Tonight I am sitting on an outer deck at my beach house at Sunset Beach. There is a warm, salty breeze. The rhythmic pattern of the waves soothes my heavy heart. I could easily get trapped in this place. The days roll into nights and then back into days…its a peaceful place. I get lost in the days. But then reality kicks in. We need to raise money for a dormitory…money for an orphan with HIV and cancer…money for a new classroom…money for a children’s village. But this place wants to call me in deeper to forget all of those things. I can’t. I can’t forget the faces. They are permanently engraved into my heart and mind. The smiles. The laughter. The hugs. The deep poverty. The lack of clean water. The lack of food. The lack of shelter. Oh, but the joy! The joy when they worship! They know God and God knows them.
It is that joy that I see and experience there that keeps me going. I have to ask myself the question, “If not me, then who?” God created me for this. He blessed me with a husband who feels the same call. It’s not easy. Oh my goodness! It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But God keeps pressing in deep into my heart. He reminds me. He reminds me that this is why He created me. To bring Him honor and glory by being His hands and His feet in south western Uganda.
I have to keep going forward. Sometimes it takes everything I have to keep moving. I think often about the Israelites and their exodus from Egypt. In chapter 14 of Exodus, the Israelites found themselves sandwiched between the world’s most elite army and the Red Sea. They thought they had no place to go. They lost faith. They forgot the promises of God and all that God had done for them to get them out of Egypt. God tells Moses to quit crying out to Him and tell the sons of Israel to go forward. This was before the Red Sea was even parted! God wanted the people to trust Him. But faith took action. They had to go forward. God wanted them to trust Him without even knowing what He was going to do. So they stepped forward.
Go forward!Exodus 14:15b
Go forward. That is where I am. Some days it can feel like I am trying to go forward and there is a brick wall in the way. And when that brick wall doesn’t move, I have to get my heart and mind in the right place. Some days I feel frustrated. If people on this continent could see how people live on that continent, maybe they would walk with their hands wide open instead of clinched tight. But I have to remind myself that it is not my place to judge what others do with their time and money. So I pray. I cry out to God. And God says to me, “Why are you crying out to Me? Go forward!” So I trust a little deeper. I keep believing.
God and I have lots of talks. It is really the only way I can survive going back and forth. And believe it or not, God and I joke with each other. It’s the kind of relationship that we have. I grab my cup of coffee and God and I have our morning date. “Good morning, God! Thanks for meeting with me again today. I was just wondering if today is the day that You are going to sell a few of the cattle that You have on a thousand hills?” We laugh. And God just tells me to keep trusting Him. So I keep trusting.
In a thousand trials, it is not just five hundred of them that work “for the good” of the believer, but nine hundred and ninety-nine, plus one,George Mueller
The trials are part of the journey. I learned a long time ago to dance in the rain and through the storms of life. God is working all things out. Those brick walls that try to stop me from going forward, they are truly just mental brick walls. It is a battlefield that the enemy tries to distract me. But God is good. He keeps molding me and shaping me for the call on my life that He created me for.
The eagle that soars at great altitudes does not worry about how it will cross a river.Streams in the Desert, June 9
So where do I begin? I begin by taking a step forward in faith. Trusting God with all of the details.