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Open Hands

Here’s a challenge for you: release your fists, open your hands, relent control. It’s always difficult to give things up, to surrender. “Our hands,” we say, “are tied.” The sad reality is that we willingly keep our hands bound because it’s safer that way, it’s comfortable and familiar that way. But, God is calling us to deeper depths, and that asks of us to fully trust in Him.

The constant forgetfulness of the Israelites wandering in the desert is frustrating. We want to yell at them, “How! How can you possibly be so quick to forget, so slow to remember God’s constant faithfulness?” And yet, let’s examine the contents of our lives. How quick we are to forget that God always shows up. That God’s glory is the end of all we strive towards.

“A lot of us felt like we weren’t doing much, which was frustrating at the beginning. We’re on a missions trip, we want to be doing things, but something God really taught me was the importance of serving in small, relational ways. It doesn’t have to be a huge project,” says sophomore intercultural studies major Amanda Chang, co-leader of Team Yucatan.

It’s funny, isn’t it, that we always put an expectation for God to work in the way we envision it to unfold, as if our way is greater than the Almighty's. That is how we primarily measure the success rate of a great missions trip. The more we venture into the kind of God we serve, the more I think we start to see that the best way is to relent control. To open our hands in the hopes that God will grab it and walk with us, regardless of the barricades and borders. He tore the veil so that we can be with Him. He invites us into community with Him. He calls us into the Kingdom with Him. So let's trust in Him.

Team Yucatan faded into the backdrop of behind-the-scenes work, opening their eyes to the heart of missions in a short-term missions context. When the team went about sharing the gospel, the linguistic barrier allowed for the locals to share the gospels with their friends and neighbors. God called the team to the humility of the gospel. “God used the small things we did. Missions is about sometimes doing the small things, not the glorious things, and it shows God, not us. The impact was different in that we did smaller things, so recognizing when we do missions or ministry, the simple interactions with people, God can use those. It can just change the attitude and posture we have towards people.”

Our posture in missions should be one of proclamation not of ourselves and the work we are doing, but of the reason why we demonstrate the greatest love that has ever touched us on earth. What is your posture today?

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