I knew that it would be this way when I was in Thailand last October. The quote from Jesus that became so blindingly obvious to me was this:
The Son of Man has no place to rest his head.
This was said to someone who had told Jesus that he wanted to be his disciple, and this was Jesus’ reply. At least he was honest to the newcomer. He was giving the guy a clue: following Jesus involves risk. But, as C.S. Lewis writes, “He is not safe, but He is Good.”
This last month has been… rough. We’re less than three weeks away from flying to Thailand and our support is less than glamorous. We’re at about half of what we think we’ll need to survive and a quarter of what our initial goal was. To say that this has caused me some stress would be an understatement. My thoughts have often raced around for some kind of fix, as though I have counted the monthly commitments incorrectly or that I might have forgotten about some long lost bank account. I reason that I’ll be able to make ends meet at least for a couple months. This way of thinking goes on for a while and I come to the end of myself as my stress level continues to climb. But every time, something quiet and still grips me and turns my gaze to the past.
I continue to remember a conversation that I had with Shannon when we were still trying to figure out how we would fund this venture. She asked whether we would wait to leave until we were fully funded. I answered almost without thinking, “No.” This is because it was becoming very apparent to us that God was telling us that He wanted to finance this move. He had been challenging our beliefs that we would just be another burden to people if we asked for them to partner with us financially. It really struck a cord. Not being a burden was something that Shannon and I constantly strove to excel in. This part of our identities was being stripped away. And it has been very frightening to say the least.
The fear of whether we would have financial provision was pretty heavy for me yesterday. I had just received a discouraging message from an acquaintance. While considering this new message, a song that I’d heard many time before on the radio began playing. It seemed to be speaking to my life situation. The title is Beyond Me by Toby Mac (embedded below this post). The last verse sort of sums this up the best:
You take me to the place where I know I need You
Straight to the depths that I can’t handle on my own
And Lord I know, I know I need You
So take me to Your great
Take me to Your great unknown
I feel like the Good Life is a gift that God wants us all to have. But He can’t just give it to us. We have to receive it, and sometimes, that means going to some very uncomfortable places or situations. Sometimes it means letting go of the mudpies we’ve been settling for so that we can have a “holiday at the sea” (again, C.S.Lewis). For me, this means leaving a comfortable life, trusting that He knows what He’s doing and expecting Him to come through so that I can work with an amazing group of people in pursuit of empowering families so that things like spousal abuse, alcoholism and trafficking can become a thing of the past. I know this may sound crazy, but this is where He says I’ll find life, and I’ll give everything to receive it.