I had to stop singing. We were in the middle of a song at church, music resonating from the worship band, the words projected on the screen flashed through my mind. “The riches of your love will always be enough” I had to stop. Could I really sing those words and mean them? If I couldn’t find work, if my car broke down, if suddenly I was financially destitute, would the riches of God’s love really be enough?
I thought of my childhood friend sitting across the aisle from me whose life is about to change in a good way. She and her husband are closing down their business and moving thousands of miles away to be fulltime home missionaries to a Bible Conference and Camp in Idaho. They have a passion for leading children and adults to the savior through a camp ministry. They have to raise support because their income from corporate America will be gone. They are following the call of God into the unknown; what they can’t see. Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ That’s faith.
On Saturday, I spent a few hours with friends I have known longer than I have not known them. In fact we have been friends for so long, the line between friends and family have blurred. They waited till retirement, but they give their entire winter to working on service projects for places that need all sorts of maintenance and construction. Bible camps and colleges provide a place to park their RV and provide some meals, but the rest is real life; a walk of faith. They exemplify the life in this first verse of Psalm 89 “Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it! I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are. I’ll never quit telling the story of your love— and at the end of verse 4 David, says ‘Everyone descending from you is guaranteed life; I’ll make your rule as solid and lasting as rock.’ “
That same evening, I was talking with two artists in their family. One of them is creating an object for ArtPrize here in Grand Rapids. The other artist is from Missouri. We were talking about the creative process and while they have one thing in mind at the start, sometimes the object just doesn’t want to take on the form. The art turns out quite different from their original vision. Sometimes, most of the time, their artwork won’t behave. Not unlike me, I thought. Isaiah 64:8 plainly says it for us “You, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” But we have the will to misbehave; I do things my way …. And then wonder why I fear the future and what it holds for me.
In my quiet time this morning I was reading Isaiah 30 and still thinking about that song by Hillsong that continues “I’m running to Your arms, The riches of Your love Will always be enough, Nothing compares to Your embrace, Light of the world forever reign.” I know that what I want for my life is to know that I am living inside the incomparable embrace of God. Isaiah 30 starts out “Woe to the obstinate children,”
declares the Lord, to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, and don’t consult me.” I pray my way through every day, but do I really consult with God? Do I take his counsel or do I make it up on the fly and just ‘think’ I’ve prayed, I’ve consulted. Shouldn’t my faith be stronger? This is what I believe. If you have to see it to believe it, it’s not faith. Close to the end of the chapter is Isaiah 30:21 “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
Recently I told a friend that when someone has direction for me, they need to be very direct. I don’t take hints and can’t grasp the meaning behind sugar coating. Just tell me what to do so I can’t mess up. I made a decision a few weeks ago to move forward with my heart’s desire to write online courses and be able to make them publication ready. In preparation I consulted with experts and asked an untold number of questions. Then I purchased Storyline by Articulate. I believe I did the right thing. I believe God lead me to the sources of information. But was there a path like in Isaiah 30:21 that said “This is the way …. Now walk the course”? Not really. I may be directed down an entirely different path.
My friend and her husband who did leave all behind to follow where God lead them, did they have a well lit path so they couldn’t mess up? They will tell you it’s been years in coming. But they believe God when he said in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Today is a new day – “This is the way; walk in it.”