By Maureen Fox
During my week of serving with Samaritan’s Purse in Panama City, I learned the secret of success. This mission experience was unique for me as I participated and watched a team of “unskilled” volunteers repair 5 rooms in a family’s home in 3 days. In this home, we sanded walls and then painted them. We painted ceilings and doors. We caulked and installed cabinets, shelving and a ceiling fan. Also, we installed a “floating” floor throughout 5 rooms in this home. As I reflect back, it was truly amazing to observe this teamwork throughout our week of service.
Why was this week so very different than my typical workweek? There were no “egos” in the room. What was the secret to this success? It was complete obedience to God. How did we approach each day? We entered each day of work by “praying in” and we exited by “praying out”. Once we arrived at the worksite, we stood outside the home in a circle and we prayed: we surrendered to the Lord’s will and accepted his grace daily. Before we left the worksite each day, we gathered again in a circle and we “prayed out”: giving thanksgiving to God for his provisions that day.
I feel blessed to have watched in action how God equips the called. I have very basic skills in painting, but I definitely learned new skills during the week. Most importantly, though, I took time to focus my attention on Christ and where he wanted me to “enter-in” with these homeowners, who had been waiting over one year to have repairs completed on their damaged homes. Listening to these homeowners’ stories and their faith in Christ during these challenging circumstances brought encouragement to me in God’s steadfast love for us.
Why do the words “secret of success” capture my attention? This is a secular worldview; however, I found how this concept can be applied to my spiritual life. During my devotional time in Panama City, I prayed about “what does God tell me to do daily?”
- Abide in him: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (John 15:4);
- Depend on him: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
- And accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior: “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved” (Romans 10:9-10).
I also focused on this verse: “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9) God helped me to grow and learn to “pray in” and “pray out” each day. I would encourage you to try the same this week.