Written by: Mason Harmon
There I was. Out of breath. Heart pounding. Mind racing. It was 7:23 a.m. on July 28, and I had barely made it onto my flight before boarding cut off. That was the beginning of my student mission experience.
Little did I know how similar the mission field in its entirety would be to the hectic airport experience that started it all. Since that day almost two months ago, I have coped with culture shock in a country I did not know I would be serving in until three weeks before getting here. I have faced numerous water, power and internet outages that seem to happen at the worst times. Almost daily, I have felt a persistent overwhelmed feeling about the work to be done with so few people and resources.
There have been days when I have felt utterly exhausted, others when I have called home crying and many more when I have felt a sense of hopeless frustration. Until recently, all these things had built a wall between me and God. As the challenges mounted, I routinely questioned why I was here, what difference I could make and if He was really a part of this mission year. Then, one day, when the electrical outlets burned out in my apartment, and the mission compound water pump broke, I decided I’d had enough.
I cried out to the Lord in anger — and I mean a deep anger — and He heard me and answered me. My fury ceased, and my attitude changed. There was a moment of silence when I only felt my heartbeat pounding. Then it hit me.
God was there; He had always been there. I just hadn’t been looking. I had allowed myself to get so caught up trying to handle the mission that I had completely missed the purpose of the mission.
I had been struggling to live out the mission plan I had envisioned two months ago, but I had not been consulting the great Mission Planner. With this realization, I made a dramatic change, and I began to pray, not for the mission, for the difficulties or for personal endurance, but for a new vision.
I wanted to finally see what God could see, and I wanted to start taking on the mission from His point of view. Since that prayer and the many more that have followed, my vision has begun to change. I no longer see the problems, personal concerns and a path clouded with uncertainty. I see tests of faith, endurance builders and a path laid open for me that promises a tremendous impact.
This perspective realignment has allowed me to follow His mission plan and let go of everything else I had let get in the way. As I have worked to follow His guidance and leading, I am regularly reminded of a promise in His Word.
In Proverbs 3:5-6, Solomon writes, “ Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (NKJV).
This verse perfectly summarizes the lesson I am still learning and provides insight that every person should take to heart. No matter what phase of life you are in, your personal aspirations or your concerns for the future, God’s plan should come first. His plan comes with the greatest vision, the best destination and, most importantly, the perfect Person to guide you along.