So this Africa trip has kicked up far more "dust" than I ever expected. I mean, lots of people go on a "mission trip" for a week, right? Not a big deal. Well one could almost say that it's unnatural the amount of opposition, discouragement, and disillusionment that has surfaced over this silly week long trip. It's almost like God had plans of His own in store that I wasn't quite aware of when I "signed up."
Here's what I mean. About four years ago, my brother gave me a shirt for Christmas that had this cartoonish, smiling earth and the words "Little Miss Save-the-World." In a family that loves to tease, it was definitely a favorite that year. But in all seriousness, there was a reason he thought of me when he saw it!
So here I am, Little Miss Save-the-World, getting ready for my first trip to Africa. Talk about feeding the monster! Again I reference some of you who might be rolling your eyes or laughing along at the irony of my words. Well, I think God has been laughing too- and gently putting some things in perspective.
Over the last two months, I've been surprisingly discouraged by the disapproval of certain people. I've been surprisingly fearful about the amount of funds we need. I've even been surprisingly unfaithful in my pursuit of Christ in the midst of these realizations.
So in short, I've realized that Little Miss Save-the-World can't even save herself. And in the pain of disillusionment with self, Jesus has met me with the Gospel in a deeper way. Jesus, who sees behind my sorely mistaken "heroic notion" of myself, doesn't let me fall in order to "cut me down to size." Jesus, who sees the depths of my incompetence- more than I do in my greatest moments of clarity- doesn't reject me. Instead, He allows me to see (how quickly!) I come to the end of myself, in order to give me something gloriously better- Himself.
I'm learning- again and again- that He doesn't love me on the basis of my love for Him. And He doesn't do any good thing in me on the basis of my "power"- because I have none on my own. In this I'm reminded who the real Savior is- and that He is saving me.