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CAMPING, CAUCAIA, AND CRAZY

We got home from a two week road trip that was riddled with high temperatures and sudden thunderstorms. We were camping in a tent, so this made this rather difficult from time to time with all the setting up the tent, taking down the tent, cooking food, and entertaining the five and two year old girls (they are our daughters, not some random kids we picked up). When we got home, we originally had planned a week of relaxation, cleaning, and repacking because we were off on a two week mission trip to northeast Brazil (to the city of Caucaia). Instead, there had been a death in the family and so we washed clothes, repacked, and headed out of town again for a few days. After the funeral, we came back home and had about two days before heading to Brazil. We hadn’t packed anything! 


We had to pack VBS supplies, gifts for friends, ministry items, bug spray, clothes...did I mention bug spray? The utter disarray of my living room, laundry area, kitchen table, and bedroom were stressing me out. I found myself walking in circles and not really accomplishing anything. Meanwhile, my husband was putting items in ziplock bags and distributing them between suitcases. He was trying to bring organization to all the crazy that was going on. Somehow, mostly due to my husband’s efforts, we got it all packed into four suitcases that weighed just under the maximum and got to bed at a decent time. This scenario happens in life so often. Things are chaotic, unaligned, crazy, wild, bonkers! And then suddenly it all just falls into alignment. And sometimes it falls apart. 


When we are working “according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28) we are going to find out that things, no matter how crazy they might become, will fall into place. Now, they might not fall into the place you thought they would, but they will fall into the place they are supposed to. This seemed to prove itself true time and time again during this mission trip to Brazil. It is a lesson that I have to keep learning because I am just not getting it! As good mission leaders we make a plan. What we are doing each day. Who is in charge of what meals. Who is leading the team devotionals and sharing time. What supplies we need to accomplish our ministry goals. We have a plan. Insert 12 other people and this little thing we call “life” and somehow these plans turn into more disorder than anything else. But you know what? It all works out. Everyone gets enough food. We all sleep some. Devotionals and share times happen. Ministry happens in places and in forms we didn’t plan and it is beautiful and authentic. Lives are changed. 


It’s like we could hand God this tangled up ball of junk we found in our pockets that we have been collecting for a while and he can make it into a beautiful work of art. And each time I just stand back and think, “Wow! How did He do that?” 


I don’t want to minimize the pain that disarray can bring. When your children seem like they are running away from truth and Godliness as fast as they can. When your marriage might be on the brink of disaster. When mental health issues are weighing down on you so heavily that just getting up is cause for celebration. When loss and pain are breaking down the doors to your home. These things are serious. God sees them and he hears you. He loves you and he wants to bring you through these times. And your testimony of triumph in these times will be an amazing tool to bring others through similar paths. 


Disarray isn’t always a bad thing though. Even the hardest times can be a beautiful mess that untangles in its own time. It can stress us out and confuse us, but it can also cause us to depend on each other and God. It can point us in a direction that we never thought we could or would go. And on the other side, where we find alignment with Him, we also find a beauty and peace that surprises us each and every time. 


So, if you are sitting in a big ole pile of crazy right now, try to enjoy the mess. Make a mud pie. Smear it all around. Take a big whiff of it. Throw your head back and laugh loudly at Satan and tell him “not this time!”. Don’t let it turn you into a monster that is striving for impossible perfection. Then make sure that your goals are to His glory and find rest in the fact that it will all align itself with His help. Think of it as the shackles of bondage being broken, because that is exactly what it can be. Let the promises of scripture speak to your heart. Let them give you peace. Allow them to re-connect you with His purpose and alignment will come.


Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”


Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”


Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”


Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”



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