Dec 1, 2016

A moldy situation

When you don't blink twice about baking the ants in your cake mix and then serving said cake to your friends,

When things like, "Oh look, a _________ (rat, tarantula, mouse, etc. - pick one or insert your own normally horrifying creature)," roll off your tongue just as normally as "Today is Tuesday,"

When you put your mostly wet clothes away with 95% humidity in the air and it doesn't bother you (because if it did you would have unraveled a long time ago!),

When your clothes, purses, shoes, ceilings, walls, furniture are covered in (*gasp*) mold and you know that there is no use in bothering with containment,

When you've suspended reality of your former-pre-cross-cultural life and traded it in for an alternate, current, very different reality, you know you are living the dream of missions.  Being a missionary can be a very moldy situation. Bare with me.

Mold is bad, right? (And we aren't talking about cheeses here!) Yes, but in a wet, tropical climate it is a reality that we contend with on a daily basis. We stare mold in the face and say, "Oh look, mold is growing on my shoes," while wiping it off and then putting the shoes on and walking forth in the name of Jesus to do His work.  It's not that we don't recognize that mold is bad, unhealthy and nasty. It's just that we have to learn to not let it keep us from thriving.

It's a moldy situation in the sense that it is necessary to come to grips with living with, struggling through, thriving amidst something what was (or currently is if you are reading this from North America) a negative buzz word and minimizing it down to an everyday reality that is normal, and then figuring out how to move beyond it.  Not everything can or should be minimized or made normal, but some things have to be.  Otherwise, we would all be rendered useless.

 I'll admit that I want a FIX when there is, say, a plague of tarantulas surrounding and invading my house/life, but that isn't always possible, likely, doable. And, sometimes the Lord is calling me to lean on Him to thrive amidst it all and not just survive, fetal positioned up in the corner. I am fairly certain that the lack of ability to "fix" things is sometimes a God send, pushing us deeper into relationship, reliance and trust in Him.

In an instant world where there is almost always "a guy for that," (that's the expression we use here when we need to find a way around a problem for which there is not an obvious direct route), especially in North America where there is access to a fix for almost every problem, we've grown accustomed to making our own way. We are mostly self-sufficient, self-reliant problem solvers - until we can't be (insert minion emoji banging head against wall here.)

There are some problems that can't be eliminated (apart from God), that don't have a "fix bugs now" button, that are way bigger than us, that are constant battles (i.e. mold), that require God to handle. Sometimes, we have to look mold in the face and admit, "I can't do anything about you, stinking mold. You are here and so am I. Lord help me!" and then move forward with the grace of God to the best of our abilities. God can handle any moldy situation in life, and He can equip us to deal with it, move beyond it, etc. He is awesome like that :)

You may not be a missionary or relate to what I've said about serving your friends ant-infused cake, but there is most certainly some "mold," in your life, a problem that you can't "fix" that maybe God is calling you to hand over to Him. Whatever your mold, God is able.

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