Thursday, February 27, 2014

"SUN, STAND STILL" (Claim it like Joshua).

On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
    and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”

I sat cross-legged on the multi-purpose floor of the devotional area of the school with about a hundred middle and high schoolers. Our Big Student Ministry leader from Journey Church was talking about Joshua when he commanded the sun to stand still so his men wouldn't be overcome within the darkness of night.

 Taking a deep breath I had to just close my eyes and softly smile as I reflected on the class I had given to these very same students two days earlier. We had been discussing issues of faith and science. How they interact, where our faith is grounded, and how God operates outside of the laws of physics. I had described it like building a diorama. 

We place the little men and women with bits of scrub that become trees, legos that become builders stones, and create settings of early civilization. The figures in that scene can't control their movements, and they are limited to what they can see... and yet, as the creator of that scene, we can reach into it, take up that little man or woman... and make them fly.

We are not limited by the paper and paint construction of that creation. And neither is God. He is not limited by the boundaries and restrictions that hold us on this diorama that we call earth. God exists outside of the box. Miracles occur when he reaches in and makes us fly.

Just a few short days ago our family faced some impossible odds.  Our partnership dollars for personal support (rent, fuel, electric, food...) had fallen to a point that was simply unsustainable. We were faced with some sobering and dire options. And so we began to pray. We began to talk to our closest supporters. I came home from working at the school one evening, walked to the empty apartment, leaned my phone against the wall, hit record, and spent 5 minutes telling our story. One take. 

God put us here. We needed Him to make a way.

A download to Youtube and an email blitz. Kellie and I began to talk about what it would look like if funding didn't come. We decided there was no going back to the old life. We needed to be open to wherever God called, whatever door He opened. We also began slashing expenses.

We are just little men and women on a paper and paint landscape. 

I remembered words from a sermon I delivered late last year. Sometimes we have to let go of something we love, before we can take hold of what God has to give us. These words hit me like a stone and I spoke them again among a room full of friends and my heart broke. It was time to let go.

We sat on a property with two large homes and an apartment. We faced years of red tape and invested funds to before we could hope to open our doors to orphans. And yet... orphans are everywhere. We are called to help now. They can not wait. It was at that moment I realized that God has us right where he wants us. We are living out James 1:27 right now. 

Our work at the schools, at the church, with C.R.I. reaching into the villages... we are caring for widows and orphans in their distress. God is using us here. Our eyes began to open. And so... we are making moves to let go of the big property, to draw in close to our 4 missions, and to work hard loving and caring and teaching... right where God has placed us.

God has known all along. Our path has taken us far and wide, and our feet will settle right back where we landed. The story continues to unfold, and there are incredible and unbelievable details to be shared. A chain of events and a convergence of meetings... have led full circle to bless a host of people with exactly what they needed... through our wandering.

While we were convinced we were spinning out of control, we were securely in the orbit of God. 

And so... while some of the details still need to fall into place, we look at the story of Joshua and we say to the sun... stand still! The darkness has not claimed us. 

We claim it like Joshua.

So the sun stood still,
    and the moon stopped,
    till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.  There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. 

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