Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hey Old Guy - What Keeps You Going? Lesson 2: Walk By Faith

Today I received a phone call from the office of the Seattle Prosecutor. The person on the other end told me that she had my Bible in her possession. Two years ago, thieves kicked in our front door and stole many things including my briefcase which contained the Bible I had used since the early 1990s. Now, for reasons unexplained, my Bible was sitting on the desk of someone in the Seattle Prosecutor's office. I expressed the hope that the person who stole it had read it. In fact I've prayed off and on that the people who broke into our home would read my Bible and find Jesus. (I have no idea if that happened, but it encourages me to think that they might have). This afternoon, a manila envelope containing my Bible was placed next to my front door.

 When I came home and Iris handed me the Bible, I held it for a few moments and then I began to page through it. I looked at promises that I'd underlined and remembered where I was when I first heard God speak them to me. I was really surprised by the emotion I felt and by the memories that came to me just by skimming through the pages. Then my eye fell on the title page and a statement I had written there: "Pray that God would always keep me in over my head".
This afternoon, standing in my office and holding my old, stolen, and now returned Bible, I thought about all the ways the Lord has answered that prayer and how much it has shaped my life. There have been so many times that I have taken on something that there is no way I could do on my own. In other words, if there is no God, I'm sunk. Everything from pioneering new ministries and moving my family to the former Soviet Union right after its breakup to my current role in leading the Nav work among the U.S. Army - all of those things are beyond my capability. And I'm not just talking about ministry challenges. Marriage, child raising, finances, disappointments and failures have all challenged me to the breaking point and pushed me to my knees.

So, I recommend it here as lesson two in how to keep going over the long haul. Trust God with your life and take the risk to pray the prayer I prayed years ago. Ask God to always keep you in over your head. I know, it's a risky prayer, but not really because our Father is a strong and loving God.

What's the practical lesson from the life of Jesus? It's this: He is looking for faith. Once Jesus told a story about a widow who needed justice and bugged an unrighteous judge until he finally granted her request. At the end of that story, He asked a question: When the Son of Man returns will He find faith on the earth? The people of faith are not found near the shore where their feet can touch the bottom, but out in the deep water where they can't make it for long unless there really is a Lord who promises to be with them always, even to the end of the world.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I'm going to start writing in my Bible in such a way with hopes of it being stolen! :)