Have you ever made an absurd promise to God? Not something impossible but something that was in the realm of possibility. I remember one of my first memories of making a commitment like that to God happened during the Summer of 2006.
That summer, I was in the process of completing my application to join the ROTC at Rutgers but had to sign the papers once my passport arrived later that year and so in the meantime, I decided to spend that summer traveling the world. With two of my friends, we backpacked across Europe for 30 days, visiting 9 cities across 6 countries. There were many nights of long conversations about faith, life, meaning and purpose. Much of those thoughts followed me as I moved from there and spent a month and a half overseas in Thailand with a small team of college students to participate in a campus mission trip.
The experiences in Thailand were incredible. The opportunity to befriend other college students in a foreign country and share the Gospel was such a unique opportunity and it empowered my faith. I quickly fell in love with the team, the country, and the experience and enjoyed every moment of our time there. So much so that I realized, I wanted to do this every summer. But more than that, God placed in my heart a conviction to do something even more for the ongoing ministry there and led me to make a preposterous promise to send them $3,000 by the next summer in support of all their efforts. It wasn’t a phrase back then but I really loved them 3,000.
I came back home with that experience close to my heart and decided not to continue my application for the ROTC because it would mean I would not be able to do what I found to be so incredibly fulfilling. Selfish for that joy, I knew it was something beyond just satisfying myself because it was bringing people to Christ and sharing with me His joy.
Like many college students, I came back and forgot about the $3,000 goal that I had written in my journal that summer. But I did begin to save up to give to the missionaries. It began with loose change and whenever I remembered. But lo and behold, after a year of sending little amounts of support, by the next summer, I added everything up and including my last gift, everything totaled $3,000.
For some people, it may not seem like much. But for an unemployed, tuition paying college student, it was an unbelievable amount. And honestly, I didn’t know how I was able to do it. When I realized that this was the amount I had promised at the very beginning, it really woke me. When we make commitments to God that are good and pleasing to Him, it is another joy to see God fulfill it without you even realizing.
I’d like to challenge you today, start making many promises to God that you know are good and pleasing to Him. Maybe some things won’t work out as you imagined but God’s purposes are always good and His will for us and this world will be done. But what a joy to have many more of your commitments fulfilled by God.
This memory is another reminder to keep making absurd promises to God that God wants to fulfill. Because it is an exhilarating experience you can’t compare to anything else in this world.
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.1 John 5:13-15