In the first part of this two part post, I shared a bit of my testimony regarding God’s provision for our family over the last year. What I’m more than a little embarrassed to admit is that I had all of those doubts EVEN after I’d seen God provide and care for us miraculously so many times before, carrying us through difficult and scary medical crises, impossibly hard financial predicaments and even tense and uncertain political atmospheres.
Yes, our family is large. And yes, more often than not, we have just enough – no extra, no margin… and that is uncomfortable. Yet we see God come through time after time –
- providing, sometimes sufficiently and other times abundantly, or removing need,
- giving discernment,
- showing us needed modifications to our plans and lifestyles, or
- simply adjusting our expectations.
Our judgment and wisdom has often been questioned: Are we right to ask churches to provide for our large family on the mission field? What about college and our children’s future? Flying our family one way to or from the field is a huge cost – is that the wisest use of missions’ monies… and what would happen if we needed (for whatever reason) an emergency evacuation?
More than once, we’ve questioned our own judgment and wisdom: Is it wise to bring small children to a place where sometimes, deadly disease is rampant and unpreventable? Should we leave our parents when they are aging and facing physical challenges? How do we provide stability and a good send-off for our children as they move out of the shelter of our home and on to independent living and post-secondary education?
Obviously, we feel that we are exactly where God wants us. He has given each one of our children. It is His job to provide, and He promises to supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory. Our job, therefore, is:
- learning contentment in whatsoever state He sees fit to place us,
- accounting faithfully to Him, our churches and our mission for our expenditures, and
- seeking to be Spirit-led, wise stewards, using the time, talents and resources He has given for His honor and His glory first and foremost.
When I’m tempted to stew, to wonder, to fear… to start re-spinning my fragile and insufficient web… I hope I’m learning to pray and quickly think of God’s provision through the sweet lady from our church who delivered baked goods and non-perishables to our home every Wednesday last year. I want to remember all the prayers and words of encouragement from almost every continent when our daughter lay sick on a clinic bed with resistant malaria and dysentery. I’m humbled by my friend and neighbor, who regularly shares with my children, out of her physical and spiritual poverty, tangible gifts of beignets and fari masa she has made to sell alongside the road.
Having a large family on the mission field is exciting because it gives us, as parents, so much opportunity to learn and live these truths… and to disciple our children in them. It is so much better to find our refuge and provision in the Lord rather than trusting in any man, whether that be “self” or a group of churches and supporters back in our home country… all the while realizing that God’s abundance often flows through the generosity of others. God, in His grace, has given us this opportunity to live in faith and trust day by day, every day. If we were any fewer, in any other place or in any other career, we might not have to, and I’m doubtful that on my own I would so choose.
I’m so thankful we are who we are, right where we are, doing what we do.
In what uncomfortable situations has the Lord placed you, and why are you thankful for it? How do you “lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him?”
(Post by: Richelle)