I needed to hear that! God with us! Immanuel!!! What a promise. What a truth that penetrates down into the deepest parts of the soul. God used this last weekend’s message at Summit (thanks Justin) to comfort my soul. God is with us. There is no need to fear. There is no need to worry. The key is simply to know where to look.
I look up to the mountains— does my help come from there? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.”
Psalm 121 NLT
We are still praying about the future and figuring out where to go. The good news is that our hope is secure, for our hope is not in what we do but in Christ alone. Immanuel…God with us!!! Amen!
We are excited to make a decision and then run the race set before us. Until then, we will wait and allow our souls to rest. Isaiah 30:15 says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” So, we rest and trust, enjoying the time that we have had as a family, and prepare our hearts to hear from God. Then, we obey and walk in faith for God is with us!
I woke up this Sunday at 4:16 am to the sound of Jeremiah waking up. While waiting for him to put himself back to sleep, which he didn’t do until I changed his diaper and gave him a bottle, I had a thought that set me free. No matter which choice we make, no matter where God is leading us at this time, it doesn’t mean that we will be doing it for the rest of our lives! God may be leading in one direction for now and may open up different doors in the future. I had the idea stuck in my head that I was making the last decision I would ever make. It made me feel a LOT of pressure.
But, that’s what I love about God! I was focusing on the details and God helped me get a new perspective. And another cool thing is that our future is always wide open! Our present doesn’t define our future. God does!!! That sounds good to me!
I had a great visit at MAF. I got to see Asher and Ashley Sears (friends from Summit), Greg and Julie Dole (friends from SMAT), fly a Cessna 206 Turbo, tour the facility, and spend time talking with some MAF missionaries. It was a great trip and I was able to get a good idea about what they are doing and how we might fit in.
So, while we don’t know where we are going just yet, we do feel like we are getting closer. It has been fun to dream about what could be! We want to be obedient. We want to bear fruit. We want to use our gifts. We want to be effective. What is the best option? Where is God leading? What are we the most passionate about? These are great questions to be able to ask!
I have spent the last few days in AZ to visit the Chi Alpha Campus Ministry at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Both Jessica and I were a part of this ministry during our time in Prescott and we love what they are doing with college students. The ministry centers around community and discipleship. Kevin and Kim MacFee moved to Prescott in the late 90’s after working in youth ministry. Kevin was at his home church one day and heard about a former student who had gone off to college and completely abandoned his faith. This affected Kevin so much that he was determined to work with college students. They have been faithfully serving in Prescott ever since.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Kevin and some of the other staff workers to ask questions about the ministry and see if there is a place for us to serve. I attended the Friday night service for Chi Alpha and then went on a hiking trip up in Page, AZ. We hiked two different canyons and I had the chance to hang out with a number of students. It was great to see how the ministry continues to develop deep, meaningful relationships through shared experiences. It was amazing to hear some of the conversations that took place in the cars, over meals, while scrambling up a bunch of rocks, playing cards, and while taking in a breathtaking view.
I fly home on Tuesday and then drive up to Nampa, ID to visit MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) headquarters. I am going to meet with some of their recruiters, fly a plane for a consult flight, and spend some time in their shop. It is a way that both parties can see if it would be a good fit. I can ask all of the questions that I need to ask and they get to see if I have the skills/personality that they are looking for in a pilot/mechanic. We still have the option to serve as a mechanic with JAARS but we want to explore all of our options.
Adelina and Jeremiah are doing great. They continue to get settled now that we are not living out of suitcases. Adelina loves to go to music class and play hide-and-seek. Jeremiah has two bottom teeth and he smiles constantly. Jessica has sent off a children’s book to a publishing agent and we are waiting anxiously for any news! God continues to reassure us and walk with us as we dream about our next adventure. Thank you, thank you, thank you for praying and standing with us. We will keep you all posted and let you know as soon as we know anything new!
In these weeks after receiving the news we have been asking, “Where is God leading?” I am tempted to make this the focus of all my quiet times and prayer times. “God, what is your will for our lives? What is the plan?”
This is not the right approach. I was reading in Oswald Chamber’s “My Utmost For His Highest” and I was struck by the entry on October 18th.
“The key to the missionary’s devotion is that he is attached to nothing and to no one except our Lord Himself…The duty of a faithful missionary is to concentrate on keeping his soul completely and continually open to the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. The men and women our Lord sends out on His endeavors are ordinary human people, but people who are controlled by their devotion to Him, which has been brought about through the work of the Holy Spirit.”
I realized that I should not spend my time seeking God’s will! My job is to seek GOD!!! Correct me if I am wrong, but I cannot recall any time in which we are commanded to seek God’s will. However, over and over I see the command to seek God and draw near to Him. God will make His will known, but my job is to seek Him and draw near to Him. It goes back to seeking the blessing instead of the giver of the blessing.
So, for now we will rest on the promise of Isaiah 30:15 and 18. “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Hallelujah!!!
This doesn’t mean that we are just sitting at home and doing nothing! I am going to be taking two trips over the next two weeks to check out some ministry opportunities. I will be visiting a college ministry in Arizona this week and traveling to Idaho to visit MAF next week. Please pray that God would make it clear where He is leading! Also, please pray for Jessica and the kids as they will be without me for quite a few days. Pray that they would settle in to a schedule and have great moments together.
We have been completely overwhelmed by the love and support that we have received over the past few weeks. Thank you for joining your faith with ours! We look forward to letting you know where God leads! Amen!