If you attended our church on Sunday, you would’ve heard my daughter, McKenna share this story, but I want to share it again because ever since it happened I’ve not stopped thinking about the impact in made in my life….
Back in July, McKenna and I traveled together to Costa Rica on a mission trip. Going in, we both had different preconceived notions of what to expect. McKenna had an expectation of going to be a blessing to those we would meet, and to just experience her first international mission trip. I went with excitement to return to a place I lived for two years, to share my daughter’s first overseas experience and to just allow God to speak to me in ways that were new and fresh. Neither of us really knew what to expect, but we were ready.
On our first full day of serving McKenna woke up with an increased pain in her ear from the day before. What we had thought was just pressure from flying the day before, became very apparent that she was probably experiencing an ear infection. While at the home of a local pastor and his wife, we were rushing around trying to find a doctor that would possibly give her an antibiotic without seeing her, or some other medication that would help her immediately. As we all went into fix it mode, one of our guides on the trip, Sergio, came to where we were sitting and asked McKenna if she was the one with the ear pain. He asked if he could pray for her, but before he did, he spoke words to us that will forever stick with me, and have changed my perspective on A LOT of things.
He said, ” Why do all of you run first to medicine and a quick fix before running to God? You came from the United States BECAUSE of God, and to share Him with others, but you haven’t even stopped to pray for HIS healing and HIS help first?”
Ouch! Truth is, he was right? He said, “Let’s pray for her healing FIRST!” He laid hands on McKenna’s ears and prayed a simple prayer of healing to an ALL POWERFUL God. The next morning McKenna woke up with NO pain, and it never returned the rest of the trip.
“…you haven’t even stopped to pray for HIS healing first!” These words have reshaped so much of my thought process that I’ve clearly seen how much I had reprogrammed my mind and heart to look for the quick fix first, and then I would go to God. It seems to pervade our culture – this need for a quick solution, a fix it all pill, a “have you tried this first” mentality BEFORE we go to God. We’ve even believed for so long that other things will fix it all, that it has blinded us from how God has played little, or no, part at all in OUR solutions, yet we, the Christ-follower, have often convinced ourselves that He did. God has, indeed, brought good things into our lives – medicine, doctors, resources, etc – but Sergio’s words reminded me that we have the ULTIMATE good thing to offer first to whatever situation problem, or illness we face. I realized that my jump to offer an earthly solution when problems arose had become my springboard – the foundation – of my life, instead of the Gospel being the springboard. What if I woke up everyday and made the Gospel my springboard for being a successful wife and mom, successful in my job, successful in ministry (yes, ministry), successful in my health, successful in my day to day conversations and relationships? The Bible says “I am the way, the truth and the life.”(John 14:6) We’ve grown up knowing that, but do we really KNOW that? Is the Gospel your launching pad for every area of your life? Is it where you first go and ask God to guide you, or do you try everything else first before you approach Him? The Bible also says, “Every good and perfect gift comes from above?”(James 1:17) What are the perfect gifts God has armed you with to take God with you everywhere you go? That’s just what Sergio reminded us of on our trip. “Did you come here to give the people of Costa Rica GOD, or a medicine that saves man,” he asked. A legalistic statement? No, I believe as reminder that we ARE armed with the best medicine of all. He is the solution. He is our Healer, Provider, Sustainer, All-Powerful God…and SO much more. Tap into Him as your All in All today, and springboard into THAT abundant life as you head into a world that needs to know HIM!