Monday, May 6, 2013
Do I Have the Right Time?
Lately I have been pondering on timing. We almost always discuss timing in our adult lives when it comes to schooling, marriage, babies, etc. When to get married, how long to wait to have babies, is it the right time for more education and so on. Big decisions almost always carrying a component about timing, it's inevitable.
I remember when we were praying about our next step while we were in Indiana. God spoke so clearly, so undeniably that moving back to St. Louis to plant a church was the where and I remember God giving us the when. Eight months before we were going to move, God spoke His will to us. It was clear, precise, specific~truly and undoubtably God. As we prepared for the move, doors began to open~more confirmation to God's perfect will. But there was something more convincing, persuading or doubt crushing about that move we were about to make: perfect peace.
I tend to be, or maybe more accurately said, I used to be a very fearful person. I was filled with fear, from bridges to financial crisis to fatal disease, I was fearful. Indiana was safe. We were attending a large church that we loved, we lived near family (for the first time in our married life we actually lived in the same town as parents) and I was comfortably being a saint and letting God heal some hurting places in my spirit. Then God said, "Go. Go back to St. Louis. Go and plant a church." Seriously?!? Planting a church is a true faith journey, something that would send a fearful person into fear overdrive, but something happened that not even I expected; I had NO fear, in reality I was truly ecstatic about what God was moving us toward. During worship service one night, I was thanking God for peace about the move and the journey we were about to embark on, when it hit me hard that no matter the obstacles, when God is in the plan there will be an underlying peace because you are submitting to God's will. You may not have all the answers, but there will be peace, because you know who has the answers. We had no confusion. We had no doubts.
Paul, in 1 Corinthians 14, penned the words, "God is not a God of confusion. . ." God doesn't call us and then fill us up with fear and doubt. There is peace in the call of God, even when there aren't answers to every question (that's the faith journey, right??) Another scripture says, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." This scripture spoke deeply to me because I was so fearful about so many things. God, perfect love, casts out ALL fear! Despite not having all the answers, digging a church out of nothing, launching out into global missions, taking up a leadership role you have never worked in before~whatever the call, wherever it takes you, perfect love casts out all fear!
But what if our timing is wrong? What if God's will is for us to wait for a more perfect time in His perfect plan? I can't help but believe that when we are staying in tune with God's clock, we will have perfect peace among all the questions. If we don't have peace, maybe we need to question the clock we are working from? Is it God's clock or my own? Did I set the clock ahead because that's where I think I should be or what I should be doing by now? Did I set the clock back to avoid the next step in ministry because I'm comfy here? If I'm controlling the clock, we are not working from God's clock.
I'm on a journey, so occasionally fear raises it's ugly head, taunting me to step back into it's embrace and look at all the scary things around me. God is taking me to new places in Him and in ministry that I ran from for a long time and some areas of ministry I never considered. So, I put on my cutest shoes, you know the ones, the gospel of peace pair, remind myself that I abide under perfect love's umbrella and I step firmly on that ugly head and happily keep moving along, under my umbrella.