Dear Friends, David here. Who doesn’t want to survive? Well, physical survival is one thing, and spiritual survival through trials is another thing entirely.
The first of five conditions of survival that I’ll be sharing about from the U.S. Air Force Survival Guide is “Environmental Conditions.” Prepare to be challenged spiritually as you learn how to cope in the jungle of Laos!
Scott the Nebraskan
Scott shifted the pack of Bibles on his back. It would’ve seemed odd that this businessman from Nebraska was in the heart of Laos—except that Scott was a Christian, so it wasn’t odd at all. A rolling landscape opened through the jungle before him. The green was interrupted only by the flutter of colorful birds and the rare but bright flowers.
What did a Nebraskan know about trekking in the jungle a month before monsoon season? Just enough to get to the next village from where a smoke signal was already drifting skyward. Touching a leaf as wide as a car hood, Scott tilted it toward his mouth to dribble sweet water onto his tongue. By God’s grace, he would survive.
When it comes to survival, the first of five conditions that directly affects a survivor are the environmental conditions. Particularly, a survivor must adjust to and utilize the climate, terrain, and life forms for the mission at hand, even when those conditions are extreme.
In the spiritual life, a Christian must also accept the environmental conditions in which God has placed him, and learn to build the church using the “life forms” sent to accompany him. Some life forms may be preferred over others, but part of a person’s survival is enduring the conditions of the environment in which each Christian has found him/herself.
When a jet pilot is forced to parachute out of his jet, he doesn’t get to pick the environment he will land in, nor the life forms he will utilize for the purpose before him. And neither should a Christian expect God to bend to the Christian’s will. Rather, every environment and life form in the Christian walk is meant to produce growth in both the individual Christian, and the Body as a whole.
It’s not a matter of merely surviving for Christ, either, but thriving in Him to build up the other “life forms” around us. We can’t ignore the conditions of our survival.
Until next time, see you in the field!
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COMING UP: Next WEDNESDAY, David Telbat reflects on “North Korea: Crime Against Humanity.“