We are so focussed on the future in Japan, thinking so much about the next step, that we easily trip because we don´t watch where our foot treads now. We trip and hurt and lose our speed when today is so heavy laden with the thoughts about tomorrow.
Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Hanno reads these words to the students last Friday. It´s early in the morning and it´s getting cold here, so the students sit before him cuddled up in blankets and jackets. It´s hard to tell if they are actually listening.
“This passage is the reason why you never see a Christian worry”, he quotes David Pawson. A few students giggle. Not everyone seems to be asleep.
Sometimes the best way to trust today and not to worry about tomorrow is to remember yesterday.
That´s exactly what Hanno does as he continues:
“It was about two years ago, around this time of the year. I had been told about a three-week training in another city that equips you for intercultural living and church planting. Of course, I didn´t have to think twice whether I was interested and told the organisers that I would attend.
In my excitement I forgot to inquire about the cost. Later, I was told the price and it almost exactly matched what I had in my bank account at that stage. I paid – and then I started to pray, because I still had to cover the transport costs. I went ahead to find the cheapest option to get to the training. It turned out to be an 18 hour bus drive that I could just about afford.
I booked and made my way there.
The training took all the ideas that I had about missions, church planting and culture and gave them a good shake as I learned more about what was actually effective in introducing Jesus to people and cultures that had no concept of a Biblical worldview.
I took in as much as I could – but in the back of my mind one question grew more and more urgent: How was I going to get back home?
Another couple that attended the training seemed to be an opportunity to get a ride. But when I asked them they apologised and explained that they would spend a week in another town before returning to Pretoria.
I was stuck. And I knew that this was an issue between me and the Lord. He was the One that I claimed to trust. So I didn´t just want to run to people with my need and ask them to help me out.
About halfway through the training, I got an email. A co-worker in Pretoria asked me whether I could have a look at a car. I agreed and after I reported back, he told me that he would like to buy this car for the ministry.
The car had a few issues, so I had to go back to the seller a few times, but none of that seemed to sway my co-worker from wanting to buy this car.
“Could I ask you for a big favour?”, he eventually asked. “Would you mind driving the car up to Pretoria when you are finished with the training? I will of course cover all the costs involved.”
That´s how God paid for my ride back home.”
The students spread out to spend some time alone with God and we walk back to our house. We don´t say anything, but we both know that we have been preaching to ourselves.
Why are we worried about the journey when God pays the ride back home?
And why are we worried about tomorrow when He sustains us today?