I found this journal from as I was going through some papers recently.
It was written just after an exploratory trip that my family and I took to Thailand in April of 2008.
We were wrestling with what we had seen, experienced, and with obeying the call of God on our lives.
I am publishing this personal conversation/prayer because I hope that it will give you some hope to see through the uncertainties you may be facing despite what you are feeling God speaking. These are just my raw unedited thoughts.
Exactly a year later after many sign posts and miracles, we ended up back in Thailand in March of 2009.
Here is what I was working through before that time.
My mind is a swirl and stew of so many things since we returned from Thailand…
- trying to grasp the fate of those (the majority) who do not believe the Gospel or who don’t know the message
- the best way to do ministry in this context
- the cost of bringing my family out of the US
- my own fears and insecurities
- the dynamics of the team and whether or not we should join them
- the expectations of my church and those who supported us for this trip
- the inner struggles of my wife
- the inner compulsion I have to be faithful to the leading and work of God in me-so far in my life-to lay hold of the thing for which I have been laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
- the weight of my decision on our family-both the boys and our relatives
- and a million other things, or so it seems.
Yet with all this “cost counting” and deep thinking, I know it all comes back to faith and obedience.
Here are the things I know:
- There is a God.
- Jesus is alive.
- I have been changed on the inside by Him.
- My life has been directed and influenced in a unique way that has caused me to “wonder” and pay attention.
- I feel like there is an investment in me, weak as I am.
- I am thankful for God’s grace in my life.
- There are opportunities that have been “illuminated” to me where I can play a part in God’s plan. If eternity is real-I believe it is-then I want my life, my family’s life to count for it.
- In the end, only what’s done in Christ and for Him will last, will endure forever.
- There is a cause in my generation. (Matthew 29:18-20, Matthew 24:14 etc)
- There are still people with little to no access to the life giving Gospel.
- For me to live comfortably, worshipping in the safety of the American South while the world sits in darkness is not something I can’t stomach for long.
- My faith is the key to doing what God is calling me to do-I must hear him, we must hear him clearly (my sheep hear my voice) and obey.
- Then all of the other worries will take care of themselves.
- My faith may look like Abraham’s (the Father of Faith) who when God called him “went out no knowing where he was going.”
Faith doesn’t have all the answers, but it takes what it knows-from God-and acts upon it.
Speak Lord! Open my ears, open my eyes!
Help me understand and know your wisdom.
Your servant is listening.
Still relevant for me today.