In a little over two months, I’ll be leaving with a team from my church for a mission trip in a Muslim country in the near east. As we prepare for our trip, there are many things I’m having to learn, including a new language and new cultural customs, but perhaps one of the biggest lessons I’m learning is more about the provision of God.
Each team member is responsible for raising the funding for our trip. Much of that funding comes from family and friends who we solicit to give through letters and emails. After sending out letters to potential donors I had several donations come in right away, but then the donations seemed to slow to a trickle.
I have to confess that I began to worry about whether or not I’d be able to raise the money. Even though I’d seen God provide in unexpected ways when I went on my first mission trip to Guatemala two years ago. Even though I’d trusted that God would provide for me when I signed up for this new mission trip. Despite all that, I still wrestled with worrying over whether or not the donations would come in. After all, the economy is far worse off than it was when I went to Guatemala. Money is tight. People aren’t as willing to part with their hardearned cash as they were previously. Perhaps I should just plan on paying the bulk of the trip expenses out of my own pocket and not try to count on anyone’s support.
Then I read Psalm 65. A Psalm about–you guessed it–God’s provision. And I was particularly struck by verse 12:
The wilderness becomes a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy.
A lush pasture out of a wilderness. Something from seemingly nothing. And not just something, but something lush. Abundant. Plentiful.
God was telling me that just as He can produce lush greenery in a barren plot of land, so too can He produce funding from seemingly out of nowhere.
I prayed that God would THAT WEEK provide a donation from an unexpected source. And He did, the very next day. And then He did it again. And once again today. Not just providing–providing abundantly.
And so while I gained some much needed funding for my trip, I gained even more faith in God’s ability and desire to provide for His children. Of course, this applies not only to providing financial means for this trip, but in every other area of my life–and your life. Sometimes He uses those barren places, places where we can’t see any growth or any hope of change, to demonstrate His almighty power and sovereignty. He is able and willing to bring something from nothing.