It has been exhilarating. It has been exciting. It's definitely been an adventure... but it has not been easy.
We don't have a regular paycheck to count on. We don't have a permanent home to live in. We don't have community life that might surround us. What we do have is a calling, a passion, and a longing to live out this dream that we believe God has given us.
Those of you who have launched out to start something, know exactly what I'm talking about. Whether it's a business, a non-profit, a church, a new ministry position, or whatever => you know the stress, the unexpected slugs to the stomach, and the sleepless nights. In fact, we all know this... it's called life.
But launching out to begin this ministry has revealed something to me:
I'm not sure that I have ever truly trusted God.
Oh, I've trusted him to work in people's lives and I trust him for big things like keeping the earth on its axis and sustaining life. But there are mornings when I wake up and I'm not sure where my family will be living next month, or if this ministry dream will actually happen... These kinds of things are out of my control. And so there it is, isn't it? The "c" word = CONTROL. I want to be in control!
I don't really trust God to work things out in a particular way, at a particular time, and in a very particular place... ya know? I think that down deep I just want a small and predictable life. I hate to even type that because I've always prided myself as an adventurer- daring to go and do things no one else is willing to go and do. But I think I'm getting fearful in my old age. Like that whole thing in the scriptures where Jesus says that to follow him might mean you won't have a place to lay your head.... the rich young guy walk away sad when Jesus made that statement - I totally get why he did because that sounds awful to me! I want a place to lay my head! Can't a guy get a pillow around here?!
My daughter has been praying for a few years now that God would reveal to her what she's supposed to do with her life. I should have warned her not to do that. Praying is never a very good idea. =)
But, she's really been seeking God - just flat out running after him. This past Sunday evening God finally spoke to her. Remember this has been years of her seeking God, an unrelenting pursuit. When he finally spoke, it was amazing to see - absolutely incredible! She was crying and laughing all at the same time. So of course Kelsey and I were crying and laughing right along with her. As she told us what God had revealed to her, I couldn't have been more excited. It really is awesome! But I also know that the life ahead for her is going to be FULL. The road ahead won't be easy, but it will be full = Full of wonder, full adventure, full of loss and full of wins. FULL. It's going to be an amazing ride as Mike Yaconnelli said about the reckless pursuit of following Jesus' calling. This couldn't be more true for her.
I started in youth ministry 25 years ago and it has been so much greater and so much harder than I ever dreamed of. It has been an amazing ride! But I called my dad last night - I tend to do that when things are really great or really awful. This time it was really awful. So I lit a cigar and dialed. My dad is what's called a sage = a great listener and full of beautiful wisdom. He just quietly listened and then said, "Brock, go read Ephesians 3." So I immediately grabbed my Bible to take a look see. Here it is:
Ephesians 3: 16-21
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your heartsthrough faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
This passages just kind washed over me. It reminded me of how good God is.
We Can Trust Him.
We really can.
Whatever life is throwing at you right now, may this passage remind you of something true: God is with you. He is good and you can trust him- you really can. Following God is amazing- it's an adventure for sure - it's a full life, this following Jesus thing. But know this, in the midst of the craziness, in the midst of the noise of life, in the midst of the stress, you can relax, you can rest. Not easy I know, especially for us control freaks. But it's alright, he's got you.