Towards the end of her fascinating autobiography An Ordinary Woman´s Extraordinary Faith, Patricia St. John mentions, “one cannot easily write about the present. Those involved are very much alive and close at hand….” In addition to sensitivity to privacy and the dignity of mankind, the present can seem cloudy. There are untied strings, buds are still awaiting their petals, and dawn is just beginning to glow. The present is filled with questions and uncertainties, leaving any sort of written work only half completed. Maybe that’s why this month has gone by without a post.
There are a few ways to do pioneer gospel work. Some prefer to stick to one place. Maybe for life. Never really letting go of the reins, keeping things in tip- top shape. Some like to focus on one place for several years, then move on somewhere else. Some don’t stay anywhere and jump from here to there every few months. There are huge factors that play into these methods. Personality, age, interpretation of the Scripture, family life, what the Lord places in your hands, how people respond to the message.
Personally, we live and focus our main energies on one place to be able to leave them alone with God at the soonest possible date. However, we are also responsible for the spiritual good of about 5 other groups, spread out across the Yucatán Peninsula. This makes for some very full months.
We also cannot say no. Emergency situations come up. We have to drop everything and go. We have to let God lead and be the one to fill our schedule. We are simply His servants anyway. He is the Lord of the vineyard.
The grapes are going to ripen and drop anyway. The question is whether someone will be there to harvest them in time.
Dying, unsaved people don’t have time to care whether your kids are extra grumpy that day or not. Discouraged, floundering believers need lifted up, regardless of our own personal stress or discouragement.
So yes, the present is full of unknowns. It is difficult to understand. It is a daily offering, a presentation of this living sacrifice, laid out freely on the altar of God’s will.
Because see, that is where we have always found the greatest joy. Simply saying yes to God.
Last weekend was full. So incredibly full. There was barely time to think. Then we got the phone call.
The tumor is in her brain.
We’re in Mérida.
We were going to be in Paraíso Sunday night anyway so we shuffled a few things on Monday and went.
It´s okay to have to cancel appointments. It´s okay to stretch your own family.
She´s unsaved and she might die.
And my kids know that. They know this is the most important thing in the world.
We saw the hopelessness and despondency. The grief and desperation.
We heard those blessed words, “Yo acepto a Cristo.”
Then we saw peace and tears of joy.
We hear there is now a love for God´s Word. We hear there has been healing in her body already.
It´s the privilege of saying yes.
Then another phone call. Another trip. Broken believers. Hours of visiting. Hope revived.
The privilege of saying yes.
Yes, we’re tired today. There’s laundry and catch-up and all the rest. But it doesn’t matter because we’ll be living off this God-given joy for days and days to come.