In This Issue...
- A Theology of Humor by Cheryl Taylor
- Ministering With Humor by Stephanie Nance
- Christian Leaders Having Fun? by Pam Morton with Kathy Jingling
- The Health Benefits of Humor and Laughter by Dwenda Gjerdingen, MD, MS
Believing God as a Missionary
By Brandy Wilson
I'm itinerating near my hometown of Lake Worth, Texas, and I am listening to F-16s crisscross the sky during maneuvers as I write. Yesterday I watched the big planes with my nephew. His fascination made me smile.
Many years ago, the sound they emit became one of my favorites in the entire world. During elementary school, as the planes flew low and fast, the windows in our old school building rattled, causing the teacher to stop and wait for the big birds to pass. My grandma (also called Sunshine) and I would sit on her front porch and listen to their deafening noise. She would tell me stories of the short Cuban Missile Crisis that affected my hometown some 20 years before my time. Perhaps it was a combination of her stories, voice, and sweet hands, along with the majestic Tom Cats, that made me feel comfortable.
I had dreams for itineration, dreams for my next term, and I headed off the plane with gusto.
It has been some 30 years since my first experience with the F-16s. Yesterday as that sound filled my ears, contentment grew in my heart. Our house has been sold; my grandma moved to heaven; and I'm all grown up. But the planes are still flying. Such a comfortable and meaningful sound for me.
Life has taken me to other continents, many miles from Lake Worth, Texas. As a missionary associate, I served in the Philippines. During language school about 3 1/2 years ago, I lived in Costa Rica. Now I've settled in Argentina, the land of my calling. It is beautiful. The language is glorious. People are fantastic. Work is challenging and keeps me on my knees. Colleagues are wonderful. Team members also serve as dear friends.Â It seemed as if life took shape and a schedule emerged. I think this phase is called "living the life."
Just as "life" began on the field, it was time for itineration again. I began the process of packing my house and heart up in boxes, storing them, and boarding a plane back to the States with only a couple suitcases and a carry-on. I left behind everyone and everything that has helped form a new normal for my life.
As I walked onto the plane, my hopes and dreams of connecting with friends and family back "home" and raising support in record time - the idea of going home - began to tickle like a butterfly in my stomach. Within a few hours I landed on home soil. I had dreams for itineration, dreams for my next term, and I headed off the plane with gusto.
Not long after beginning itineration, I realized (yet again) that home is no longer the same as when I was a little girl. My dreams for itineration were not coming to fruition as quickly as I wanted. Dreams for next term were now sending me to my knees with more vigor than I had anticipated. What was happening to the expectations, dreams, hopes, and wants of this season? They were being reshaped, and I did not like this process. I'm the type of woman who likes to dream, make a plan, execute it, and watch things fall into place.
When Jesus said, "My strength is sufficient, my power is made perfect in your weakness," I am quite sure He had me in mind.
When Jesus said, "My strength is sufficient, my power is made perfect in your weakness," I am quite sure He had me in mind. Trying to figure out what to do and make a plan is not my weakness. Allowing the Lord to reshape that plan is indeed a weakness of mine.
Why do I tend to trust my ways before trusting His? Why do my plans and dreams seem to be more exciting than His? Who am I? At times, I'm still that little girl who loves to dream and longs to fly.
Sometimes I strongly dislike the way Jesus reshapes my dreams and plans. His reshaping lands me on my knees. During this process, I find myself not trusting His voice, not trusting His hand, or His plan. All I want to do is ask why. Why do I feel this way toward my Savior, my Lord, my best Friend, the One who has allowed me to live this amazing life?
My answer is that I'm human, and the most appropriate place for me is on my knees. My strength fails during trials, during itineration, during dream reshaping. But His strength is made perfect in my weakness. That is the strength I need. I want His perfect strength to permeate my whole life.
Yesterday when the F-16s were on maneuvers and the sound filled the air, I was reminded of His grace. As a little girl, I wanted to be a fighter pilot and an astronaut. I wanted to travel the globe in space. He reshaped that dream. He had a different approach to traveling the globe. He chose me. He chose a little girl who loved to sit on the porch with her grandma and listen to the fighter jets fly over and designed her to be an ambassador - one who would take His plan to redeem the world - from the Philippines to Argentina and other locations in between. What a privilege to live out His dream that none should perish!
How could I not believe and trust the Giver of dreams? How could I not believe and trust the One who made me to fly? I cannot adequately answer. What I can do is make a fresh commitment today to allow His strength to overtake my weakness.
Perhaps it isn't the F-16s that create my favorite sound. Perhaps it is the strong, loving voice of my Dream Reshaper. Yesterday He used an F-16 to remind me of His faithfulness. He knows my language. He knows me. The more I am on my knees, the more I know Him.