Okay, so my friend is driving me to the airport when he asks whether I am excited about my trip -- this journey that I will be taking to the Bahamas for the next 10 days to study evangelism and mission. I say that I am, a little. Honestly, I’m still stressing over the message I am to deliver tomorrow. It’s not done. I have snippets and bits of information that I feel God wants me to share, but the overall message, I’m still struggling with. “Seeking Jesus in the Midst of Chaos” seems to be the theme that God has me dealing with. I'm trying to figure just how the Magi in Matthew 2:1-10 teaches us how to look for the light and hope in the midst of darkness. I'm pretty certain this is what God wants me to talk about. For one, I can relate being that I too am in sort of a dark place. I'm a firm believer that the message is always for the messenger first and the people second. But yet, I struggle. Am I understanding the text the way I should? Will it speak to the people and meet the needs of what they are dealing with as they move into this new year? Will they receive me?
A weeks ago, another friend told me that knowing my audience really didn’t matter. He said that I simply needed to trust God. Easier said than done. Even a friend of mine who has strayed away from the Lord told me that. I’ve been trying. I’m usually done by now and have the outline of the message pulled together. By this time, I have rehearsed the message a number of times and even read it to my mother to get her feedback on its delivery and flow. On this one, my first international ministering experience, I feel alone. This uncertainty makes me nervous as I want to deliver the message that will meet the people’s needs. My colleagues tell me things will be fine. It’s going to be a long night . . .
PROBLEM SOLVED . . . AROUND 9 p.m.
As it would turn out, the night wasn’t as long as I thought. Instead of me not going to bed at all, I fell in around 3 a.m. (I had to be up and ready by 7 a.m. to take a 2-hour ferry ride to Spanish Wells so I could catch another ferry to the “Bluff” to get to the church.) Had it not been for Rev. Charles Lewis, I can’t rightly say what would have happened. I was so moved by his offer to welcome me into his home so that I could finish and print out my sermon for Sunday. It was just what I needed. As soon as I got there it was as though the message just poured out on the pages. God does work behind the scenes and goes before us. Now why I can’t seem to remember that or why that doesn’t just rest me with me, I don’t know.