The last few months have been, by far, the most difficult we have ever experienced in our faith walk.
There was a time when we tsked and turned up our noses at the children of Israel for their whining and lack of trust in God’s promises and his timing. When it’s your turn to wait on God’s promises and sit through his timing (which is not even close to our time tables) you realize how very similar you are to the children of Israel. When we’ve been given a promise we feel like it should happen right away. We would never say it or admit to it, but that’s our expectation. We turn into children that have been told, “when you’re old enough you can have a certain toy or privilege”. We say, “Can I have it yet? Am I old enough yet? Is it time yet? Can it be today?” The questions are never ending.
When we first moved to Tennessee, we felt that God had told us we would have more than enough and we would be a blessing to others. Then, he made it very clear to us that we were not to seek employment. Uh, how are we to have more than enough and bless others if we’re not working and being paid? We felt him issue a challenge to us, “Do you trust me more than anything else? Will you obey and follow me even when it makes no sense to you or to those who know you? Work for me and I will take care of you. Do you you trust me?”
This was, and still is, a very difficult challenge to accept. The work he has called us to is not anything that can be seen by others at this time. We are continually struggling with the thought that we look lazy to the people watching us. We’ve often been met with cynicism and scoffing. God doesn’t call people to not be gainfully employed and only “work for him”, right?…
The other part of the challenge God gave us was that, to trust him completely, we needed to give all our needs to him. We’re not going to ask people to help us. If we need something we tell him, and he will tell someone to send money, or groceries, or toiletries, whatever the need may be. Or, he’ll do it himself. Think Elijah and the ravens. It sounds terribly naive and childish, but that’s exactly what God asked and he has always provided. It hasn’t arrived when we wanted it and sometimes not even when we thought we needed it, but he always provides.
We had been in Tennessee for a year before God showed us exactly what our purpose here is. We are working with Kevin Adams to create a ministry that encourages other believers to step into their callings and passions even when it doesn’t make sense. We will have our own life stories as testimonies to share with them. We will be able to give them modern day examples of how God is there when you step out in faith. He’s not only the God of the Bible, he’s God right now.
So why is all of this so difficult? Even as I reread what I wrote I don’t see anything that’s overly trying. It’s trying because we live it every day. Because at anytime we could “rescue” ourselves. It’s the NOT rescuing ourselves that’s the hardest. We’ve been living with another family in a 3 bedroom home since December. Every month we wonder if we’re going to have enough money to put gas in the van to get the kids to school, we wonder if money is going to show up on time to pay our storage and phone bills or if all of our belongings are going to be lost, for lack of payment, and if our phone service is going to be terminated. We have to say “no” to the kiddos when they ask for their favorite cereal or a box of “fishy crackers”. If we were to go get “real jobs” we’d be out of this perceived mess in no time. We could work opposite shifts and be in our own home again and buying whatever groceries we want and paying bills on time with no problem. We lived that way before, we can do it again. It’s not even like it’d be a sin to go get jobs. That’s normal life stuff!! Except, God told us not to. He asked us to trust him completely.
Trusting him and waiting on him does not come easy. It’s heavy and it’s heart wrenching. God doesn’t want it to be that way for us, but this life is so loud it’s hard for us to completely trust him without worry. Upcoming or late bills, having $5.00 left in your pocket for the week when you still need gas in your van, not being able to let your kids go to after school functions because you can’t use that precious gas to bring them screams in your face very, very loudly. Life is loud and God speaks in a still small voice. He speaks to us and tells us to trust him and everything will be ok. We believe that, until life comes screaming in our face again. Trying to find that quiet place where you can focus on him and truly believe and live Matthew 6:24-33 is extremely difficult. It’s difficult to believe that when you seek him above everything else your needs are met as effortlessly as a lily blooms or a raven finds food.
This post isn’t to gather pity. It isn’t to rant and say “Woe is me!”. This is a real life post. We’ve been struggling with these feelings for awhile now and I couldn’t escape the thought that someone else is out there feeling the same things. You are wondering if you are the only ones that feel like walking away from the waiting and rescuing yourself. You are wondering if anyone else understands the weariness and heaviness of waiting on God. We understand. We understand and we want to remind you that God is always good. He doesn’t always make sense, but he is always good. If he gives a promise it will happen, and only he knows when the time is right. He’s making us new, he’s taking our hurts and replacing them with his strength, and only he knows how long that takes. Patience will produce a beautiful new creation and a modern day story of God’s power and faithfulness if we will trust and wait.