One month ago we loaded up our truck and left Vermont. We left behind great friends and financial security to follow what we believe was God’s leading to go to Atlanta and start a new missional church. The journey of the last few months have been full of fear, doubts, excitement, surprises and so much more. We didn’t have the financial means to make a move like this and travel 20 hours to the unknown. We tried for several months to secure employment before we left but it was becoming obvious that jobs wouldn’t be found until we reached Atlanta. So here we are, God provided a beautiful house and the financial means to get here but months later still no jobs. Not even any real prospects of jobs. So now what? Did we hear wrong? Did we jump ahead of God? Why aren’t the provisions that God promises in his Word coming to us?
From day to day I go from being faith filled to fear filled. I watch as the money and resources we have dwindles and try to figure out what the wise thing to do is. Buying groceries on a tight budget is emotionally draining. Even putting gas in the car is difficult as we don’t know when we will have money again and what happens when we get jobs….will we have enough to even get to work? All the emotions swirl in my head and once in a while panic will set in. Gus and I seem to take turns being in the emotional soup pot. Today I happen to be doing okay. Today, I’m not filled with worry but also not filled with wonder. What is the purpose in this journey? What is God doing? What are we supposed to learn? Is provision on its way? Did it get hung up somewhere? Did we disobey? All of these questions fill my mind.
Yesterday I asked my 14 year old son to be praying that we get a job soon and his response was, I’m praying you don’t get jobs so that you can do the church plant full time. WOW! Not what I expected to hear especially with his birthday coming up at the end of the month. But as I have been thinking about it today…maybe he has a faith that I don’t…maybe he senses that we came here to do something and we should be just doing it. He knows that when we have jobs we are limited in what we can accomplish in ministry. He also knows that we are happiest when we are able to do what God has called us to do. So in pondering this I wonder…..will God just provide?
Is it irresponsible to just start doing the ministry or should we pursue the jobs? We need to take care of our family and make sure the bills are paid, but even with doing everything we know to do, nothing is happening. The bills are starting to get behind and we have less that $300 to our name.
I was reading in Joshua the other day about all the battles that the Israelites fought to get their promised land. God told them that the victory was theirs but they had to go into battle believing it.
The story of the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea also came to mind….the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant had to start walking into the water nearly up to their necks before the water parted. I wonder what was going through their minds. Did doubt overtake them? Did worry about their own life flood their minds? Did they fill with panic? Or question if they heard God right?
How does one walk in Faith?
I have heard so much about this since being here but some things just aren’t adding up. Mostly when preachers talk about walking in faith they refer to tithing or being prosperous. They mention how they were never late on their bills or how God enabled them to purchase things they didn’t have before. Sometimes they will say that they can give more but what if you are walking in faith, taking big steps and your bills are late, your money is running out; you’re still tithing and being generous as you are able.
Is that person not walking in faith?
Don’t we all have a different road to travel in our journey? Was Hosea not walking in faith? God made him marry someone that would only hurt him. Was Jeremiah not walking in faith? He was always sad. Was Paul not walking in faith? He spent most of his time in prison. What about John the Baptist? Wasn’t he basically homeless and eating bugs?
I don’t have this figured out but these are the things that plague my mind.
I know God loves me, but I also know that this life I’m living isn’t supposed to be my own. So what does walking in Faith look like then?