My ways are not His ways…

22 02 2012

It always makes me laugh when God opens your eyes to something He has already done. When He ever so gently whispers into my ear the work His Spirit has been conducting within the depths of me, I laugh and think, “How do you slip these things by me.” Obviously I quickly realize it is because my ways are not His ways and my thoughts are not His thoughts(Isa. 55:8-9). Quickly to set the scene for this entry, I want to say that I thought I came here without expectation and only now do I realize that I was misguided in this thinking.

I came to Sudan almost 5 months ago now. I recently became aware that my strongest expectation and one of the main reasons I came here was because I knew without a doubt that I would have a solid community surrounding and strengthening me in my walk. I can’t express how I have missed just this in the past year or so. I wasn’t without community back home but it was lacking in areas I find important. Nevertheless, I knew that being here I would be surrounded by single-minded brothers in the Faith(guys need guys). I was also convinced that this was exactly what I needed as it is all I could figure that I had been lacking back home. I was certain that my walk would begin improving and even that struggles might fade. Now you all should know that the Lord was faithful in answering this desire for community in a smaller way and I am certainly not absent of community all together. That being said, the only other guy within my entire community left over two months ago. There are approximately  10 girls within my community, however, my desire was more specifically to have brothers to share life with. There are guys here from other communities, but my access to them is limited at best. I am also living alone, so nights are rather quiet and overall not what I pictured.

Back in December I was expecting two guys to come and move in within weeks after my old roommate left. Despite this universal(amongst my community) expectation I kept hearing God tell me that I was about to go through a season of testing in solitude. Even my leader assured me I would be alone for a few weeks at the worst. For reasons beyond my explanation, I was sure about God’s recommendation to prepare for solitude and so I did. Well God proved faithful in His guidance as around mid January I discovered that I would be on my own for a significant amount of time as the other guys’ visa requests had been denied. I was surprisingly content during this whole process, even though I had been so sure that a firm community of guys was the situation necessary to grow closer to the Lord. Before I continue I want to say that my situation is not ideal, and I still firmly believe that a solid community of brothers is a good thing in the eyes of the Lord and can help tremendously with one’s walk. With that clarification, I want to reiterate that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours. God didn’t provide me with a community of brothers to surround me. He didn’t meet my expectation of community during my time here. He didn’t use what I thought I needed to improve myself in my walk with God. No, instead He quite coolly said His desire wasn’t for me to have more community but rather more of Him. Amen. I am blessed to say that He has been faithful to show me more of His ways and His nature as I simply faithfully remain obedient  to His will in my life everyday. He continues to teach me about contentment in all situations, especially in solitude with the Lord. My abiding time has never been stronger and my communication is clearer and more consistent than I ever recall. What’s more is that through this season of solitude I am becoming exponentially more grateful for any community time I do get. Praise God for His perfect will.

I say all of this really just to say that the Lord is blessing me more abundantly than ever as I die to my dependence on community every new day. I am growing in ways and to extents that I wouldn’t have had I been engulfed in a sea community. All glory to God as He is the one that spoke to me the prophecy of a season of solitude, He is the one that directed me in my preparation for this season, His strength allows me to endure each new day and challenge, and He provided the growth and fruit in my relationships with Sudanese, the Body, and most importantly the Lord, Himself.  I pray that as you read this you rethink your role in your development and direction. We all must die to what we think is best and spend time in silence and solitude listening to the gentle voice of a loving Father. We simply need to remain obedient to the Spirit’s leading and the Word in all things. We must have the faith to keep walking in the direction and situation He is leading in even when He doesn’t tell us the destination. He alone is good and His will is perfect. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. Take a step back and ask yourself who leads your life. Pray for direction and for revelation of His thoughts. Fair warning: If you do this prepare to die to yourself, for there is no other way to follow where the Lord leads. May the Lord keep you and bless you all. May His love abound. Shalom.




2 responses

23 02 2012
Jo Ann

So enjoyed your article. Am so glad that you grew from your experience. May His blessings continue to be with you.

23 02 2012

I can totally relate man…I had expectations that I shouldn’t have! haha, but through it all God good, loving, and faithful. Those simple truths have become my motto kind of. Every time I get down, that’s what I tell myself!… Thanks for sharing, it was an encouragement on a lonely night 🙂

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