Posted: 6/14/16 at 11:15am. Blogpost by Drew Dellinger
The escalator slid kuh-wump kuh-wump kuh-wump down in time with the racing of my heart. In thanksgiving we can entrust God with our past. In petitioning prayer we can entrust God with our future. In active moving we can trust God with our present; thusly, we walk by faith. Or in my case, I ride alone down an escalator toward international airport security by faith.
I’ve never flown by myself and I’ve barely flown internationally. Now, I’m doing both. As much as I love a good adventure with crazy situations and me doing my own thing, when it’s my first time flying and I just got off an 11 hour flight and I didn’t get to sleep on said flight and I’m alone and my plane in Istanbul begins boarding at 4:30 and I just got off my plane at the Istanbul airport at 4:55, I’m not in the mood for adventure (I’m in the my-pants-are-scared-off mood not get stranded in a Turkish airport for the rest of my life).
Hectic daily moments are when we face questions like:
How do you have joy, peace, love, and a kingdom focus when everything’s unfamiliar?
Or when you need to use your time efficiently and effectively?
Or when everyone that knows you well is a world away?
Or when you’re an intern to German speaking populace,
and you speak less German than a French poodle?
I would respond, “By faith”.
Now, to some, that may sound like a cop-out response.
Sadly for those people, copping out isn’t really a viable response when you’re about to miss your connecting flight.
With that being said, here’s a few ways that I’ve found “by faith” applying to things like daily logistical issues, new situations, and getting olive oil squirted your pants by an elderly Turkish woman:
1. Commit your ways to God. Psalm 37:5-6a, “Commit your way to God, trust in Him and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the sun”. We need to be offering everything up to God in prayer as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2) beforehand saying, “Do what You want with _____, not what I want.” If we do, then when something that we’ve planned wisely seems to pop off the rails we are assured that the hiccup is there for a reason. We may never know that reason. By prayerful faith in God the faithful, we declare that He has control over our lives, and thus impatience, frustration, fear, desperation, and other self-relient responses are pressed out as we act on those prayers. In our obedience, are we stubbornly flexible or flexibly stubborn?
2. Before, during, and after, fix your focus on Christ. Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is fixed on You.” This is merely a part of what it means to love God with all of your mind (Matt 23:37), to “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matt 6:33), and to “take captive every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). But think about that. Our minds literally produce thousands of thoughts everyday, and we are to literally take every single one captive to the obedience of Christ. When in the daily crazy (or the running through international airport crazy), it’s important to put faith in God by –actively– keeping in mind the that the Spirit who has calls us to these places is also with us in these places even when He is allowing the “worst” to happen at these places. The God who plans also provides. Are we more focussed on the God of our plans or the plans themselves?
3. Give thanks. Psalm 50:25a “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me;” Personally, when I carefully, diligently, or courageously do something precious, but it still has the appearance of blowing up, this is rarely anywhere in my response, but simply because the current situation wasn’t the expected situation does not mean that grace was absent. Even when we can’t see Him give grace obviously in these moments, we can look back into our history and give thanks as we see the grace God has given. This is hard; it can hurt a little and cost a little to genuinely give thanks. I think maybe that’s why it’s called a sacrifice here. Thanksgiving for past grace is, by faith, declaring that He still lives and that He still loves. Am I only having hurt or am I also having hope?
That’s a few thoughts from my first few days.
Today I drank authentic Viennese coffee, got a walking tour of Vienna’s jaw-dropping history and architecture, and enjoyed building relationships at a middle-eastern Bible study. I think tomorrow I’ll be helping with the church’s street fair and meeting the rest of the church.
Actually, in faith, I’m going wherever God leads. I may end up building the kingdom and loving people in some way totally different!
(Starbucks is authentic. Trust me)
Read more about the 2016 summer missionaries.