Changed By India 1: Closer to God

They say that traveling changes a person, that it expands their horizons and gives them a better perspective on life and people around them.  That’s what they say and I think they are right.  I’ve been to India 10 times for about a month each time.  God has used me to impact the lives of pastors in India, and He has also used India to impact my life.   For one thing, going to India has brought me closer to God.

I really don’t like to travel nor do I like to speak in unknown places to unknown people.  It’s all too far out of my comfort zone.  Too many things are out of my control and I have no backup plan to fix what goes wrong.  There are no guarantees everything will be smooth and simple.  In fact, I can be sure that won’t happen.

I’ve always believed God can be trusted to take care of me, but fear has been a life-long enemy of mine and something I’ve battled since I was young.  I have experienced God’s care and provision over and over while in India.  It is true that when God is all I have then God is all I need.  I don’t expect to avoid problems and difficulties but I do know beyond a doubt He won’t give me more than I can handle with His help and that He will be there with me no matter what.  I follow His guidance for I know there is no safer place to be than in the center of His will.

I remember some long, lonely nights of oppression and difficulty when I would lay on my back in bed and hug my Bible to my chest to bring me comfort and assurance so I could sleep. In times of outward misery we often find inside the sweetest fellowship with God.   It seems the worse the times were, the more real God’s presence and comfort were also.  I wouldn’t want to go through those times again, but neither would I give them up because of all they have taught me about trust and because of how much closer they have brought me to God.  The darker the night the brighter His love and peace shine through it.  God has used my whole India experience to draw me closer to Himself.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Is God allowing something painful in your life now, something out of your control that stretches your faith?  Are you allowing it to bring you closer to Him or draw you further away from Him?

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