“We almost fell off the side of a cliff today as we were riding in the truck.”
Those were the first words I heard from my daughter Emily after she, her dad, and the rest of the medical mission team arrived in Guatemala this week. She sent an Instagram message to her sister Sarah, who told me about it.
A few days later, Emily posted pictures like this one with her dad on Facebook. One of the captions read, “What do you do when a riot is going on and you can’t get to clinic? Go to the Zaculeu Ruins of course!!!”
Oh my! I realized I was facing another test in trusting the Lord with my family.
When those we love face danger, pain, or struggles, our hearts become especially vulnerable. When they do, that’s our signal to draw closer to the Lord, talk with Him, and believe He has everything under His loving control.
Draw closer to the Lord
James 4:8, NASB, says, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” Sometimes, when life is too comfortable, we can be tempted to become complacent and neglect our relationship with the Lord. Without realizing it, we can slip away from Him. In truth, He never leaves us (Hebrews 13:5), but we can lose our intimacy with Him, our awareness of His presence. We rediscover His nearness when we intentionally seek His presence. He promises us, “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13, NASB).
Issues involving family members serve to remind us that we need and must depend on the Lord. We reaffirm what is most important—our relationship with the Lord. We rediscover, as it says in Psalm 16:11, NASB, “In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” We find peace and safety with the Lord because He hides us in the secret place of His presence (Psalm 31:20, NASB).
Talk with the Lord
Psalm 62:8, NASB, says, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Prayer draws us closer to the Lord and reconfirms our reliance on Him. Prayer connects us to what the Lord is doing and unleashes the power of heaven around us. Prayer remains so essential and potent that we are admonished to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NASB). That simply means we are to talk with the Lord throughout our day, giving every concern, praise, and thought to Him. When we talk with Him, we invite Him to be part of our lives . . . we invite Him to be our life.
Rely on the Lord
Nothing can happen to us or those with love without God’s permission. He has authority and sovereignty over all. He holds those we love in the palms of His hands, and He oversees everything that concerns them. That’s why He tells us to “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 your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NASB). We don’t have to run the world because God already does.
There’s something else we must know in the midst of whatever is happening . . . We can’t see everything God is doing, but we can trust that He is always doing something in the circumstances around us (John 5:17). His aim is to bring good out of every situation (Romans 8:28), and what He desires is always good, acceptable, and perfect (Romans 12:2).
God sees the bigger picture, and we must rely on Him as He paints the canvas of our lives.
I don’t know what further adventures my daughter, husband, and the rest of the mission team will encounter in Guatemala. But I do know this: The Lord is orchestrating every moment of their journey according to His perfect, loving plan. They belong to Him first and foremost, and loves and cares for them as a perfect Father. He is touching their lives and the lives of those around them to accomplish His divine purposes. I can’t wait to hear all about it!
Please join me in praying for the Guatemala medical mission team!
Question: What has the Lord taught you through the struggles of loved ones? Comment at the link below.
Susan Jane King