Posted in Change, Choices, Church planting, Destiny, Endurance, Father, Missions, Obedience, Purpose, Travel

Again

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I couldn’t find scissors to help me open the tightly sealed box. I tried, in vain, to force it open with my hands as sweat began to run down the sides of my face. “Why did I pack this so well?” Finally, I found a kitchen knife and began slicing the packing tape open around the edges of the cardboard; the unpacking of our lives had begun. Again.

The boxes I was unpacking had gone overland from Malawi, where we had moved from, to Burundi. They were brought to us by two of our Malawian pastors who had taken on the assignment of bringing these boxes by bus. It was a 4-day ordeal just one-way for them to undertake but they passed through all the borders practically without incident to Burundi. As we said our goodbyes the same day that they had arrived, it was as if a movie of all of the work that had been done in Malawi over the years was played as a movie in my mind. The churches that had been planted, the children that had been fed, the leaders that had been trained, all passed before me as I looked into the faces of these dear ones who were about to leave. I couldn’t hold back the tears as I remembered what we had been allowed to take part in – and then it was time for them to go.

Then we were left alone to start again.

The box was dusty, but intact, and as I started the process of unloading everything the magnitude of what we had done (again) struck me. Time after time I have found myself in this same situation of starting over and trusting God for the next step. However, knowing we have done this many times before doesn’t make any new step I take easier. In fact, I have learned with each new step comes new challenges and without faith, I could easily be scared out of it! What has kept me going, this time as in every time before, is knowing we had heard His Word spoken to us to go to Burundi and He wasn’t about to let go of us.

Isaiah 8:11 ERB “The Lord spoke to me, like a firm grasp of the hand.”

This move has been a challenge (they all are in their own way) but we have seen God walk with us daily and address everything that has come our way from acquiring resident visas to finding a house to finding the best market in town. Without hearing His voice and knowing His hand is tightly holding onto ours, we would never have been able to see Him at work over all these years.

I’m so glad we chose to listen, I’m so glad He’s holding our hands.

 

 

Posted in Family, Father, Fear

Chase the Monsters Away

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Maybe you have been in my situation. You have life happening: running to/from work, there’s noise, dinner’s not made, bills have to be paid, and the children are all vying for your attention. They all have something that needs your attention; maybe a science project is due tomorrow or a book needs to be returned to the library, there are sports events, and there doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to properly care for each of their needs. You find yourself at the end of the day plopping into bed after you’ve tried to organize the house and things for the same crazy race to take place the next day. Did you remember to fold the clothes?

Then, in the middle of all the fuss, someone is tugging on the edge of your shirt, incessantly calling you, “Mama! I have to tell you something!” Momentarily, your eyes glance down and see those precious eyes and time stops. You bend down and he/she says, “I have to tell you a secret in your ear.” You bend down even further, close your eyes and a sweet voice tells you about monsters in the closet in their room and they are afraid. Can you come and chase the monsters away?

Needless to say, you forget about everything else and check everywhere in that room to “chase away the monsters” and pray with your little one. Everything is right, you are the hero, and nothing else matters.

Imagine, we have a Heavenly Father and He is waiting for us to come and ask Him to chase the monsters away:

Psalm 116:2 NLT “Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.”

This great love He has for us goes far beyond what we can even imagine in our wildest dreams. Our Father, when we call, bends down to listen to us much like we bend down to listen to our little ones when they are afraid. The difference is that our Father’s time is never too consumed; every waking moment He spends thinking about us and what He can do for us. Sometimes we struggle to find time to listen to our children, but our Father is never pressed for time – He always has time to chase the monsters away.