This week has been hectic with a capital H. Just let me recount for you one recent morning. Our Suriname team’s flight was canceled, and the airline wanted them to wait in the Miami airport for the next flight . . . five days later. Another airline made us empty seven trunks of supplies and stuff them into the students’ bags. We also had a student who fell to the ground in pain from a kidney stone as we were loading up for the airport. We took him to the emergency room, so he and one leader missed their flight.
When my team and I arrived in Panama, we found half of our equipment missing. And after 17 hours of stress, the national pastor told me I had a nationwide television broadcast in 30 minutes. When I returned from the television broadcast, one of our students had twisted an ankle. I finally crawled into bed, exhausted. Welcome to the life of a missionary.
As I write, I am in the midst of a journey. It would take the rest of the paper to explain all that is going on in my life. Physically, I am back in the country of Panama, in the Darien jungle toward the Columbian border. I am living with the Embera Puru, a people group I know well. Ten years ago, one of their villages made me co-chief of the tribe. Maybe I should have business cards printed: “Dr. Walker Moore, President/Founder of Awe Star Ministries and Co-chief of the Embera Puru tribe.” But titles never get you very far; it is the testimony of a man’s walk with his God that impacts the world.
Here in Panama, I have my hammock and mosquito nets hung. I have my Bible, 200 gallons of drinking water, rice, Spam and 20 students. To be honest with you. I don’t know which I like better: the students or the Spam. I grew up eating Spam, and it brings back lots of memories. It is the best source of protein you can take to the jungle. Cut off a thick slice, slap it on the sides of a blackened kettle and let the smoke sink in as it sizzles. When it begins to get crispy, pile on the Pork ’n Beans, add a scoop of rice and you have a meal fit for a king. I have often looked at our students while eating this meal and said aloud, “I wonder what the poor people are eating.”
So what about my spiritual journey? God is teaching me to trust Him. I have been one who has always looked to truth to sustain me through difficult days. It is good to know truth, and the truth will set you free (John 10:10). But God has been teaching me it is not about the truth but about the trust. Why? The truth is as only as deep in you as you trust the One who holds the truth. Peter knew the truth, but he couldn’t trust Him enough to get him from the boat to the Savior. I know many truths, but do I trust the One who holds those truths enough for them to become reality?
Even though Jesus was and is the truth, to Him, it wasn’t about the truth. It was about the relationship. When Jesus asked the question “Who do you say I am?” (Matt. 16:15b), He wanted to know, “Where are you in this relationship between you and Me, because that will determine how much you will trust Me with your life?”
For a long time, I thought truth would lead to trust, but it’s the opposite: trust will lead to truth. The more you know Jesus, the more you can trust Him, and the more you trust, the more you can walk out the truth. While Jesus was hanging on a cross he said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46b). He was quoting from Psalm 22. Verses 4-5 of that passage say, “In You our ancestors put their trust; they trusted and You delivered them. To You they cried out and were saved; in You they trusted and were not put to shame.”
On the cross, even Jesus was putting His trust in His Father. So although much has gone awry this summer, I can say while I sit here eating my Spam and Pork ’n Beans that all is well. With everything that has happened, He is showing me how to better trust the One who holds the truth.
Mom and Dad, do your children see you trusting Jesus? If they do, they will know the truth, and the trust will set them free.
Freedom and Spam. What a great combination!