“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” Psalm 24:1,2
I am fascinated by my relationship with two particular things: travel and water. Let’s look at travel first. My passport is still in a like-new condition, and I have lived in the same state my entire life. Yet when I do travel, I feel comfortable in those places. I don’t feel out of place at all. I would almost say that I feel more comfortable in other places. I don’t really know how to explain it. Maybe it is the same way that the Yankees can play better on the road than at home (or at least the same when they come to Detroit). There are fewer pressures, perhaps. Less worries. For me, it is a chance to just be me.
Even when I was in elementary school, I loved when our high school had exchange students. It was great to meet someone from another country. I had this habit of writing to them (pre-email pen-pals) when they returned home. My mom could probably tell you how I used to run out to the mailbox to look for mail from Germany or Sweden. It was exciting! In high school, I went to Cary, Mississippi for the first time and I felt strangely at home. The same was true of my trip to Nicaragua, and to Colorado, and to Boston. Certainly these trips were not under any hardship, but they have been reminders to me of God’s faithfulness. Of His changelessness. And His love.
Last year I read David Platt’s book, Radical. He challenged our often-comfortable thinking about spreading the Good News. He pointed out that we often like to insulate ourselves from God’s command to spread the gospel around the world. He called out thinking such as, “Well, if no one has told them the gospel…they will still go to heaven.” Where do we get that from? And what if we’re wrong? I gotta tell ya…that could keep you awake if you really thought about it. So maybe you should really think about it. I don’t know what the Lord has in store for me, but I look forward to the journey. A while back, when I began to consider writing more faithfully, I told my friend that I saw myself going over waters, but I really didn’t know what that meant. I do know that God will often wrestle us away from the comforts of home, and in those times we realize just how much we need him.
The second element here is water. I love it. And I cant swim. Doesn’t make sense, right? But time after time I think of illustrations connected to water. My favorite pictures to take involve water. And I could sit and watch an ocean or a river for hours. Last Saturday I took a walk around Timberwolf Lake. I was amazed at the conversations that I could hear on the other side of the lake. Later that night, we had quiet time to speak with God. I stood right by the lake. I remember thinking, “If I just whispered, I could be heard.” That’s what I want to do – to whisper.
Maybe now is not the time that I travel the world – but God’s Word can. And I’ll ask your help. If you have a friend in another country, would you consider inviting them to this group on facebook? (Don’t worry, they would be free to leave.) Or they can follow the posts at http://rootedandreaching.com Or, on twitter, the posts are linked to RootednReaching. If God’s Word, through my writing, can make a whisper across the water, who knows what that can do? And now, especially now, I invite you to think about your own whisper. The psalmist declares that “The earth is the Lord’s,” and your story is a part of that! You were made for more than just your neighborhood – you have brothers and sisters around the globe!
What would you like to share? Maybe it’s time to send a letter of encouragement to the missionaries that you support. Or maybe you can redirect your Christmas gifts through an organization such as Compassion International, World Renew, or the Haitian Bead Project. You don’t have to be someone other than who you are, just play your part in God’s big family! When I traveled to Nicaragua, I went with a very unassuming lady who simply did the things that she could offer. And I was fascinated at her and her husband’s story of missionary world travel. Even now they support refugees in their area and support the church’s missionary ministry. Use YOUR gift, submit it to God’s will, and speak across water.