I shut my alarm on my iPhone off and threw my legs over the side of my bed. It was 4:30 AM and I had been awake off and on since 2 AM. I was excited and nervous this morning as I knew Steve and Ramona would arrive by 5 to pick me up. We drove in utter darkness the familiar usually well lit roads to the airport, where we boarded our first plane in our journey to Nicaragua. We are here in Estelí to train pastors and church leaders in the area of Biblical Counseling. We did share the flight with Tee Shirt missionaries. Guys were heading down to build training facilities, oddly enough. Every aspect of traveling was without headache. Our flights were on time, even out of powerless Huntsville. The trip has been smooth so far. It’s like second nature for Steve. You would think we were just going to see relatives when you are with him on this kind of journey. I have a problem however. It is not the uncertainty of being in a
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foreign country or even the oddness of being the gringo with the bushy red goatee everyone stares at, no, it’s not those things. It’s not the fact that I outweigh and am taller than most everyone I see here. The food is delicious so far, so it is not the eats that are the problem (another reason I outweigh everyone). My issue is that I want to be home. Not in the “I am homesick and desire the comforts of home” way (there really aren’t any comforts at home right now other than the people who are there). I want to be helping in the relief efforts. I want to help my neighbors. I want to experience the joy that is helping my community. Alabama is hurting and I want to be there to help. God has a plan and a purpose in all things. I am right where I need to be and as I write this I am cut to the quick that I need to be all here while I am here. As Steve and I have been processing this, we came to the conclusion that God has our good at heart. We are here for a reason this week. Mainly we are here to declare God’s word and minister through teaching. " That's how we Roll..."But I have a good feeling that we are here for God to continue to show us Himself and His glory. So, I am right where He wants me. He was not surprised by the tornadoes nor was He checking my calendar to make sure I was available this week. No, He has me right where He wants me. And He knows there is plenty of work to be done for His name this week and in the weeks to come – whether I am here or I am home, I want to be used by God for the sake of the Gospel. As I reflect on the past few days and think on the days to come, if that is my true desire, to be used by God for the sake of the Gospel, I need to apply the Gospel to all of my life. I need to walk in the grace that is not just extended to me but is extended through me. In every situation that I find myself I have been reminded that it is by God’s grace that I am alive. That I have a house, a wife, kids, food, clothing, the basics and that I get to be teaching God’s word to God’s people. I want to help my neighbors because God through Jesus helped His neighbor (Jesus is a better neighbor/Samaritan). At the end of the day I am just an unprofitable servant. I haven’t done anything special. I am merely living out the Gospel of grace that was poured out for me. And all the while I need to tell people of that Gospel. It’s available for all of those who will trust in the name of Jesus. We were three days removed from celebrating the triumphant rising from the dead by our God and King – King Jesus when the unthinkable happened in our state and community. Let us not forget that He is risen, that He is reigning and that His grace is sufficient. Let us remember that He holds the winds at bay and that He causes all things. Let us remember that these terrible things, God is turning to good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. So let us remember that we go and we help because He is risen. Let us worship Him with our hearts, our heads, our hands and the sweat of our brows. There is work to be done, let us do it in spirit and in truth.