Have you ever noticed sometimes, many times, we make plans and they just don't seem to work out the way we had hoped. It doesn't mean we shouldn't plan, but I've been reminded about the difference of "doing mission for Jesus" vs "Joining Jesus on His mission." It's easy to be distracted and think we are doing what we are supposed to be doing; even within organized missions and churches.
There are good days and bad days of course, but lately I've been looking with new eyes. Some of this inspiration has been because of getting past the struggles of last year. Other inspirations are several books that I have been reading over the summer, refocusing me to be in close relationship with the Lord like men of faith from history: John Woolman, John Bunyan, David Brainerd, John Newton, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, William Cowper....
These are men that struggled with depression, set backs, discouragements and who earnestly sought after the Lord, although their plans did not turn out the way they expected.
David Brainerd for instance, sought to attend seminary at Yale. He started out there, but after a speaker (I believe Jonathan Edwards) spoke at their campus to encourage the students to follow the Lord's word even at the cost of offending others, David was eventually kicked out. One day in ear shot of some staff on campus, he said something to the effect of "so and so has no more grace than this chair." That statement got him kicked out of seminary. He tried, along with other advocates to get him back in to Yale, but to no avail. After much discouragement and depression, David received an invitation from a friend to apply to be a missionary to Native Americans. So for the rest of his life until he died at the age of 29, he served in this capacity and led several hundred Native Americans to faith in Jesus. He suffered his last few years with tuberculosis, but kept a good attitude and faithfulness to the call God had given him. Jonathan Edwards cared for him in his own house, with his daughter serving him until his death. The sacrifice that Edwards did not expect was that his daughter died shortly after.
I've made plans last year and everything was decimated. Nothing came out as I had hoped. But I have to trust God has his purposes, even in the midst of challenges which come from my sin, others sin and spiritual warfare. Yet we know, "..that God causes all things to work together for the good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
So I am earnestly praying for and expecting the Lord to move this year in ministry at WCC and beyond. I am watching even more keenly to the work He is doing and joining Him. I am showing students how to watch and listen for Jesus' work around them. The yoke is easy and the burden is lighter when we watch for Jesus and learn from him. I'll share more about missional communities in another post. But for now watch and pray!
Here you will find updates, thoughts, discussion and prayers for my life and ministry...