II Cor 1:3-11
Yesterday was Sunday. Like every Sunday, I awoke ready to attend church. This Sunday, however, would be unlike any other I have experienced thus far during my stay in Peru. Lately, I had been noticing something that I had never really experienced to the fullest extent while on the mission field... Culture Shock
The culture shock that I was experiencing was causing me anxiety by the barrel-full. There had been many times when I had felt so stressed that I felt the need to escape to ease the tension hanging within my own ribcage.
Last evening at church, however, God showed up in a big way! During a panic attack, I stood a the front of the church in deep thought.
Why am I feeling so anxious? What is there to worry about? as I stood deeply immersed in thought, a voice not of my own interrupted, and GOD SHOWED UP!
I was reminded of Jesus' interaction with the man with a demon-posessed boy in Mark 9. The disciples were unable to drive out the demon, so the desperate man took his grossly troubled son to Jesus who said to him, "all things are possible for one who believes". The man cried out, "I believe, help my unbelief"
Standing in the middle of my anxiety attack, my heart uttered the prayer, Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief INSTANTLY, the anxiety subsided and a new inner strength that I hadn't felt since leaving Canada returned to me. I'm not quite sure why I had been troubled with the bouts of anxiety. I'm not quite sure why I had been experiencing such a massive volley of culture shock this trip. One thing that I am sure of is that the very same words that Paul wrote to the church at Corinth still remain true to this day.... "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort who comforts us in all our affliction". This comfort of the Father is not solely for our blessing, rather, "so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
It is a wonderful thing to be able to tell people that God comforts those who are being afflicted. When we are able to relate to someone's afflictions, the testimony that we carry provides all the more certainty that God still blesses with healing, comfort, love and care today. During my time in Peru, I have had numerous privileges of being a testimony that God's love, mercy and miracles still ring just as true today as they did during Christ's earthly ministry. We are comforted for a purpose.... We are
Comforted to be comforters
This is our calling....This is our ministry as followers of Christ