I was reminded tonight of the spiritual journey that each us must walk as creations of God. I am currently facilitating a week long missions experience with 24 middle school and high school students. We sleep, eat and live at the church for the week while participating in various service/outreach projects throughout the daytime hours. While the cot I am sleeping on isn't cutting the mustard in the area of comfort I have been afforded the opportunity to be reminded of some easily forgotten truths.
One of our high school girls shared tonight about the journey that God has taken her on over the last several years. Growing up she was familiar with church but seldom attended and saw very little connection between her life and the God that she had heard about when she did attend. Through a renewed relationship with an old friend the invitation to attend our church was given and accepted several years ago. Since then, God has had this young lady on a journey that has led her to personally accept Christ forgiveness for her sins, take a missions trip to Nicaragua, lead worship on a weekly basis, witness to friends, forgive her father for past hurts, feel a call to missions work and ultimately attend this week long mission's experience.
As I listened to her story again this evening, I was reminded that each of us has a story not unlike hers. While the circumstances and names may be different, each of us is also on a journey. God is always moving in our lives, weaving in new characters, planting new thoughts or ideas and allowing us to interact with perfect strangers in sometimes bizarre encounters, all in an effort to grab our attention and never let go.
Too often we miss God's movement. We miss it because we're not looking. We're too close. We're too involved. We're too passionate. We're too stubborn. Take a step back. Pull back not he lever and take the plane to 30,000 feet for a bigger picture. When you do, you'll see God moving. You'll see Him behind the scenes. You'll see Him orchestrating your life in ways that you never noticed before.
Pull up. Slow down. Look around. You'll be encouraged by what you see.
Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of it, but I was ready to come home. By the time I arrived home from this trip I had slept 28 of the last 38 nights in a bed other than my own.
Prior to this vacation picture I had spent 3 straight weeks at camp, an additional weekend at a basketball tournament for my son and then an additional week in Nashville at a convention for our high school students. Vacation could not have come at a better time. Nevertheless, I was tired of traveling, tired of living out of a suitcase and tired of driving in a car.
What is it about being away from the familiar that makes us miss it so much? Why do we love what we love? Why are we such creatures of habit? Why do we associate the familiar with safety and security?
I was reminded during my busy season of traveling that God isn't restricted to a particular region or zip code. God is everywhere, all the time, watching over, protecting, providing for and never taking a break.
Hear this: you are never out of God's reach. He is always with you!