"I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: First, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done." -Hudson Taylor
I heard this on the radio today as I was driving home from the church and it really struck me. There are a lot of things in our life right now that seem like they may be difficult - or even impossible, and they are all things that we are looking to God to work through. I know in my heart that his timing is always perfect and right, but my head has been fighting against that logic!
The other day the church treasurer left the financial statement on Shawn's desk. We have just about enough to get through three more months of church. Three months. That is not a long time.
When we first came here we committed to one year. A year later it seemed that God was moving in some things that had happened that summer with a missions trip from the Rome church and people being saved and lives changed. There were not other things on the horizon, and we were happy to be here and be a part of what was going on. We felt that God had big plans for this place.
Between then and now there have been a lot of things that have happened (or not happened) in this place and in our lives. The church went from growing and seeming like it was going to make it, to knocking on death's door over the summer of 2010. And we really have no idea why. The people that were here were praying, loving each other, reaching out - yet things kept slipping away. It does not take a long time for a church of less than 20 to reach a point where we ask the question "What's next?"
And God saw fit to answer that. In the fall we started "Compelled" on Wednesday nights. We are currently getting new people each week, and have seen several people come to know Jesus or come back to him. I see students and families excited about reaching their friends. For the first time in probably 20 years in this church there is excitement in the adults - and life! We have been learning over and over again about running back into the Father's arms and resting in his love- of who we are in the eyes of God!
Yet it feels like we are on a time crunch. This finance thing is a real block in the very near future if God does not somehow miraculously intervene.
Then there is the added complication of our desire to be back overseas. We are currently still pursuing (as a family) heading to Sudan for full time ministry through World Harvest Missions. We went to Assessment and Orientation back in December thinking we would leave with more of a time line and definition of our future as a family. However, due to some things like psychological tests not being readable and the fact that they want us to do some counseling about a few things first, that was not the case. We had been hoping to know if we should look as doing some short term ministry while raising funds, or to know if we were not going overseas and decide what or where to look at next.
Instead we had more question marks. So now we ask - what is next? Do we trust that God is going to do something miraculous really soon and we can stay here? We are willing to do this. We have even talked about moving into the church and looking at part time jobs. Do we put out resumes? If so, for what length of time - interim or long term? Are we giving up if we do that and have we failed this church? How does this longing to be overseas fit with all these things? These are all questions that do not have easy answers. Many people have told my husband that he should get his resume out - three months is not a great amount of time to get a job of any sort right now. Yet how does he do that when he prays each day about what he should do and repeatedly gets the answers of "trust me" and "rest" and "I will provide" ?
So when I heard that quote today it was a reminder that God really is in control. Our lives and ministry are a great work of God. This time right now seems impossible. I have no doubt that the next few months will be difficult. Then suddenly it will be done- and it will be done exactly how He planned it to be. Perfectly in his way and his time.
I am choosing to believe this. Would you pray with my family as we trust. Lord we believe, help our unbelief.