Monday, October 31, 2005

God works in many, sometimes funny, ways

God works his love in so many numerous ways, it's hard to figure out where to begin the stories I have to tell about our mission trip. There are so many to tell and I don't want to leave a single detail out. I think the best thing for me to do is tell one story at a time. That's the best way I can think of for me to process everything I have learned over the last few days. Don't expect any chronology, but hopefully, you will still see the glory of God through them. Hopefully, you'll see how Christ loves us all and forgives our transgressions.

Since, this is me telling the story, I'll first tell you a funny tale. Well, it's at least funny to me. Before leaving on this trip, it occurred to me that we didn't know what food we would be served. And it was pressed into us to eat whatever was served; a gracious Christian is happy for the nourishment the food provides and isn't concerned with taste. I told God that no matter what was served, I would eat it gladly. Even if it were beans.

I hate beans. As a small child, my parents forced me to eat pork and beans once and I've been scared of the magical fruit ever since. But, if God provides us with beans, then beans is what I was gonna love to eat. And drink a ton of water with each bite. And smile the whole time. I will humbly be (and was) thankful for whatever food is provided.

We pretty much ate like kings. That's not to say we had rich, wonderful foods and glutted our stomachs on the vast amounts of delights offered. No, we simply were thankful for the bounty provided - three pretty square meals a day, well, as square as hot dogs will allow for a meal. Bacons and eggs one morning, biscuits and gravy another. Spaghetti, gumbo (which we were late getting back for and nearly didn't eat for it was almost all gone), hamburgers, hot dogs. Thank the Lord for the wonderful food that provided us nourishment.

We ate well enough to survive and provide our bodies fuel. And I was thankful that beans, or anything else I'm picky about, had yet been served. Then, came the last night and BBQ Chicken. And where there's BBQ Chicken, it's side-serving toadie, pork and beans, follows. Sure enough, my old nemesis, the beans, had reared it's foul head.

But, I remembered my vow - humbly, I will eat whatever is served. So, I got my BBQ Chicken, I got a scoop of pork and beans and I got two big bottles of water. I said my prayer of thanks to the Lord, "Thank You for providing this food. May it nourish my body as You nourish my soul." I pressed my fork into the beans and took a deep breath. Closing my eyes as if that would ease the pain my tongue and guts would soon suffer, I put the beans into my mouth and began to chew.

And do you know what the good Lord did for me? He made them taste good. I took that first bite, got the sensation of what beans tasted and felt like on my tongue and I chuckled. I looked up to the sky, pointed up, and told God, "You're funny." Yeah, there's no real great wisdom there, I guess, but for me that was a God moment.

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