Monday, March 18, 2019

Faith in Reverse

Andes Mountains, Bolivia

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for
and assurance about what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:8 NIV).

Do you ever look back and wonder how you got where you are and where you're going now? I do, and even more so as the years pass from one decade to another. Funny how age changes your perspective about things like friends, fun, the future, and faith. I look back and think about what is essential in life more than ever. Did I make the best of my opportunities and experiences through the years? Does my faith now give me hope for my future as it did in the past? Does yours?

When we decided to follow God to the mission field, I remember doing just that––following. We put our house up for sale and trusted God to sell it before we left our hometown to begin our journey to our first-time full-time ministry at Sandy Cove Bible Conference––before going into missionary training a year later. I don't remember doubting the house would sell. It did sell––the day we had the U Haul truck packed and ready to leave we signed the contract. Do I have that same faith now?

Friends: Today we have many of the same friends as years ago, and also we have made many new friends. One of God's blessings to cherish––good friends. And, I made a new friend (to me) in the grocery store. This fun happened recently. I'm not sure the new friend agrees that I'm her friend, but I'm guessing she told friends about me that day we met.

Fun: The world thinks of fun in different terms than those who know Christ. It turns to drugs, drinking, and parties for fun. Humor is fun and can be seen in daily circumstances and not just in movies or TV or books. Just the other day, the grocery store became my fun outing for the day. I scurried about the grocery store thinking only of what I needed to purchase in a  hurry (while driving my grocery cart much like an Indie 500 driver). I had Zoey on my mind. Our Shih Tzu baby waited patiently in the car with her babysitter––aka my husband. Get in and get out. As I walked away from the bread bin, a lady started shouting at me. I looked over but didn't recognize her, so I thought she was talking to someone else. More shouting, only louder this time––"You have my cart." And, yes I did! I apologized and went on my way (with a smile in my heart), what fun. So yes, fun is different to me than it used to be because I see the fun in the little things, and they make my day.

Future: Now I'm a senior citizen but not ready to quit what God called me to do until He says so––no word yet from Him. Surprisingly, He just gave me a new job––Worthy Words Press. But, when that day comes, and we are called home to the States, it will be as scary as when we left for the mission field. Why? After 38 years in Bolivia, going "home" now is almost like going to a foreign place––even for furlough. We have no permanent home there, the food is quite different from our daily menu, and everyone there enjoys a different life than ours. And, driving at high speeds makes my curly hair straighten, and my blonde bottled hair turn white underneath the disguise of tint. But, I know when the day comes, the One who whisked me away to a foreign land will somehow make the transition to my homeland as easy as it was transitioning to a "real" foreign land. But, for now, He is still giving me a job to do in Bolivia while I wait for His next calling––wherever that might be, maybe retirement, maybe Heaven, maybe staying where I am. Who knows, maybe working in heaven's grocery store since I seem to have so much fun grocery shopping.

Faith: How can I be sure God will direct my steps for what comes next? Because I've seen Him do it in the past, and I can trust Him again. He is the same as He was in the past, and as He will be in the future. My destination may change, but He will never change. Assurance. Hope. Faith. I can't see my future, but I know the One who directs my steps to get to the future. But, for now, I'm living in the present.

Someday, I may need reverse faith to return to my homeland and I know He will give it to me––just as He gave me faith to leave for a foreign field. We all venture into "foreign fields" along life's journey. Do you know Him and trust Him for your future as well as your present? Can you trust Him to get you to your foreign (to you) field whatever, whenever, or wherever that may be?

Along the way, don't forget to have fun with friends on your journey to the future by faith. 

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