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March 30, 2020

I had been to Costa Rica several times before this experience happened. The first time I had been invited to be on a workteam and fell in love with the country and people and culture. I then started leading workteams and made a lot of friends. This particular time we were helping to build a church and bathrooms in a remote area. We had been there several days and one of the Costa Rican leaders came over to me and said: “Hoss (nickname I got when I first came because they like Bonanza), let’s take a break and we’ll take your group for a short walk through the rainforest. I will lead and you follow behind the group and make sure we have everyone.” “No problem.”
We went on the walk, along a small river, saw a waterfall and then started heading back. On the way back, we crossed a fence (yes, a fence in the rainforest but that is another story) and I held the wire down until everyone was across and then I released the wire. As I did, I saw something move about 6 feet to my right, just off the path and in the rainforest. My eyes followed the movement and slowly I scanned and there was a tail. I scanned back to the left, too the original point and kept scanning until I saw this huge head… SNAKE!!!! It was by far the largest snake I had ever seen in the wild! It was like 24 inches round and like 100 yards long!! Ok, I may be exaggerating 😊, but it was large (it was a Boa Constrictor and yes, a snake in my life again). I started perspiring, my chest hurt, I couldn’t breathe, I prayed for calmness and peace and I… RAN! I caught up with our leader and (still having a hard time breathing) whispered “SNAKE!” “BIG SNAKE!” He shrugged and basically said they were all around us. I promised then to follow the great words of Teddy Roosevelt: Speak softly and carry a big stick!
We pray for calmness and peace but then we run before God can provide. Anxiety! It can take our breath away. How many times do we get into situations where we are stressed and anxious and it feels like we cannot breathe? Max Lucado writes: “Lift up your eyes. Don’t get lost in your troubles. Dare to believe that good things will happen. Dare to believe that God was speaking to you when he said, “In everything God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28) The mind cannot at the same time be full of God and full of fear. “He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!” Isaiah 26:3).
Are you troubled, restless, sleepless? Trust in God. Anxiety passes as trust increases. Jeremiah draws a direct connection between faith and peace. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green and will not be anxious in the year of the drought. (17:7-8)”.
I close with this story from Max Lucado: “Many years ago I spent a week visiting the interior of Brazil with a longtime missionary pilot. He flew a circuit of remote towns in a four-seat plane that threatened to come undone at the slightest gust of wind. Wilbur and Orville had a sturdier aircraft. I could not get comfortable. I kept thinking the plane was going to crash in some Brazilian jungle and I’d be gobbled up by piranhas or swallowed by an anaconda. I kept shifting around, looking down, and gripping my seat. (As if that would help.) Finally, the pilot had enough of my squirming. He looked over at me and shouted over the airplane noise, “We won’t face anything that I can’t handle. You might as well trust me to fly the plane”.’
Is God saying the same to you?

About Rev. Bud Budzinski

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