Most of us, at some point in our lives, have some basic idea of what we want to do, where we want to live or how we want to be known. You may have asked numerous questions, when it comes to what you want. “What car should I buy?”, “Why should I buy this?”, “Who should I marry?”, “Where should I live?”, etc. This is a dilemma as old as time, questions that have been wrestled with for years. Think about the millions of decisions made in a lifetime, whether we realize it or not, these questions all linger in the shadows of every decision we face. Or maybe like myself, you have asked the question-
“How does God fit into what I want?”
Think about something you wanted. Ralphie from the good ol’ Christmas Story movie asked his mom for the “Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle”. Only to have her say “No, you’ll shoot your eye out!”. Or maybe as an adult, your spouse or significant other had done a masterful job of hint dropping for that perfect gift, only to be shocked to discover we don’t always pick up on the hints very well. WHOOPS!
Then there are the times when someone thinks they are giving you what you asked for, only to find out things aren’t always as they appear. I once asked Karen for some Tylenol, I was handed the correct box, pulled out the tablet and went right along. A couple hours later I went to the bathroom and much to my surprise – my pee was a bright orange color like Gatorade. Needless to say, I was slightly concerned! I quickly realized this was not what I had wanted, apparently the wrong pills were in the box!
And then there are times when God gives you what you wanted, but in a way altogether different than what you were expecting. For instance, our amazing financial partners. We never could have imagined those that have chosen to walk alongside us, as well as how much they are willing to faithfully and generously give. Every and any amount has been a blessing from above!
And then, there are times when God changes your “wants”.
Two years ago we were not expecting to be missionaries anywhere, much less another country. We were happy with our life, our family, our church, our home – life was good. Over the years we have asked God “What would you have us do?” & “How can we make a difference for your Kingdom?” These questions and their answers have led us to where we are today. Like a puzzle being worked on together by us and Him, one day it will be perfectly completed. If I’m being completely honest, I never thought they’d lead us to the mission field. Don’t get me wrong, I knew it was possible, but just never really gave it much thought as reality. Now, our desire is to be in the Dominican Republic sharing the love of God.
God doesn’t want to “fit” in our lives, He’s in the “transformation” business!
Psalms 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” This verse is often half focused, the second half, which I like – God giving me what I desire (want), that sounds like a great deal! However, we must understand the first half in order to make sense of the whole – “Delight yourself in the Lord”. The word “delight”, in the original language, carries the idea of being pliable. We are to be pliable in the Lord, laying down what we want in exchange for His perfect work – allowing the potter to work the clay into what He wants. When we are pliable in His hands, He will “give” or in other words, transform the desires of our hearts to His desires. God changes what we want & how we respond to the world around us!
I’d like to offer Jim Elliot as an example for consideration. Jim Elliot was a missionary to Ecuador, he pursued the desires that God placed in his heart. His desire to go to Ecuador ultimately cost him his life. Here’s what Jim Elliot wrote about “God’s will” & “sacrifice”. Jim asked a very different question, he asked –
“How do I fit into God’s plan?”
On God’s Will – “The will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for, but we must believe that whatever it involves, it is good, acceptable and perfect” – Jim Elliott
On Sacrifice – “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” – Jim Elliott
Please continue to pray that we remain pliable, that God will continue to equip us with what we need for His will & He will work in us what is pleasing to Him, even if it’s unexpected to us.
Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Our family moves to the Dominican Republic August 19, 2019. We are trusting God to continue to provide our prayer team & financial partners to help launch us successfully in the DR. We invite you to pray for our family, the team at Project Manana, the communities we work in, those supporting the work & for God’s continued blessings.