So… There is this idea that as missionaries, as missionaries supported by others, I need to portray all the victories of God with joy and enthusiasm that assures you that your participation in these efforts are yielding fruit and prospering well.
In one of our missions classes or maybe a book we had to read before coming, it spoke of the different “levels” at which you share of what is going on, taking place, weighing upon and stirring in. Not that it was directing this, but that it was a common screening groove many missionaries get into, often finding themselves isolated.
I’ve been told I’m a very private person, although I don’t feel that way. I really do feel I bring people in… Maybe not as much as I enjoy entering into the hearts of others, but I have certainly become one thing out here… And THAT is… a much more open book.
That all being said… We need prayer. I need prayer. Without going into details, our trip to Kisii last week was extremely difficult, discouraging and despairing. I have struggled with how God can possible use my bitter and ugly heart. I have struggled with the deep lack of power and a homesickness that is physically painful. I’m struggling with the questions of who, what, when, where, how… And….. Why?
My back is hurting. My eyes are hurting. My brain is hurting. My tooth is hurting. And, my heart is hurting.
I’ve run smack face into my “Jericho Wall“.
As I am reading the book of Joshua I found myself like the spies… Oh not these two…. Rather… One of the ten from 30-40 years earlier that we see in Numbers. The ones that came back and reported to Moses… It’s too dangerous, the giants are too big, we will be overtaken! I even went on just as the Israelites in chapter 14 and I’ve wept all night, crying out with my voice to The Lord… Why have you brought me here? Why did I leave everything for this? I can’t do this! I CAN”T BREATHE!!!!!
I am left tonight with a decision. Will I now turn back? Will I now be content to wander? Will I book the ticket I found online? Will I pull out the bags from under the bed? Will I succumb to the defeat of the unknown… Or…. Am I going to be strong and of good courage? Am I going to trust my God? Am I going to obey despite the craziness of the plan? I mean, come on…. Silently march around the city wall once a day for 6 days? Ahhh what? This all AFTER…. Right after…. the entire army had been circumcised???
First, I need to go back. I need to re-read… I need to slip away and be just like that young man… Knowing he had heard a voice… Going back again and again… “You called, Eli?” Finally after being awakened the third time… Eli realized young Samuel is hearing GOD!!!!
I need to go back… And say like Samuel… “Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening”. I need to go back and see that The Lord told Joshua not once… Not twice… But in this chapter alone… FOUR times… “Only be strong and of good courage”.
I need to go and remember…
Come here and hear the words of Your God (Joshua 3:9)
By this you WILL know that the Living God is among you (Joshua 3:10)
He will…without fail…. Drive out your enemies (Joshua 3:10 )
And… As HE so clearly spoke to me a few weeks back…
Sanctify yourself… For tomorrow… The Lord will do wonders among you! (Joshua 3:5)
This battle is not mine! This battle will be fought by the Commander of the army just as He assured Joshua before the crazy plan was put into action and they marched around silently SIX times on that 7th day and then… The 7th time around… After the trumpet sounded… “SHOUT, for The Lord has given the city!”
I don’t know the plan. What little I know is a bit crazy. I know there may be giants in the land. But I WILL ABIDE IN YOU!!!! Because… this one thing I know… With YOU… I can do anything! (Sung in my heart with the voice of Gen Falleur)
So… I share all this not to complain, not to whine, not for sympathy or even permission to bail…. I share this because with all my heart… Honestly with all that is inside me… I want to obey… I want to be a part of HIS plan… I want to be strong and courageous… I want to be sanctified… And…. I want see the Living God give the city!!!!
So… I again ask your prayers.
I will give a couple praises…
Our work permit/dependent pass is IN HAND… Record 2 months!
And God is truly teaching me the gift I have in Randy who has been so incredibly loving, patient, gentle, encouraging and showering me with prayer. I am opening my heart more now… To this man of mine for 32 years… Than ever before. It really has never been just us… So… It is good… It’s SAULGOOD!
Wow, great post. Brutally honest, but many have had similar experiences.
My dearest Kari – Please know that I am committed to praying for you and Randy. I’m so sorry that right now you are having doubts and going thru a tough time. As you have told me many times press into the Lord. I like to imagine him lifting me into his lap and rocking me like a baby. I know you can get through this and I know you will. I love you my friend. If I can do anything else please let me know. Love you,
in Christ! Linda
Thank you Kari for your transparency and openness. Love you and praying for you and lifting you before Him.
I have a calligraphy someone did for me that I look at in times like you’ve just shared. It says ” Do not be frightened by the size of the task; be strong and very courageous”. It’s in reference to when Nehemiah wanted to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. It was a God-sized task as is the one before you. Keep pressing in because God must be doing something amazing while He has you in His crucible
I remember a time, many years ago, when every physical impulse and reason told me that I was in a doomed marriage and it was time to bail-out. Only one small, tiny, quiet voice, that of the Holy Spirit, told me to hang in there….said my obedience and perseverence would reap great blessings. Oh, how difficult and against my will it was. Yet, as you know, God was faithful to bless my obedience with a marriage that is blessed beyond anything I ever dreamed was possible. And so it has been with you….and will be again in this particular challenge. God always, always, always blesses obedience. Your post has encouraged and inspired me because of its honesty. I hear the same types of words/emotions from King David in so many of his Psalms. That’s the way we are supposed be….Your place in life finds you in fine company! hahaha
Thank You Kari for the nice card,You are in my mind first thing in the morning as I read the book you gave me.I miss your sweet smile and the unconditional LOVE you spread around and I know that God is using those powers in Kenya.Some days I wish I was with You but Tom needs me ,he is starting a new job on Monday.He ask about You all the time. My mom is sliping away but she still knows that I am her daughter.I pray that You will be filled strengh to continue your mission. Give big kisses to Papa Saul..Love my Dear sister in Kenya……