Wilderness Experience

9 11 2010

The progress of fund raising for Campus Ministry United’s new position continues in fast gear.  Many contacts are being made.  The interest and energy for this work is apparent.  Carol and I are encouraged by God’s faithfulness and comfort.  There are many aspects of what this ministry will require being put in place, but at the same time there are many aspects needing to be resolved.  Our home is currently on the market and we patiently wait for the buyer God has in store.  We continue making appeals locally and long distance for our financial support.  We diligently pray for opportunity and results for the future.  We are blessed to witness our own campus ministry grow and take on responsibility of ministry with passion and resolve.  We also are learning of more young hearts turning their lives over to God’s service through ministry.  God is good—all the time! 

 Php 1:12  Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.

Campus Ministry United has captivated my heart for over 5 years now–in ways I would have never predicted.  I have been energized by its potential and strengthened by its progress.  I have seen peoples’ lives take new direction after workshops and renewed resolve from discussions and ministry examples.  We now begin a new chapter of possibilities in this organization, and my heart is being taken through a different array of emotions.  We are now appealing for partnership–partnership in multiplying the effect of campus ministry exponentially across this country and abroad.  As these appeals are being made, it is requiring from my heart the virtue of patience and that is where Paul’s statement in Philippians 1 begins to make much sense to me.  How was it that Paul could see the gospel advancing while in jail?  It is easy to work hard when you sense the benefits or see the visible results, but waiting without answers, that is hard.  Thankfully, our Biblical legacy teaches us how to wait!

I think many times about the patience of Joshua and Caleb in the wilderness.  They were the guys with the faith to enter the Promise Land.  They had vision and courage, but for the development of a bigger picture they had to wait—40 years!  What must that have been like for them?  I also imagine there were others among the Israelites who weren’t rebellious or faithless.   They were forced to endure their own countrymen’s stubbornness and slowness.  Can you imagine a young man, proclaimed by God as one of His children, fresh out of Egypt, turning to face the wilderness?  He’s heard all about going to the land flowing with milk and honey, but right now, he’s facing the desert, a wilderness.  “Can I get through it?  It’s so big, so unforgiving.”  He’s just a tiny human, vulnerable in so many ways.  “How can I possibly triumph in a place like this?  How will I ever get through the desert?”

 He turns to a friend and says, “Look at this, how can we do this?”  His friend replies, “God rescued us from a long and bitter bondage in Egypt.  He can handle a desert.”  He hears his sisters sing; “God is our refuge and strength an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.”  (Psalm 46:1)  What if this kind of faith had not been developed?  How could they have ever faced the New Land without it?  Waiting in the ‘wilderness of not knowing how or what’ trains my heart to trust ONLY in God’s provisions.  Although I don’t want to dwell in the wilderness forever, and I believe God has a much more desirable destination; I can trust today He is developing in me the perfect equipment for tomorrow.  The wilderness is a harsh reality, but it’s not the ultimate reality.  God is the ultimate reality, and the wilderness belongs to Him. Praise Him!!