Happy New Year
I love the story of Ruth. I relate to it. She lost her husband when she was young. She clung to what she knew for that 1st season; then found herself in a new year of gleaning in the fields, spreading her wings, drawing her eyes upward where she found her Boaz. They fought for each other. They had to redefine some thinking. There had to be some letting go of old traditions, old friends, old habits to make room for the new season God had for them.
Esther lost her parents as a child. She clung to what she knew through Uncle Mordecai until taken to the Palace by the King’s men. There Esther still ate of the fruit her uncle had taught her while she learned the attributes of a Queen and eventually caught his eye. She saved a nation, but she had to fight for it. She had to let go of what was comfortable, trusting in God that He had the better plan.
This has been a tough 9 years for me. My husband of 19 years passed away and I moved through a season of grief sticking close to friends and family. But, like Ruth, I began to reach out beyond the pain, knowing God had a design on my life. I got more involved, I studied the Word, I traveled and one day, he stood before me. Roy. My Boaz. A global ministry is being created, but it has come with a cost and we had to fight for it. We left behind long time friends, jobs, home and family to follow the road God has placed before us. It’s wonderful, we love it, but it was difficult. And change will come again, but this time we are ready.
The other day as I was pondering where and what the Lord would lead us through this year, He took me to Isaiah 37:30. In the Amplified Bible it reads, “and (now Hezekiah, says the Lord) this shall the sign (of these things) to you: you shall eat this year what grows of itself, and in the second year that which springs from the same. And in the third year sow and reap, and plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them.” He gently reminded me that our lives are seasonal and we must watch what we take into the new period with us as we shall eat of it for the first year and continue eating in the same vein the second year. He showed me where I had carried some issues from many years ago into season after season of my life that were like chains on my arms and legs stopping me from moving forward in certain matters. I’m so thankful for a Father who is patient and willing to allow us to be ready for such a breakthrough. As I prayed, I could feel the chains drop off one by one clanking on the floor beneath my knees. Freedom is such a wonderful experience.
As missionaries you plant, uproot & plant again. You are called to bring a people to the saving knowledge of Christ and in that you learn their culture, their language and teach them easier and more convenient living possibilities. But it comes with a price. You have to fight for it. Some of you have had your children on foreign ground and they have learned 2 ways of life, 2 languages and schools. Some of you fight for visas, vehicles and a place to lay your head all the while clinging to the fact that God has your back.
As you jump into the year 2012, be mindful of what you take with you. Leave behind old baggage, negative comments, unbelief, worry, stress and be encouraged. Take with you the fruit that has developed and the joy that comes of it. Be excited, be thrilled! This year “you will sow and reap and plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them”. “Raise your eyes and observe the fields and see how they are already white for harvesting.” (John 4:35) You have planted, it’s been watered, and all the while God was making it grow and become greater. (1Cor 3:6)
Roy & I pray God’s protection and infinite wisdom over you this coming year; that you will hear and heed His voice succinctly, and be covered by His unending grace. We pray provision, abundant love and favor over the family and your ministry, and hope. Hope in the One who cares about every hair on your head and has your future drawn out before you like a never-ending meadow.
We thank Him in advance for providing each and every blessing you ask for,
We love you.