A couple of hours earlier we had finished a concert — sharing Jesus through music and speaking with several thousand people — out in a grassy field. We were in the northern reaches of Cambodia, out in the middle of nowhere — the jungle. It was late, very dark, and raining. We were slowly making our way back to our hotel for the night. That’s when the three vans all started sliding as we made our way on a skinny mud road with deep swamp on both sides. And the worst was yet to come.
As the van in front of us started to slide into the swamp, our group leader, Bobby Michaels, invited us to pray together. He knew that without God’s guiding hand we would all be in the swamp. And he knew that up ahead was a bridge we had to cross that just might give way — with us on it.
All the vans stopped. Some of us got out to gather with people from the other vans — and we prayed. We prayed that God would give the tires traction, hold us on the road, and that He would support the bridge. (The bridge was nothing more than a few logs with planks thrown over them. When we crossed it earlier in the day there were a couple of local Cambodians in the river watching the little bridge to make sure it was holding.)
After our prayer time, we got in the vans, and suddenly wheels that a moment before did nothing but spin in the wet, muddy clay somehow found traction, and we all moved slowly forward. Then we arrived at the place we had been dreading — the bridge.
The downpour of rain — monsoon style — had caused the river to swell. There was great concern about taking the vans over it. The solution was a muddy and wet one, but nobody complained. We all got out of the vans, held on to each other (no one could stand since the mud was so slippery) and slowly shuffled over the bridge together.
We made it. And there were many prayers of thanksgiving that night. God got all the credit.
Every day of the two-week mission trip to Cambodia had a miracle of some sort like this. It changed my life. The stories are numerous. The experiences locked in place in my mind forever.
It’s easy to take the safe road — the one with the solid, dry pavement. But I’m convinced that life really happens when we stretch ourselves to do the uncomfortable, to get into the mud. That’s when we grow, when we discover who we really are and what God has called us to be.
Pray for guidance. Do something radical for Christ.
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