Many of you reading this already know that my wife and I are going on a trip to Africa this year. We will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and, in the process, raising a large amount of money to support two needy children in a village near the mountain. We know that God has called us to go on this trip, and we believe He is going to do some amazing work through this trip. However, I was reminded recently of just how much this trip is about Him and not about us.
At a dinner party with some friends, we were telling everyone about the trip and how excited we are about it. We told them about the climb, the two kids, and all the money we had raised. After dinner, two different individuals took the time to remind me that this trip was all about what God was going to do. I know that both of these people meant to be encouraging, but, to be honest, it left me feeling a little disgusted.
When my wife and I were in the car heading home, I had to ask her, “Have we been making this trip too much about us and not enough about God?” As I thought back over the past 7 months of promoting and fundraising, I felt convicted. I wondered if we had been so caught up in preparing and trying to raise the money that we had forgotten what this trip was really about in the first place. I was reminded of a scripture in the book of Isaiah that reads, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isaiah 64:6).
I am writing this today from a place of complete humility, and I am reminded of how much it is a testimony of God’s love that we would even consider going on such a trip. Without God, I was nothing but a selfish person chasing after my own wants and desires. Without God, my time, money and resources went towards things that served no purpose to anyone but me. Without God, I was depressed and wandering aimlessly without a purpose. It is only with God, and through His redemptive power and love, that I would even think of going on such a journey for the benefit of another human being.
This whole experience has caused me to reflect, and to think back on who I was before I met Jesus. It was not that long ago, so I still remember what kind of person I was. I remember all to well what it felt like to be immersed in that slimy pit, covered in the mud and the mire (Psalm 40:2). It is easy to get so caught up in where God is taking us that we forget where He found us, and it is the latter that keeps us humble.
Thinking about my past no longer brings sorrow. Because of the work of Christ, thinking about my past now brings joy. It reminds me of how much God loves me. It reminds that, even though I was living all for myself and in opposition to Him, He still cared enough about me to intervene. He still pulled me out of that pit and placed me on a rock. Today, find the time to reflect on these questions. Who were you before you met Jesus? What is different about you now that you have walked with Him? If you have not yet made the decision to walk with Him, is it time to start?
“For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7)
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand” (Psalm 40:2).
“But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:32).