And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. Ephesians 3:17-18
In September 2018, at Short Course, John and I first began exploring the option of long-term service. Long story shortened, we both felt God saying, “Go,” and for the past year-and-a-half we have been gathering a home support team and preparing to move to Mongolia. God has done some amazing things to get us to the point of being ready to leave the US this September. Unfortunately, leaving did not happen because borders are stilled closed due to COVID-19. So, we are seeking His will during this time of waiting.
During our mission training this past July, the concept of transitioning from one home and culture to a new one was discussed. At some point in the process, we are like a plant out of its container, hanging in the air, roots exposed, waiting to be put in a new pot. It can be a very uncomfortable time, and if we are not careful, our “plant” can wither. That is why it is so important for us to be firmly rooted in Christ, so that even though we are removed from our normal environment and sources of emotional and physical nourishment, we are still fed by the Holy Spirit and sustained by His strength through the stressful times. It is in those times that we begin to recognize how wide and deep His love truly is.
In the book “The Hiding Place” when Corrie TenBoom and her sister Betsy were transferred to the Ravensbrook camp in Germany, Betsy stopped to give thanks to God that the sisters were still together, and even for the fleas. When Corrie said she was NOT thanking God for fleas, Betsy insisted she should, citing 1Thes 5:18. They later discovered that the fleas were a blessing, as they kept the German guards out of the barracks, leaving the sisters able to share the Gospel and God’s love freely without persecution or retribution. After her release from the camp, Corrie said, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
We have a choice to look for something every day to thank God for (a cool breeze, a kind word, something to eat), even in the midst of yuck. In our case right now, do I want to be sad (or even angry at God) for the things we are giving up (living on a farm, Idaho mountains, practice, a schedule) and the time we won’t get to spend with our children, etc., or do I want to be grateful for the things God has allowed us to have, enjoy, experience, for the time He allotted to us? In every situation, will I acknowledge only the negative and the loss, or will I also look for the positive and the gift…and especially the Giver? If I am firmly rooted in God, knowing His character, and BELIEVING that He IS GOOD, then I am more able to see the good in tough things, and TRUST that His plan in the rough times is truly the best.