Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Praying in Faith

I started using a devotional last year called "For the Love of God" by D.A. Carson. It is a great devotional that combines a read-through-the-Bible-in-year-plan with a short devotional/ theological observation on one of the passages for the day. Last week one of the selected passages was Acts 12. This passage is the account of Peter's arrest and subsequent release from prison by an angel of the Lord. When Peter is released he goes to a house where believers are praying (no doubt for him and his release).

"When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter's voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, “You are out of your mind.” But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, “It is his angel!”But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. (Acts 12:12-16, ESV)"

This really stuck out to me. Here, these believers are praying. Calling on the name of the Lord, and when the Lord answers, they don't believe it. It occurred to me how often do I pray while not believing. Little did I know that this passage would come into play in my life less than a week later. 

Yesterday, we lost power at our mission house. When the power goes out here nothing works. Lights, stove, water, all of it is dead. We have a team of 30 staying there right now. I spent most of the day worrying about it and trying to figure out a solution. About 5pm, we had figured out a solution to power the fridge but we still had no solution for the water problem. We had contacted the power company. They were going to come get us power back, however they couldn't give us a specific time. As we were giving our daughter a bath, I prayed "Lord, please get the power back on", but I found myself immediately going to worrying about how we were going to manage without power. Then this passage came back to me. Here I was praying without faith. I bowed my head and said "Lord, I know that you have the ability to turn the power back on and I am asking that you would do it". We finished Karis' bath. I read her a couple of bed time stories. As I walked out of her bedroom, I glanced through one of our windows and saw light in the mission house! The power was back on.

 And all it took was praying in faith

Thursday, August 1, 2013

In the middle and in the way:

In January of this year, my father and I hooked up a U-Haul trailer of stuff and drove to Knoxville, TN. The trailer was full of the bulk of what was left of our earthly belongings. The boxes were to be loaded on a container later on that month and shipped to Guatemala. Because of the many different circumstances out of our and Clubhouses' control, the container didn't ship until June. When it arrived in port, it sat for nearly 3 weeks because of the bureaucracy of the Guatemalan government. However, the day finally arrived when the container was delivered to our staging area for unload! We were so excited! As we started unloading our boxes I started to move the boxes that where marked with our name aside. When we finished unloading I noticed a lot of our boxes were missing. I began to think, "Well, maybe I just missed them and we will find them when we go through the bulk of the load." However, after much searching none of the boxes that were missing turned up. To our best knowledge, the boxes were stolen by the "Christian" society that we used to import the container. 

The stuff that was stolen was mostly kitchen things, some board games, and home items. It was things that could be replaced. However, a few of the big boxes were Karis' stuff. Clothes, toys, and other baby items that she never got to use. This was what hurt the most. A lot of the stuff was gifts from other people to Karis. Also, many of the items we received as wedding gifts were also stolen. 

I am thankful to say that the Lord has sustained us through this trial. We know that the things stolen are just "stuff." He has provided above and beyond what we could have asked for. For us, it was another conformation that we are right in the middle of God's will and when you are there you are also right in the way of Satan. I am thankful for this trial. It was brought me personally closer to my Father and given me a greater appreciation for the things that the Lord had blessed us with! 

The first verse that the Lord brought to my memory was from Job 1:21b "...The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." It is an easy verse to say but a hard one to live. Loss hurts. It makes you angry! However, as Christians we should always expect opposition from Satan when we are following the Lord. We should always be prepared to stand firm on the promises of the Gospel.