Molding a lump of clay

Molding a lump of clay
I am a work in progress, molded by my Maker, refined by His fire, shaped with His love. Walk the journey with me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Faith, or lack thereof

A Scottish preacher in the last century lost his wife suddenly,
and after her death he preached an unusually personal sermon.
He admitted in the message that he did not understand this life of ours.

But still less could he understand how people facing loss could abandon faith.
"Abandon it for what!" he said.
"You people in the sunshine may believe the faith,
but we in the shadow must believe it.
We have nothing else."

(Philip Yancey Reaching for the Invisible God, p. 61)

I'm in the shadow right now. I'm struggling with the waiting, with the trusting, with the hoping.

Why isn't God shining His light and revealing the thief? Why has He left us to suffocate under this massive crushing weight of depression, suspicion, fear and uncertainty? When is He going to vindicate His people and show us His salvation?

I know, I of little faith. Not even as big as a tiny little mustard seed...certainly nowhere big enough to order a mountain into the sea. Sorry to disappoint you all...I'm wallowing today.

"Storms are the triumph of God's art."

said poet George Herbert

Sorry, can't see much of the artistic value in this particular storm...just the big ol' muddy mess.

And yet, I don't want to give up. I'm not a quitter by nature...too stubborn.

"A living faith is nothing else than a steadfast pursuit of God
through all that disguises, disfigures, demolishes
and seeks, so to speak, to abolish him."
Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Though my enemies surround me, I will trust in the Lord my God. I must have faith because there is no other way through this storm. In this shadow I choose to continue believing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A YWAM base crippled by theft

This article has just been published on YWAM's international website about the recent theft on our YWAM base:

A YWAM base crippled by theft / News / News & Stories / / Home - YWAM

My heart's desire is to write a follow-up article reporting that the thief came forward on his own accord to confess, repent and return the THAT would be a story! God is a great big God and quite capable of making that dream come true.

Thank you for your continued prayers!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Theft at the YWAM Arua base

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to
sift you as wheat.
But I have prayed for you, Simon,
that your faith may not fail.

And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Luke 22:31-32

I don't know if this is God allowing Satan to sift us, or just negligence on our part, or a spiritual attack (which would still be Satan sifting us, I guess) or what it is, but this last week has been one of the most intense times of my life.

From Monday morning, June 28...when we discovered the theft of nearly $27,000 from our YWAM base accounting office...we have lived in the midst of the longest daytime nightmare I've ever experienced.

You'd think the loss of the money would be the biggest blow, but actually that was just the beginning and less malignant of the experiences that followed. When some of our YWAMers and other people connected to the base were taken in for 'questioning', the greater cost of this experience on the emotions, security and reputation of these people started to be really seen. Many of us will bear lifelong scars, some of them more deeply than others.

For days I walked around with a lump of dread in my stomach as another challenge came up, and another, and another. John was pulled in 20 different directions as each person gave his/her opinion about what should be done, who should be investigated, how we should respond. The pressure on him has been crushing.

I found myself crying out like the psalmists did, "How long, O Lord, will you hold back your right hand of judgment? How long will our enemies mock us? Vindicate your children, Father, and show us your salvation."

But He has chosen to remain still.

And I believe He wants us to be still, as well, and know that He is God.
But this waiting period is HARD!

People's futures and reputations are at stake, and meanwhile someone is busy spending money sacrificed for the work in Sudan, and for the DTS in Arua.

No wonder patience is a fruit of the Spirit...I certainly don't have it on my own.

And I thank God that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, interceding for us day and night, praying that our faith will not fail. I don't want to fail this test. I don't want to doubt my God, no matter what things look like around me.

In the midst of it all, God has been so good to us. Many many people around the world have been praying and sending us encouraging emails and text messages. With all this prayer cover I find it hard to believe the thief has any chance of getting away with this.

We've also united as a base in a special, family kind of way. We had a powerful, healing time of grieving on Friday that bonded us closer than ever before. There is something about crying together that unites people in times of trouble.

I'm still a bit raw, and very very tired.

But God hasn't changed. He's still good, and all He does is good. And we are trusting Him to bring good things out of this.

I'm believing God that He will do something BIG through all this...something God-sized.

And we will shout His name from the rooftops and wave our banners, because He is worthy to be praised.

And we will strengthen our brothers and sisters when it's their turn to walk through the fire, because these trials purify us and bring us closer to our Father. Yes they are painful, but the end result is so much better than before.

God reminded me of a birthday cake I had made for one of my kids a year or two was quite big, and I hadn't left it in the oven long enough. When it had cooled and I started cutting and shaping it, I realized that the middle was still gooey and would ruin the cake. So I reheated the oven and put the cake back in.

It took twice as long to cook that cake thoroughly the second time around.

God said, "Don't try to get out of this fire until the work is complete. Otherwise, the work will be ruined and you'll have to go back through this fire, but for twice as long next time."

Although I want to beg and plead for this to end, and for God to do something NOW, I would rather be patient and trust in Him, and see His deliverance in His good and perfect timing.

Because no matter what it looks like, He is faithful, and we can trust Him.

To God be all the glory.