If I were to ask you, "How you doing?", what would be your answer? More often than not my answer to such a question is a plain and simple "Doin good. How are you?" You want to know whats so funny about such a response, I truly don't care about his answer and more than likely he doesn't care about mine. Why is that? Conviction does not breed a habit. I have often been convicted of being shallow on such greetings and concern for my fellow man but has my flesh got its act together. HAHA, no.
Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. It seems as if this was written to show us not that God alone can look into the heart of a man, but rather that only God LOOKS on the heart of a man. How many of us wear masks every day trying to hide what is inside, and how many more of us would rather just look at the "outward appearance" rather than the heart of our friends or family? After all we have so much more important things to do than to show concern for another, and who really wants to get tied up in a deep heartfelt conversation with someone when our couch and TV are waiting for us at home. Some of us may have a bit better excuse like our children are running amok and must be leashed so I don't have time right now, but when our children are grown will they see the need to love and listen or will they mirror what they see?
Having said all this and knowing that we must start somewhere I want to share a bit of my heart with you. Read it or not is none of my concern, only that I have spoken it out. All masks must come off. After all what is the point of being in a family, the family of Christ, if we are never to know each other? I have shared some of my heart's pain with you all before in an earlier post titled, "Remembering...the pain." In that post I shared a number of things that have pained my heart for quite some time now, but this will be different, I hope. This I hope will shed some light on a life's desire. A life's goal to serve the Lord. It may be a bit long but such matters of the heart often are.
When I graduated from high school I was going to follow my dream of becoming a marine biologist and work with marine life maybe someplace like sea world. But God had other plans. Maybe if you have ever read stories of some of the famous missionaries of the past their calling would sound similar. They had a dream and then in a single instant God grabbed them and changed their life. This was me. I read a story about a boy in Sudan and knew that God was calling me to Sudan. After a long road of a few years of this and that I finally found myself on a plane bound for Africa. It was an adventure that lasted for six years and caused me to grow in unimaginable ways. It also cost me my carefree bachelor lifestyle. And I would not ask for that lifestyle back again. I married the most beautiful woman in the world and even grew by three more as I had three children, all crazy and wild boys. But the adventure came to an end with sickness and we as a family decided it was time to return home. It was not easy for us but we knew God had other plans for us and so we followed Him.
Backtracking a bit those plans God had for us He introduced a few years earlier and said He would increase this vision more in the future. That vision was to work with backpackers. Please see the post entry in the archives titled "Prodigal Son Project". There is a short video slide show there explaining our mission.
So coming home we knew God would take us to new places and new work. We were ready to follow Him. Now fast forward a bit and we get to what I am going to share about today. In sharing about this mission we have had very unexpected support in its goals and purpose, to reach backpackers with the gospel. We have been encouraged by the prayers and comments people have shared with us in our time at home in the states. Overall we were a bit surprised people took to the idea. But in one area we have seen much discouragement, financial support. While in Sudan we never lacked and through many faithful supporters God provided everything we ever needed. God is truly faithful! But this time it is a bit different. While our hope was to be moving by this summer it seems now as to not be the case. We have not yet reached the amount we need in monthly support to begin our visa applications so we will not be leaving when we planned.
When talking about this we know God works in everything to better us and help us grow. He has people wait on His timing for a reason. To everything there is a time and a season. We know this and we are desperately praying for God's direction as we are at a loss. God is clear, Satan is blurry. If there is confusion then it is the works of the enemy. And this time of uncertainty is a bit frightening for us. We have no where to go and nothing that we can do. The mission field is all we know. Our heart is to move forward and reach these backpackers with the gospel but we can not do it without the funds to even go to the country to which God has called us. Every day we are here our hearts yearn more for a place we can not reach for reasons we can not understand. I know I am not speaking a foreign language here. Many of you reading this have had dreams before to do something with your lives. Some may still be dreaming while others have achieved their goal. And I am not talking about a private island where you can retire at 25. Yes that is a dream, one that I have had many times. But you know what dreams I am talking about. You wanted to go on to school and become a doctor, or a teacher, or a fill in the blank. A wife or husband and kids with a house. These things are not bad as God uses them all for His purpose and glory.
For me the dream became one of serving God with my life on distant fields of battle striking at the strongholds of the enemy and taking back what he has stolen. I have lived that dream for six years in Sudan. But now I am stuck. A teacher who has her degree and ends up working at Wal-Mart would probably understand what I am talking about. Does this mean there is defeat? Never!! Our God is the Creator of the world and everything in it. He has won the day and there is no defeat for those who put there trust in Him. But in this world there are times of waiting and longing. The promises of God will never be thwarted or defeated. But the times of waiting can be hard. The ways of the heart are hard to explain as they are feelings, impressions, pictures. Does that mean that we shouldn't try to explain them to each other? Please understand that the sole purpose of this post is to shed some light on the musings and prayers of a longing heart. Triumphant soon, but longing now. And if you have something to say then let us know what is in your heart. I do really care what is in your heart. It is a habit I am trying to grow.
God Bless you and keep you.