Flexibility: That’s the key word on a short-term mission trip. I’ve been preaching that message since my first trip to Mexico in 2007. You never know what you are going to encounter. So you have to take it as it comes.
The problem is that most of us like to be in control of our circumstances. We make plans. The flexibility part is covered in our contingency plans. Yet sometimes things spiral out of control and we end up overwhelmed.
This week we are in Houston. We are rebuilding homes that were destroyed in Hurricane Harvey. The people here know how quickly life can turn. One day they were making plans. The next day it all changed.
The people lost everything. Their homes, their cars and even their jobs disappeared overnight. Story after story pointed to the unpredictable nature of human life. We have all experienced this at one time or another.
There’s an old Yiddish proverb that says, “Man plans. God laughs.” It reminds us that we aren't in control. Yet, we know who is. It is God who has the power to set things straight and still these storms of life.
Trust means knowing that God has your back, especially when things are falling apart. One man told us that despite everything that happened, he knew God would provide. He didn’t know how. He simply trusted.
Funny thing is that a few minutes after he finished his story, he looked at us and said, “I think you are the ‘how.’” Maybe it isn’t so much that God laughs, but rather he uses ordinary people like us. That’s the funny part.
It’s another reason to remain flexible, because you never know where God is going to need you. Well, it’s time for me to get back to work. I hear someone calling my name.
The Rev. Cal Lord is pastor of Central Baptist Church of Westerly.