May 23, 2014
Since deciding to take our leap of faith 12 years earlier, we had endured our nascent business years of struggle and persistence. We felt that we had been faithful to God's calling and now, in His infinite mercy, He was about to display His boundless faithfulness in the little piece of property and new home we had built with our own hands.
I can look back at that brief time of optimism and see that this property; this exact spot, is where God knowingly placed us for the times He had ordained. That immeasurable success, by the world's standards, did not come. We are "maintaining" like millions of our fellow Americans. But I am SO grateful to my Lord for every day that we have food on the table and for every bill that I am able to pay. There is no "abundance"; but there is "sufficient grace" to cover our needs. We are doing OK and I am content.
I am also surprised at where I am in my state of mind. Six years ago, the thought of "preparing" was the furthest thing from any conscious thought. Prepare for what? Prepare ... How? Why should I prepare? These are all questions that I had to come to terms with, and decide if they were relevant. I can only say that the Holy Spirit enlightened me. He guided my thoughts and my actions. I am truly amazed that panic never set in. I simply proceeded with a calmness and a purpose; it was as if I saw clearly a new reality and a new path to walk.
That doesn't mean there weren't dark days. I will honestly admit that I gave in to irrational fears more than once. But I would not let go of what I knew was God's promise -- that He brought us to this place as a shelter from the coming storm. More times than I can count, I found myself standing and reciting Scripture at a spot in my home where I had written God's Word on the foundational studs and beams. They might now be covered by sheetrock, paint, and trim, but I knew that underneath that exterior were sacred words that would inspire me to overcome Satan's attacks.
And speaking of Scripture, I cannot believe how much passion I have these days to study and know what the Bible has to reveal to me. Six years ago, I was a member of a 5,000 member mega-church, and today I am involved with a small group of 11 or so people who exhibit more longing to know the Lord than that entire large congregation. Together, we are seeking God's presence and to hear His instructions to us for these times. And we are not relying on other men to reveal God's Word to us -- we are spending personal time with Him; hours in the Bible discerning the meaning of words that we have taken for granted for far too long. We desire to know Him as those who walked with Him did. And we are following His commands as to how He wishes to be worshipped. It has been the most rewarding part of my life to this day.
So, I guess I would say that our lives have grown simpler, less worldly, more practical, more authentic, and closer to God. People are more important to me than things, and I am strengthening my faith and my courage to battle those in the spiritual realm who want to defeat me. Yes, I think this world is a much scarier place than it was six years ago; and it's going to get even more frightening in all kinds of ways. What is my plan? To just "maintain" this new awareness and stay alert ... aware of how quickly things may deteriorate, and alert and watching for signs of my Savior's return. It may not be the life I envisioned just a few short years ago, but it's the life I am meant to live and I am embracing it with joy.
Psalm 16:11 "You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."