Pardon the drama. I'll bring it back down to Earth.
I've been home at my folks' place for several months now. It's been, in general, really really great to connect with family quite a bit and hang with my awesome new nephew Drew and just generally "take a breather" as my Dad would say. The transitional season started off with a bang of Godly provision: complimentary car, job, and phone to use for the short-term while I generate the fundage and make preparations to hit the road again in search of further ministry opportunities on my way back to New Zealand. Man, I was so sure that's what was going to happen. I thought God's fingerprints were all over it with the way things were coming together.
Then the gears started turning more slowly. Work became infrequent as winter set in, and has now ceased entirely. Other opportunities for income have consistently not panned out. The car went away. The phone's gone. I've kept busy enough (aside from looking for more work) with a bunch of good things - from lots and lots of worship with several churches and groups, to being special guest speaker at a youth trip to Colorado in January, to all kinds of odds and ends with Perception Funding and their approaching trip to Haiti. And for some time I just felt such a fire to just encounter people wherever they are and bring them the encouragement and joy of a good God.
As this process has continued to unfold (or rather grind to a halt) I've begun to wonder what it really is I'm supposed to be doing here. It's not that I don't see God's hand in my life right now, nor that I'm not enjoying time with old friends and family in KC. It's just that everything I've learned from the last year or two seems to be driving me towards a few things: intimacy with the Creator, creation of music, serving people, and the open road. And yet here I am, an unemployed 27-year-old living with my parents without a way to get anywhere or a dime to my name. I don't doubt where I am for a second, because in faith I've stepped out in the last year, and I've seen God do incredible things. But this certainly seems to fly in the face of the definition the world gives us of a successful, together young man. I would never, ever go back to where I was before, but what the heck, am I really supposed to be at a standstill here because of something as unHeavenly as finances? I've seen Godmath turn zeros into ones and 100's into thousands in the last year, but somehow now the "almighty dollar" has its filthy little cuffs on my wrists. I don't like it. BUT . . .
God is good. God is in control. He works this stuff out all the time. I'm seeking Him, and folks are praying for me. So, it must be going down this way because God's allowing it. That leaves me wondering, am I supposed to push through this, in pursuit of what I believe to be true about this season in my life? At what point do I really start to reevaluate my trajectory? I've been waking up every day, telling God I'm placing all this on the alter, I'll go wherever he wants, stay if he says stay, do anything. What I feel I'm continually getting from him is encouragement to stay the course. And yet my circumstances are just not changing. I'm trying, I'm really really trying, to spend every day in the knowledge of what's true and good. I'm trying to lean on the promises of scripture in places like Romans 8:28, where it says " . . . we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)
This is said so often it sounds trite. I, myself, speak this verse so many times a day that it's a struggle to keep its supernatural origin in perspective. A new light was cast today, however, when I looked at The Message translation. I've been cross-referencing more and more in my studies, finding that new language so often has the ability to dig deeper, to till soft, new soil for old, familiar concepts and scripture that's become, ugh, "colloquialism." Check it out:
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
So, Lord, forgive my sighs of frustration. Please intercede with your spirit and, knowing my heart, guide my steps. I'll be searching tirelessly for you as I travel this beaten road toward only-you-know-where. You are so, so good in the journey, and I pray to be continually less blind to the places you appear in my midst. I'll seek to rest in the contentment and joy that comes only from you, and not from my own myopic perception of my situation. In Jesus' ridiculously all-encompassingly powerful and mind-boggling name, Amen.