inspiration: philippians 1:21
two weeks from tomorrow, i'm joining about 25 or so other brothers and sisters-in-Christ from Grace Community Church on a missions trip to Costa Rica. God richly blessed me with the opportunity and funds to go and i am absolutely EXCITED BEYOND WORDS about this!!
this is my first missions trip.
this is my first time out of the country.
earlier this evening, my grandmother said to me (with the best of intentions, i know) "Nikki, you make sure you stay safe and get your butt back home!" i know that she wants the best for me. i know she wants me to be safe. quite frankly, i hope i stay safe, too.
but following Christ is risky business.
i remember reading in a book (i don't remember which one though...) where the author states something to the effect "We always pray for safety when we're on a trip. We want above all else to stay in control of our situations. But what if that's not God's will?" and he poses questions like: "What if it's God's will for us to be put in danger? What if that's what it takes to spread the Gospel? How will we feel and will we stick to our missive to proclaim the Gospel in any circumstance?"
for me, this is a definite "YES!"
we're called to suffer for the name of Christ, if that's what it takes to declare the Gospel. and whenever i think of suffering, i think of Paul.
in Acts, he says "And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me -- the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." (Acts 20:22-24)
and in Philippians, he states "For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain" (1:21) and "For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him" (1:29)
i am worried about suffering. selfishly, the last thing i want to do is to be in danger in a foreign country. (i don't think that will be an issue on this particular missions trip, but that doesn't mean i am 100% safe).
but i also know that we're not always meant to be safe.
we're meant to step out for the sake of the gospel.
when it comes down to it, i am willing to suffer for the sake of Christ.
in Paul's words, "to live is Christ and to die is gain" (Phil. 1:21)
whenever God calls me home, i don't want people to be saddened by their loss, but rejoice in Christ's gain. i don't want this to be a morbid blog post. i'm just being seriously honest. when i'm gone, don't cry. rejoice. i'll truly be home.