Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What We Don’t Know

This past Sunday, the family of a former pastor of our church came to visit. Each shared a little of what’s been going on, how they were blessed by this church and how it is to be back, etc. It was amazing to listen to them attribute all the goodness to God and all the experiences to their father’s obedience to God when he had been called to serve at KUC.

Jonathan (I think his name was) got up to speak. He talked about how grateful he was that this church has been so generous, that this church had sent money to support him when he was a missionary in A___ during a trying time for that country. Then he went into his testimony.

Jonathan told of how he was the least likely (of the pastor’s kids) to become a pastor. Pastors have to stand up in front of people, something he was not comfortable doing. Pastors have to stand up in front of people and speak. Well, Jonathan had a stutter. Pastors not only have to speak, but they have to speak on God’s behalf. Who is he to speak for God?! Still, he obeyed God’s calling on him and became a pastor.

He closed with singing, in a strong voice that reached clear to the street, “Be Still My Soul.” Three full courses of the beautiful hymn sung in a sweet voice by someone who used to be afraid and stuttered in front of crowds. I would say there were at least 200 people in the crowd that morning.

To follow that, an elder came up to lead us in a family prayer. Whose turn was it to give the prayer? None other than Mr. Lee, one who stutters in front of large crowds; when face-to-face, Mr. Lee doesn’t stutter. And he stuttered this day, giving the family prayer, but I only heard his strength in obedience to God.

I sometimes wonder what is the purpose of going to church service, and then God tells me, “Just you wait and see.”

What amazing testimonies of God’s providence, that of Jonathan and of Mr. Lee.

What we don’t know is the mind of God. He can instill our hearts with his heart for others, when we’ve spent time with God and seek out his will and determine to trust and obey him. Yet we cannot know the mind of God.

What we don’t know is why he uses one broken and weak person to be his advocate, his ambassador to other broken and weak people. God Almighty could speak to us individually on his own behalf and make no mistakes about it, but instead he chooses to minister through fallen restored people.

What we don’t know is what God has done/is doing in others. Like the first generation Christians who heard that Saul was now Paul and they were skeptical, believing that the change in Paul’s life was a trick, a trap. We have a difficult time believing that someone can change, and maybe that’s because we haven’t changed ourselves.

What we don’t know is what God is doing in us when he is doing it. Oh, we might have heard his call and we might be following him, but we doubt because we can’t see the plan ahead of us. We hear his call and we think, “You’ve got to be kidding! You want me to do what?! I’m not equipped for that!” We hit bumps in the road and fall aside in the ditch and get back up and look at the road ahead of us to think, “God, are you sure? It’s not going so well.”

God has been doing something in me. He’s doing more in me as I write this. I don’t know what he’s doing exactly, but I’m open to his possibilities.

I have a notion that one day, I’m going to stand in front of a crowd and tell them that I was the least likely to ______ [become God’s representative]. And then I will them that I was able to do it anyway by God’s divine power/ knowledge/ presence/ love, and that God wants to do something mighty through them as well.

I’m looking forward to that day.

Is God doing a work in you? Would you like him to?