Trusting

tenting extreem

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.
Plans to give you a hope and a future”
Jeremiah 29:11, NIV 1984

It amazes me that it is so easy to forget how carefully the Master of the Universe watches over us and provides for our every need—even the needs we are completely clueless about.

Just over two years ago I was caught completely by surprise at the sudden appearance of an unforeseen path in my journey. God was gently, yet dramatically, calling me to shift my focus and my best-laid plans to pursue full-time ministry with Life Action (you can read that story here). Since then, I’ve been on what feels like an intensive wilderness camping excursion.

Everything I own (which isn’t much), except essentials has been packed away and/or moved to Michigan. I haven’t seen my books, Bible study tools, and bookshelves for over a year. My desk has been packed away and moved, and the room where I sleep has no door.

I’ve learned a lot about letting go and the freedom that comes with living simply. But most of all, I’m learning where my Home truly is and which Kingdom I’m really serving. You know the difference between knowing something and knowing something? Well, that’s what this whole season has been about.

In the same week that God laid the mission of Life Action Ministries on my heart, He provided a temporary full-time job that was far beyond anything I could have ever asked for. Last month, when it was decided that it was time to move forward, quit my job in May, and serve a full summer at the Life Action Camp, my heart was resolved.

However, as my departure date (the first full week of May) grows closer, my heart has been unsettled and prone to fear. Then last week I was caught completely off guard with, not only a job promotion, but a career path if I stayed and continued to work for my current employer. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God has called me to work with LAM, so why was my heart so troubled?

I had no other choice but to fall down before the Throne of grace and lay my heart bare before my Master. He gently—yet firmly—revealed to me my lack of trust in his sovereignty. Yes, I could have a “stable” career of “my own making.” Why should I give up good work, nice pay, and—by all appearances—a stable life, to go work for a ministry where I have to depend directly on God moving in the hearts of individuals to give so that I can make ends meet?

And God nailed me.

Alicia,” I could sense His words, “Have I not provided EVERYTHING that you have and trust in—including the job you now have and the place you now live?

Then it hit me. It doesn’t matter which path I choose to walk. God will always be my God, Father, and faithful provider. He is the one I am serving. His Kingdom is the one I work tirelessly to advance. It’s not about me and my petty comforts and miniature kingdom. Life is about an amazing work of grace and the transformation which that brings.

I don’t need a cushy job that makes tons of money.

But I do need Jesus.

I desperately need His love and the life He has sacrificed for me.

Now, I want to clarify. I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive for a nice stable job or that it’s wrong to make a lot of money. What I am saying is, whether you make a ton of money or not, God is the one who calls the shots. In the hands of the Master of the Universe, a “stable” job is no more secure than living month to month trusting that God will provide. Either way we must completely trust in our Savior-God to secure all our needs, for it is Him alone who holds all things together (Col. 1:17).

If He is willing to give up His throne in Heaven to embark on a rescue mission at infinite cost to Himself to save us from the utter destruction of our own making, than don’t you think He is willing to care for us and work all things to our good (Rom. 8:28-32)?

Your relationship with Him is infinitely more important than your temporary comfort.

Through the last couple years of my sojourning here in NH, I’ve come to know the wonderful promises of my God and King to provide for my every need. I have never felt more blessed as I’ve watched God provide for even the smallest of my needs with care and precision.

I’ve known about my future home in heaven; I’ve known and even experienced the Kingdom life. But I’m beginning to really get, that despite the pain of this world, Heaven is here now! This isn’t just some future hope, but a present reality. My “home” isn’t dependent on staying in NH or moving to MI. My home is the present reality of Heaven come to earth through the death and resurrection of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

We each have the opportunity to live for the Kingdom now. In whatever we are doing and whatever path is laid out before us and in whatever season of life we find ourselves. We have the opportunity to live in the freedom of God’s love and provision. So that whatever we do, it is the King we are serving and His glory we are striving for (Col 3:23).

It is my prayer that, as we sojourn here, our eyes would be continually fixed on the Savior and our hearts would find shalom in the present reality of the Kingdom.

 

Photo Credit: Winter Tent by Ben C @ stock.xchng

Reflections on My Time at The Camp

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It’s hard to believe almost two months have passed since I came home from Michigan. What an unexpected blessing it was to have a foretaste of the mission I’m working toward! I am still speechless when I think about the overwhelming provision and perfect timing that our Lord orchestrated to make a summer mission at the Life Action Camp possible (for the details, check out this post).

My time in the northern mid-west was very fruitful. It was incredible to watch God work in and through the lives of broken people like you and me and observe the power of the Gospel transforming lives.

I was able to get first hand knowledge of the inner workings of summer family camps, see how the camp operates, and clarify where I can and can’t contribute. The easiest place for me to pitch in mid-season (I arrived half-way through the busy season) was in foodservice and housekeeping. However, we quickly discovered these tasks were beyond my physical abilities (a couple of years ago I developed a disorder that greatly limits my upper extremities—for more details, check out this post). However, just as with my current job, this limitation pushed me into the administrative world where I tend to excel and thrive.

IMG_0182There also arose a last-minute need for a sound tech to cover the daily meetings of the last two weeks of family camp. I cannot express the thrill of being able to simply jump in and serve in such a practical way—not to mention getting to play with a lot of fun sound and AV equipment while enjoying so many phenomenal speakers who faithfully proclaim the Word of God each day in clear and practical teaching.

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Another benefit to my time in MI was getting to do a trial run of my future living situation. When I move, I’ll be staying with my brother-in-law, sister, and their four kidos. We had a blast getting to spend time together and working out the kinks of life together.

In the meantime, I’m settling back into my roles and responsibilities here in NH. My full-time job has been rather demanding as I’ve been striving to get caught up from my six-week leave of absence. This, unfortunately, hasn’t left much time for support-raising, but our Father is so faithful! When I feel weakest He always proves strong! There is no other explanation than to simply say God orchestrated several divine appointments and has opened doors for meetings and even an opportunity to speak at a local church!

I am daily aware of my desperate need to be continually before the Throne of Grace. I cannot thank you enough for your continued prayers and financial support!