Take nothing for the journey. 

Don’t take money on your trip.   Don’t pack a suitcase.   Travel insurance?   Don’t bother!   When you arrive at your destination, just look around for someone who seems friendly, and stay with them.

If a travel agent gave you that kind of advice, you’d probably walk out of his office!   But this is pretty close to what Jesus says when he tells the Twelve to take nothing for their first missionary journey.   They were traveling from village to village—shouldn’t they plan their trip, make arrangements, and have extra supplies?   Nope.   Planning and preparation are not bad things, but Jesus didn’t want them to miss the chance to see God provide for their needs.

Jesus was sending out his disciples to heal and preach.   But he was also sending them out so that they could learn to rely on God for all their needs.   He wanted them to know that it was their heavenly Father who provided for them and gave them the words and power to work in his name.   It’s a lesson he wants to teach all of his followers.

Church history is full of examples of saints who stepped out in faith even when they did not have what was required for their task.   And God provided for them!   Think of John Bosco, who was famous all over Turin, Italy, for feeding the masses of orphan boys with bread or chestnuts from a near-empty basket.   Or think of Mother Teresa, who often had no food for the people she cared for until she received a last-minute donation at dinnertime.

Don’t let your lack of preparation or resources keep you from starting to serve.  Things don’t always work out perfectly, even for the saints.   Even the apostles had their ups and downs.   After this successful missionary trip, they still misunderstood Jesus, abandoned him, and even denied him.   Your experience might also have ups and downs, but that’s okay.   Just take one step forward and let God provide what you are lacking.

Go ahead and start a conversation with that child of yours who is having a hard time in school.   Let God provide the courage for you to bring up a sensitive topic like your spouse’s spending.   Trust him to give you what you need so that you can serve the people in your path.

Word Among Us

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