Monday 20 August 2012

Taking God at his word

It's a cold Monday in August and none of us feel like being in the cold South African office, working unpaid and trying to figure out daily what we need to do to fulfil His calling. And how to raise the money to do it. My prayer today as I walked to work was 'give me the strength to face today, Lord, and I will serve you.' What was special about today? What did I have to face?

The answer: nothing.

It's not that we have nothing to do, per se. Far from it in fact, there's lots that we have planned and sometimes the difficulty is knowing where to start. However, the nothing refers to no major, earth shattering event that we have to face. The day-to-day work of longterm missions can be draining and thankless. There isn't even the added perk of a pay cheque at the end of the month.

The truth is: we have many miracle moments in YWAM. We have many many times when God meets us. Daily God speaks to us; but that doesn't make it any easier to follow. I think all of us have moments where we feel we can't go on, or we just can't face it.

This weekend I was reading the first few chapters of Exodus where Moses was being commanded by God to go and tell Pharoah to 'let my people go'. Moses was telling God that he couldn't do the impossible and God was reminding him that He can do the impossible!

Right now, I know that God has called me into missions, to serve him and to trust him. To trust him dispite what I see and know; to trust him, even when it seems impossible. God has spoken clearly that I can trust his promises and he will not leave me.

But in the middle of winter, on a Monday morning, it can be hard to find the energy to see the sunshine behind the clouds.

Saturday 11 August 2012

Trusting in God's promises

Rainbow over Muizenberg mountain
that I noticed during my prayer walk this week. 

Dear friends in the blogosphrere: I'm back!

Please forgive me for being absent for a couple of months. For me (Peter), personally, this year so far has been tough. There are a lot of lessons I’m learning in how to keep going in longterm mission work.

Missions is not easily defined and not easy to quantify. We know certain things - either things that we've decided upon, like where we are working physically (i.e. South Africa) and, maybe, where we are going next - and things God's guided us in, such as working with YWAM Communications and anti-trafficking work. We also know the big picture of our calling. But sometimes our circumstances just don’t make sense at the time when we have to face them; sometimes we strive and our projects fail. Sometimes people fail us. Missions is made up of people, fallible humans with whom God chooses to partner. I heard one wise person once say: you're ready and wise enough to have children when you're in your 60s, but you're just too old to do it physically! This apt statement had me thinking. God chooses to get us to be parents before most of us are ready. And he's put me in leadership way before I feel ready to be here. And it's not just because I'm in YWAM - it's a clear calling from God to step out in faith and trust him.

My journey with AfriCom has been one of adventure, excitement and victory. But there have been times of disappointment, disillusionment and frustration. What I expected to happen (especially with new staff joining and the roles they would play) just didn't. And what I thought would be impossible (often with the fulfilment of certain financial commitments) were very much provided for.

Probably the hardest thing I've had to process this year is the anticipated recruitment of staff and assisting them develop roles within the organisation and the reality that most have not joined and the one that did was unable to stay (for reasons beyond her control). Yet God’s promised us that He will grow the team. How do I match up God's promise to the reality in which I live? I know that God's promises are conditional and thankfully he gives us the conditions. Thankfully so far I have met those conditions (for me it is simple: remain in me). God has met with me several times to confirm this message and the fact that he is pleased with my steadfast faith in him despite my circumstances.

I feel that it's in that trusting him (despite what we see around us) that we really see God's glory shine. Right now I am putting a great deal of trust in his faithfulness because I know that the reality of my own limitations and the situation I find myself won't achieve what he has promised. Therefore I would be foolish not to lean on him right now!

Just this week a trusted friend came to me and told me that during his prayer times, he had a message: "Pete, you can trust God's promises." he said. "Right now the most important thing is to remain in him."

Harder said than done, I can promise you, but here goes: I am going to strive to remain in him and trust in his promises and guidance.

I will let you know how I get on. Thanks for reading!