Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Living By Faith

It’s funny how God will move a person in the direction that he wants them to go. I think he wires a person with certain talents and natural abilities. Much of what we are, in those respects are inborn. Some kids sing and hum while they go about their days playing. Others draw or build things. Most play make believe in some form or fashion. It doesn’t have to be taught, they just do it. Natural talent usually just emerges if given half the chance.

I think God moves us by the things we are attracted to and the things we like to do. I was around 9 or 10 when I first experienced what life was like far, far beyond the sidewalks and highways. We went and visited cousins who had moved to Arkansas to live off the land. We road Mustangs, shot lily pads with 45 revolvers and explored the woods and creeks in that country paradise over 30 years ago. I was hooked from that moment on.

That moment in my childhood set me on a life long pursuit. I just love to be out where I can breath. To be surrounded by natural things. Still, I can almost smell the country air from all those years ago back on that visit to Arkansas.

When we ignore our natural God given inclinations then we rob ourselves of something very dear. When we suppress it too long pretty soon it just becomes buried in our subconscious. Something we used to long for but now has only become a haunting memory. It’s like spiritual gifts that need to be exercised before they can be fully developed. For it to bear fruit up to it’s fullest potential.

For me our pursuit to find land out in the country was a direct answer to the call placed in my heart by the Lord. In that respect I honestly believe we were called to move to this place. We had spent years and had driven thousands of miles searching for property. This is the place that finally came together for us.

God is a God of miracles. All of life is a miracle if you think about it. The fact that you and me even exist is miraculous. But, stuff happens and we often forget to ponder the reality of that. Sometimes I have to make a conscious effort to remember. Especially when we get caught up with the worry’s and concerns of worldly things. The ravens come and steal away the joy of being.

I’m sure we worried more than a few friends and family when we packed it up and moved to Wisconsin without anything here waiting for us (as far as a “job” goes) or even really knowing anybody. But, we believe in miracles. We believe that if we step out in faith then whatever happens we couldn’t be any better off because we are at the very center of Gods will.

I often think about the missionary Jim Elliot and his companions who were martyred deep in the jungles of Ecuador. They took a leap of faith, trusted God. They determined not to defend themselves if they were attacked by the tribal people and it cost them their lives. Most people would see their deaths as a complete disaster, a crying shame. And it was a terrible thing. But, God had a higher purpose and through their deaths was paved they way for many to come to salvation.

When those missionaries went into the jungles to witness to the tribal people I don’t imagine they expected to die. They new there were risks to be sure but I don’t think they went in with the belief that they were going to be martyred. I guess the point I’m getting at is, when we step out in faith the outcome won’t always be what we pictured. Or what everyone else pictured for that matter. People come up with all kinds of expectations but, Gods ways are so much higher than our own. You cannot define success by the worlds standards. If you do that then you will often be disappointed. To live by faith is that you trust God through it all, through the thick and the thin, through the plenty and the lean.

One of the things we felt God was leading us to do was to build a log cabin were we could put up our guests so they’d have a nice and comfortable place to stay. We wanted to provide a getaway for people who needed to come away from the rat race or whatever they needed. It was our conviction that we put that before our own comfort since we were still living in the garage (and still are by the way). As we were in the process of building it our pastor at the time told us of a conversation he had with a local Christian leader. He was telling the man about our project and he said “Oh, they’ll loose their shirts doing that”. I realized that our pastor hadn’t really caught on to the vision we had and or didn’t believe in God the way we did, so I don’t imagine he passed on good information. Nevertheless, what was he saying anyway? He let us know that this respected leader thought we’d “loose our shirts“! They were looking at it from a purely worldly perspective. Not even considering that perhaps we were attempting to live by faith and to live at the very center of Gods will.

Well I can tell you we all still have our shirts and in fact have a quite a few. In fact if you saw the piles of clothes we have on laundry day you’d say that we were doing quite we’ll. The log cabin was indeed built and it stands serving just as we originally imagined. There is a picture of it on the right side bar. One of these days I hope to make a post about the building of it.

We don’t know were God is going to take it. Our daughter Brie and her fiancé’ Scott are considering staying in it for awhile after they are married, until they figure out what they want to do. If God wants to use it to help them, then that too is fine by us. The cabin has been a blessing to scores of folks these past years and will continue into the foreseeable future.

We have many hopes and dreams for our lives here at this place. Things we believe God wants us to do. It may not always turn out like we imagine but, God is leading it nonetheless. There have been many tests along the way to be sure. Like when it doesn’t go like we think do we still trust Him?

Worldly standards of success don’t matter. It is living at the center of Gods will that counts.


Until Next Time

2 Comments:

Blogger donald.underwood said...

What a blessing it was to read your post! My family is considering taking the plunge much like you did years ago. We are moving to NE within the next year to live on 83 acres in a 1925 farmhouse. Keep trusting in the Lord, it blesses me to see your faith.

Don
http://darkwoodfarm.wordpress.com

9:59 AM  
Blogger RL said...

Hello Don,

Welcome to our blog! Thank you for the comment. I believe that the Lord is truly calling people out just as he is calling you. May the Lord be with you in your up coming adventure.

God Bless,
Russ

2:43 PM  

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