What a year! As I reflected during this week about the past year, a common theme emerged from the many memories made during 2014: God’s faithfulness.
I have seen God’s faithfulness throughout my entire life through surprise financial gifts, boxes of food left at the door when we had none, friends made just when I needed them, encouragements from unexpected sources and so much more! I know He is faithful, so that is not a new revelation. However, this year, I have seen it perhaps more than ever before.
Most recently, He showed up in a Christmas card from friends here. I had spent every last cent I had for the month of December, and it was only the 23rd. In fact, the cashier at Tesco forgave the 32 cents I was short for the purchase. I have some money in my account in the States, and I can go to the ATM whenever I need to, but I try to make it through each month on what I pull out at the start of the month. I’ve had to withdraw cash early a couple of times because of unforeseen expenses, but for some reason I was more upset at the prospect this time.
Anyway, less than 12 hours after I spent the last of the cash I had, I received a Christmas card with 50 Euros inside. I nearly cried because it was just another sign from Jesus that He cares and He is faithful in things both big and small! I am so grateful to the friends who were so generous with their gift, but more than anything I am grateful that they were the hands of Jesus to me that day!
As I thought about the many times I have seen God’s faithfulness this past year, I felt like God said that a large part of the reason that I saw Him show up in big ways this year is because I let Him. I allowed Him to take me to places where He was plan A, and there was no plan B. If He hadn’t come through so many times this year, I might have slept on the very cold ground or in a bus station in any number of places around the UK, I would likely be wallowing in depression, and I’d still have no place to call home, among other less than desirable circumstances.
I left home on a one-way ticket for a place I’d never been before. I followed God all over the UK for 7 weeks with no plan and a real possibility of sleeping in a bus station at some point. I gave up looking for a place to live and left it up to Him to plant me somewhere. I came across the pond with no clue about what I would do, and hoped He would open the right doors for ministry. I moved to a place where I knew no one. I answered a challenge to not only get out of the boat, but to walk far enough out that I couldn’t reach back to the safety and security of the boat if I get nervous. Jesus is the only rescue if the waves get high.
I heard in a sermon recently that faith is spelled R-I-S-K. I think that’s true, and I have come to realize that we are most able to see and experience the faithfulness of God when we live lives full of faith. When we have no plan B, He has room to show up and even show off on our behalf.
There is a place for wisdom and caution and counting the cost before starting to build to make sure you don’t get stuck in the middle. It’s not bad to be prepared. Those are all Biblical ideas and good things. The danger is that we mistake the world’s idea of wisdom for God’s idea. Wisdom according to Proverbs is fear of the Lord. That has very little to do with living a safe life and factoring in a flotation device in case the water cannot hold our weight or the waves get too scary.
So, as we venture into 2015, I want to continue to let God lead me into the deeper places with Him. He has proven Himself faithful and trustworthy. I don’t know what the year holds, but I know who holds it. I want to do big things for Him and His Kingdom this year, and I think the best way to do that is to keep Him as my only plan and my only life-preserver.
As I was dreaming about the coming year, I felt like God told me that heaven would look different because of my time on earth. I still can’t get my mind all the way around that thought, but try with me for just a moment. You and I have the power to change the landscape of heaven! I don’t know what it looks like, or exactly what kind of change we can affect, but I can’t help but remember the quote from Gladiator: “What we do in life echoes in eternity.” I don’t know about you, but I want this year to echo loud and clear that I trust God and He is faithful… Always!