I spent most of my 20s as a full-time missionary. My faith was growing and maturing as I spent time with Jesus, savoring our precious moments together. I was eager to learn and grow in my faith and had plenty of opportunities to glean from those who'd been in the faith and field far longer than myself. It was a wonderful period of time in my life.
But it wasn't without trial. There were times when I had to trust God - as Provider, Healer, Father, Friend. And trust has never come easy for me. Not when I've felt abandoned, lonely, hurt, lost, rejected, sick. Whether real or perceived, my circumstances left me cynical and unable to fully trust.
One of the perks of being a missionary is traveling to exotic locations. At the beginning of my tenure as a missionary, I had the honor of being on a team headed to India and Bangladesh. I was beside myself knowing I'd be going back to my beloved India as well as going somewhere new. Expectations were high as God had answered my prayers in putting me on the team and had provided the finances to go. What could possibly go wrong?
Knowing my past experiences with mission trips, I should have known that it's never perfect. This time was no different.
Just a couple days into the trip, I got sick. Nothing to worry about, just a little cold with some flu-like symptoms. One day with a fever that kept me back at the hotel.
Then we get to Bangladesh. My symptoms got better and I spent a week doing dramas and painting and building relationships with people.
Then I got sick again. Like horrible sick. Teeth-chattering shaking chills and feverish kinda sick. Throwing up while sitting on the throne kinda sick. The worst kinda sick while being 10,000 miles away from home can't call your mama kinda sick.
And I got granddaddy hives on top of it all.
I cried. I prayed. I begged God to make me better or send me home or something.
In the midst of my moaning and groaning, I heard God ask me a question.
God is fond of asking questions.
He asked Adam and Eve "where are you?" while they were hiding in the garden.
He asked Job "where were you when I laid the foundations of the Earth?" while he was suffering.
Jesus asked Peter "do you love Me?"
And God asked me while I was miserably sick, "if it never gets any better than this, am I worthy?"
Wow. What a question. Seems kinda loaded if you ask me.
But then, and now, the answer is the same. A resounding "YES!"
Yes, He is worthy! Always and forever.
Circumstances have a way of clouding our vision, of making us think that God has abandoned us or forgotten about us. Or worse, that He is the one inflicting whatever pain or injustice we're currently suffering.
In fact, He is the one who despite our circumstances and what we think about them, He is worthy. He is worthy of our lives, our sacrifices, anything and everything we have to give. Not because of who we are but because of who He is.
He who created all with a word.
He who gave all with His life.
He is worthy of all my words and my whole life. Whether it gets better or not.
He is worthy.
Has God ever asked you a question? What did He ask? How did you respond?
And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, (Revelation 5:9 NKJV)