Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Commissioned – Written Upon the Departure of Bob Fish to the Northwest Territories

New paths must be walked in faith, in trust,
Knowing that the Trailblazer is true.
Fate has no place in the servant’s trade,
The call instead makes hope assured.
God! He provides in incredible ways,
Directs us through darkened passes.
Calamities rise, dreams are woke from,
And we find that our fantasies were really nightmares.
Thus it is, the Isaacs to which we cling,
Are sacrificed to the One who gave them,
Yet He often gives them back,
Amazingly transformed, raised from the dead.
Many missionaries are sent out,
When what they had held dear is changed,
Revealed to be a strand of glitter,
Or purified, refined like gold.

We so oft wait for epiphanies,
Stand waiting at a bush with matches in hand.
Perhaps we moan when things are changed.
Indignant that life does not consult us.
Maybe we bang on doors long shut,
Maybe we mourn what might have been.
What if instead we looked to God,
And sought Him for what we should do next?

Missionaries simply recognize that God
Their Maker, their Lover, their Friend,
Know’s everything about them and will direct them,
To the place that they are needed then.

And so it is with you, dear brother,
Upset from routine, that being a commission:

A calling. You’re sent. Now go.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Why Don't We Expect What We Ask For?

Tonight's dorm meeting was just ... wow. It was the closest thing to a spark of revival at Boyce, period. The level of authenticity was just so real, including Ryan's amazing narrative and the open mic of testimony. People were being open about deep secrets from their pasts, struggles in the present, and hopes for the future. I left the service moved, convicted, and refreshed.

In my excitement to share with those who were not there to experience it, I told James McCray what happened. I told him how revival had almost broken out, how it was so amazing, so real. He asked me if I was expecting this. I said no, I wasn't. He then hit me upside the head with this remark.

"We just spent the past two nights in Indiana [the Boyce Spring Retreat] praying for this. Why where you surprised."

"I guess I forgot."

"My friend, I hope that in your life, you don't ask God for things, forget them, and be surprised when He gives them to you."

My horrible recounting doesn't even do justice to the truth and gravity of his words. Wow, is that ever true. At the Spring Retreat, we genuinely asked for revival. May it come Lord, may it come. And ... may we expect it.

"Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn [us] we have confidence before God, and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight. ... Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for." 1 John 3:21-22; 5:14-15