Friday, January 16, 2009

God's perfect timing

Over the last several weeks I have been pondering the direction that God may be taking my life, and where this direction might lead. Since returning home from Romania in October I have had many opportunities presented to me. It seems like every week I receive more information about one opportunity or another.

Recently, I have been pondering and praying about summer ministry opportunities in Poland and Romania. While there are many logistics to be considered and worked through, one of my biggest concerns was the prospect of directing church camp for children between the ages of 7 and 15 in Romania.

I can handle leading the younger portion of this group, but leading teenagers is a foreign concept to me. How does a young American woman with very little pervious experience, and no athletic ability whatsoever, put together an eventful church camp for a group of teenagers? More importantly, what biblical message should I seek to impart to these students? And how do I adequately communicate that message?

So, as any planner by nature would do, I started brainstorming. I came up with a few game ideas, but the lesson still perplexed me. As I prayed about this I was reminded of a study that I went through in 2004 based on the book Nehemiah. I could remember bits and pieces of the study, but I knew that there was more to it. Being that I was apart of this study with a group of people between the ages of 14 and 22 I thought this might be an option, and quite possibly the answer to my prayer.

I contacted a respected friend, an amazing communicator, and asked about the study. I was not only anxious to go through this material with the youth in mind to see how I could present this message to them, but after four years, I was eager to walk back through the study myself. I knew that God, being who he is, would teach a different lesson today than I learned four years ago. The prospect excited me, but I could never have imagined just how perfect God’s timing was when the materials arrived in my mailbox earlier this week.

You see, it was one of those days that I found myself worn out with the struggle of life. I was 11 days shy of one year since having my last surgery, and still struggling. I had tried to contact the doctor but my calls had not been returned. That day a nurse from the office called me without knowing that I had previously called. Lets just say, the conversation did not conclude with the results that I had hoped for.

I hung up the phone feeling defeated and depleted of strength. Though I know it wouldn’t do me any good, I was ready to give up. I felt like I had been hanging on to the last strand of a fraying rope and it finally snapped. I was done.

To get my mind off of that situation I put in the audio CD that came with the materials. As I listened I came to a portion of the CD message and it was like God had a megaphone pointed in my direction. So clearly, yet very gently He reminded me, “He is in control of my life. He wants to help me face the tough situations and the decisions that I face daily.”

"He is not only involved in the details, but He wants to help me come to His position in those details." When things get tough it doesn’t mean that God has abandoned me. It simply means that He is going somewhere with my life; accomplishing something that will bring Him glory.” Yes, God’s presence does make a difference! With God by my side there can be joy in the journey through the pain.

Here is a song by Tenth Avenue North.

Thankful That He's Walking by My Side,

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