Rembrandt, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee, 1633
So there I was, cruising down I-10 at 5 AM with my home in Houston in my rearview mirror and the great unknown of my missionary summer ahead of me. I did not feel prepared. I had spent entirely too much time during quarantine making myself as comfortable as possible. I had so many earthly comforts to keep me secure; my bed, Netflix, and my family’s food kept me safe and distracted from any real sense of purpose or responsibility. It was almost like I was sleepwalking through life. As I was driving away from all these things, it suddenly struck me just how much of my life was about to change. I was heading towards a place where I would have very limited internet access and private space. All of my distractions would be stripped away from me. The comfort of the established relationships I had with family and friends would be taken away, and I would have to invest in new friendships and form new habits. I felt as though God were taking away all the fig leaves I had been using to hide myself from Him. Rather than attempting to numb my existence with mindless pleasures, I was entering into a new adventure with Him. He was taking me to a place where nothing was certain, nothing was secure, and nothing was safe except for my dependence upon Him.
And as the summer has progressed, He has shown me this time and time again. He has been teaching me slowly and surely to trust in His perfect will for me. He has told me, “William, I am all you want. I am all you have. And I am all you need.” I am no longer in stagnant waters, but rather I am sailing freely on open seas. He has brought me out to the deep, where I can clearly see the waves crashing and hear the winds howling, and yet still I sit calmly in my boat as He sleeps by my side. Somehow, I have greater peace and joy in the midst of these storms than I had when everything was calm and easy. Even though it is its own type of burden, Christ’s yoke is marvelously light. Entering into the storm with Him is so much more fun than grasping for safety. He has been teaching me the trust of a child, an unquestioning receptivity that delights in every decision of the Father. I am not sure what my future will look like, or how I will make a living, or what kind of community I will be a part of. By worldly standards, my life is currently a train wreck. I have nothing, and yet I have everything I could ever need. I have the freedom to live as though the Word of God were actually a man of his word.
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