Greetings, and welcome to the journey. When we plan a trip, we look at our calendars, check our finances, and determine when and where we will go, and for how long. But, unlike these trips, LIFE’S journey is unpredictable and takes us from the highest heights to the deepest depths.
In Genesis 12, the Lord said to Abram, “‘Go forth from your country and from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land which I will show you.’ And Abram went forth as the Lord had spoken.” Thus began Abram’s journey. At his highest height, “Sarah bore a son to Abraham and Abraham called the name of his son Isaac.” At his deepest depth, his lowest low, God said, “Take your son, whom you love and offer him as a burnt offering.” (Genesis 22)
In Exodus 3, God said to Moses “Come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh so that you may bring my people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.” Thus began the journey of Moses. A journey that would take him to the highest mountains, but also to the lowest valleys. There were times when everything was so wonderful, but there also times when everything was so wrong. In Deuteronomy 34, The Lord said to Moses, “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, I will give it to your descendants:’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.’ Moses died there, and God buried him in land of Moab.” Thus ended the earthly journey of Moses.
Genesis 37:28 reads, “So they lifted Joseph out of the pit and sold him to the Ishmaelites for 20 shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph to Egypt.” Thus began Joseph’s journey with unbelievable heights and depths. “Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear, saying, ‘God will surely take care of you and you will carry my bones up from here.’ Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years.” Thus ended the earthly journey of Joseph.
In Matthew 1, The angel said to Joseph, concerning Mary, “She will bear a Son and you will call His name Jesus. For it is He who will save His people from their sins.” Thus began the earthly journey of Jesus. No one else will ever experience the highs or the lows of Jesus’ journey. His words and deeds will live forever. “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.” To the paralytic, he said, “Rise, take up your bed and go home.” From the cross, He said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they are doing.” This is one journey that will never end. In Acts 1, as Jesus ascended into heaven, His disciples heard these words, “This same Jesus, as you have seen Him go, will in like manner come again.”
Now, let me tell you a little about my missionary journey, which began in the late 1970s. My first trip to Mexico was in a borrowed vehicle. I knew no Spanish, and had very little money. I slept in the car, eating sardines and crackers. I started at the very bottom. From there, I went to Atoyac, near Acapulco, where I slept in a borrowed shed overlooking a garbage dump, bathed in a water bucket and watched rats fighting as they crossed the rafters above my bed. I remember wondering aloud, “God, do you even know where I am?” That was my lowest low. But, last year I entered the most beautiful church that I have ever built in Atoyac and read the plaque thanking Mary Lou and I for bring them the Gospel. That was my highest height.
Twenty seven years ago, I pitched my one man tent on a hill overlooking Chenalho. I remember wondering, “Why am I here?” But. at the end of our convention there in April, there were 5,600people in attendance. Could there be a higher high than that? And the journey continues. Today I am in Chiapas, building yet another mission church. All of our earthly journeys will end, but that will only mark the beginning of our eternal journey together that will last forever.