Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Newsletter

Isaiah 6 Ministries 2010 Newsletter

Babbie Mason and Eddie Carswell wrote a song entitled “TRUST HIS HEART”. I have enclosed some of the lyrics in hopes they will speak to you as they have to me this past year:

“All things work for our good. Though sometimes we don't see how they could.
Struggles that break our hearts in two, sometimes blind us to the truth.
Our Father knows what best for us. His ways are not our own.
So when your pathway grows dim, and you just don't see Him
Remember you're never alone.
God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind.
So when you don't understand, when you don't see His plan
When you can't trace His hand
Trust His heart”

These words carried me through a year filled with highs and lows. If I had known last year what the coming year beheld, I may have just skipped the whole year. I certainly would have missed out on some major blessings. Growth is often painful. Yet it yields abundant fruit if we submit to the One who desires to grow us into His likeness. Two words – longevity and brevity. My mom went to be with Jesus at the ripe age of 91 after being in Hospice Palliative care for eight months. Longevity. My daughter and son-in-law delivered a stillborn at six months. Brevity. These two events happened within eleven weeks. Through it all, I saw God’s graciousness. Both of these loved ones needed to be with their Creator more than they needed to be here. Trusting this conclusion came after tears flowed heavily. Sandwiched between these two events God shipped me to China to teach at an underground church and seminary. When I got there I was told by my host family that I needed to stay underground too. Almost any option I decided on could very likely wind me up in prison. Once again I was glad this was not foreknowledge! So I asked God should I go back home for safety or hide under blankets in the back of a truck (in 90 degree weather) to travel to and from my destination. What if communist guards found me? They seemed to be everywhere I went. As I prayed all night that first night, God showed me if my faith wasn’t worth dying for it wasn’t worth living for. I thought of all my supporters. Could I go back home and tell them the mission was too risky so I just became a tourist for nine days? I was reminded of Eugene Peterson’s words, “We do well to remember that God has created us not to be tourists who seek instant and intense gratification, but to be pilgrims on a long journey.” So I decided to be a pilgrim. Then God rose up a Chinese believer who offered up an empty apartment where both I and the students could meet daily without suspicion. ( No hiding under blankets!) He is too wise to be mistaken! I will never forget God’s provision and protection. I had just written a new Bible study entitled “Running from God, Reflections of Rebellion.” To have left the work undone would’ve been disobedience (rebellion). So for 2011, I pray to leave no work undone that God has already mapped out for me. Please pray for me and with me that He finds me, us, faithful.