by high walls and locked gates.
Yes. Everything was different and if it had not been for my guide I would not have been able to navigate through the rules of this community. What I knew of life did not make sense in this culture. It was all so foreign.
In my current trek through Psalm 119, I came across a similar thought in the second segment of the book.
“Open my eyes so that I can truly see the marvelous things in your law. I am like a foreigner in this land. Do not hide your commandments from me. I desperately long to know your regulations at all times.”
Oh, how God’s ideas can seem strange to us.
Like the Psalmist, it sometimes feels like we are in a foreign land when we are learning about God’s ways. What we knew of life is now turned upside down. The culture is new. The language seems odd. It isn’t always easy to wrap our minds around why things work better His way. We need Him to guide us. Then, little-by-little, we begin to see how the customs of this unfamiliar place start to make sense. As we put into practice those marvelous things He reveals, they spare us from humiliation as they guide us to success. It’s beautiful when it starts to come together.
As for the rest of my time in the Tajik culture? Before my trip concluded, candlelight in the power outage became romantic. A glimpse of a married couple sharing a private conversation seemed mysterious and precious. Even the lessons in tying my head covering the right way or how to apply the perfect unibrow [ I have a photo somewhere.] made me feel more connected with the people of that country.
I began to get it.
Their ways worked in context with their culture. What seemed strange when I began my time there became normal and comfortable before I left. Foreign no more—Tajikistan, its people and their ways occupy a place in my heart that brings great joy each time my thoughts wander there.
But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.
Jude 1 ESV