Suddenly, you are on the mission field! And it is day TEN. The day of Miracles.
When I take a team on a mission trip to a foreign country, I prefer a trip that is at least two weeks long. Why? So we have a day ten! Anyone can survive an inconvenient and uncomfortable one-week trip. But take just a little longer – and God begins to do something.
When people are away from home, traveling to unfamiliar places, eating strange food, living in close quarters with people they do not usually spend much time with, having no privacy, and feeling useless, something breaks down.
It is on Day Ten when someone on the team runs out of deodorant. Someone else runs out of toothpaste, the snacks are gone, someone gets sick, there’s no toilet paper, and SOMEONE ELSE runs out of patience! When that person comes to me crying that they can’t take it anymore, they’ve had enough, they are at the end of their rope – I just smile and say “EXCELLENT!” What??!! Excellent??!!
I continue. “Yes, it is Day Ten. God has been patiently waiting ten days to get your attention. Actually, He has been waiting years, but these ten days have been crucial. After ten days, all of the insulation that separated you from God has been removed. No TV, no cell phone, no shopping, no gym, no sporting events, no place to hide, no deodorant, no makeup, no privacy, no car, no private bedroom, no hot shower, no running away, and no escape. You are stuck with this team and with me as your leader. So, this is probably the first time in your life where God has direct, unhindered access to your life, and you have no way to avoid it. Will you listen to what God is telling you – and learn it – or will you need to do this all over again!”
My advice is not usually well received at first. However, I have seen miracles happen when the individual realizes that I am serious. It is a beautiful thing to see someone connect with the Lord after there is nothing to hide behind. Sometimes that is the whole purpose for a mission trip.
Well, you are on the mission field and it is Day Ten. The number of days it takes to get to “Day Ten” will vary with each person, but the concept is the same. You have been quarantined for 14 days; it may take 21 days, or 30! You might be working from home – with the kids – and your spouse – with no privacy, no running away, and no place to hide. There are no sports, no social activities, no shopping, no gym, no restaurant to go to, and nothing to insulate you from God. It has all been removed. God has been patiently waiting for years to get your attention. He has used these few days to do it. The Lord has gotten the attention of the entire world in what seems like overnight.
The question remains the same. Will we (the world) listen to what God is telling us – and learn it – or will we need to do this all over again. Will YOU listen to what God is telling YOU individually – and learn it – or will you and your family need to do this all over again?
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13
The world is having a massive “DAY TEN” and they desperately need the HOPE that Christians have in abundance through Christ Jesus. Let us not rejoice in the pain and suffering, but let us say in our spirit “EXCELLENT” and get to work being the salt and light we were called to be. People cannot hide any longer, so let’s connect them to Jesus – and watch the miracles!
Pastor Paul Sandberg