2018. Wow, it’s hard to believe that time has flown so fast. It was almost a full seven years ago that Lissa and I were married, and six and a half since we answered God’s call to the unreached.
It seems like life has been moving at a breakneck pace ever since that September night. Only one month later, we would be pregnant with our first child. April the next year, we were accepted and appointed to go to an unreached country to share the Good News. Since then it feels as if every moment has been spent raising children, raising support, and working to share the Good News with those who’ve never heard it before.
It’s been wonderful, but also very difficult. There hasn’t been much time to just BE.
Perhaps that’s why this past two months have been so hard on us, while we’ve been waiting for our visas: We’re so used to going going going, but now we have no choice but to stop. And wait. And be.
The waiting confronts me with uncomfortable questions:
What does my relationship with God look like when I’m not fully absorbed into “ministry”? Is my walk with Him founded on Him, or is it founded on the work (which in my mind sadly sometimes goes ‘the work that I’m doing FOR Him’)? What is left when I’m not in ‘ministry’?
It also reveals areas which maybe are neglected in my life. I see things in my family and marriage that maybe I missed because I was so preoccupied with doing. I see where I must be a better Father, Husband, friend, etc.
I’ve always known that I’m smart, but I’ve come to recognize that intellectual strength can be as much of a hindrance as a help. You see, much of the time I “know” the right answers, about my walk with Christ, my marriage, my family, etc (or at least I think I do). But knowing is different from being.
Or, as James puts it, “Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.”
This waiting period forces my hand, it causes me to self-diagnose, and see how much I still NEED HIM. It’s a painful, but healthy recognition.
I don’t enjoy delays or waiting. Yet, wisdom whispers in my mind to listen for and look for what God is doing in this time. I know that God is working at all times, perhaps especially in those times which I find uncomfortable. I can’t get stuck always looking towards the future, but be need to be PRESENT, so I don’t miss what God is doing right here and right now.