Not a destination, but an invitation

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As my feet hit the ground this Thursday morning, I wondered how I ended up here. Just three months ago, I was strategizing and believing for a Discipleship Making Movement to take off throughout the city of Khon Kaen, where we live in Thailand. Yet today, I find myself bundling up in layers so that I can drive to a gym that I had never even heard of three months ago. Since we’ve been back, every day has been full of unknowns. We lost our visas about a month ago, and we have been back in the States for a full month now. When we were leaving Thailand and since arriving here, the Lord continues to remind us, “Be still and know that I am God. Quiet your hearts before me. Rest and listen. You don’t have to strive. Wait on me.” So, we have been trying our best to wait on Him patiently until He gives us clear instructions and directions about what to do now. As I quiet my heart about what to do though, the only thing I continue to hear from Him is not so much about what to DO, but with who He has created me to BE. Each day has been full of worship and a rekindling of my love for Jesus. It’s like falling in love with Him all over again.

As I step out of the bedroom, my heart begins to rejoice in the goodness of my Father in heaven. He breaks me out into a song of praise to Him. My shoes are cold as I slide my feet in and lace them up. Stepping out into the frosty morning air, the brightness of the night sky takes my breath away. Clean air has never held so much value. The air in our city in Thailand is nearly toxic during this time of the year. The moon illuminates the path before me as I walk along the gravel driveway to our van. My heart leaps when I open the door to our van, as I consider the generosity of our God. He led some very close friends of ours to give us their van.

My ride to the gym is only about ten minutes, and the winding country roads bring back so many memories each morning that I meander their hills to the gym. I pull into one of the many open parking spots and make my way through the cold morning air. Once inside, I am warmly greeted by the regulars. This is the end of my second week at the gym, and by now, I have gotten to know the names of the same five people that are there every morning. Earlier this week I prayed for one of the men that I have really gotten to know over the course of my time I’ve been here. He runs up to tell me that his wife, who left him about three months ago came back home after I prayed for him, and they are going to try and make things right. His faith in Jesus has been renewed, and God has pulled him out of a very dark place. My heart rejoices, and as I struggle through the workouts, my smile just won’t go away.

I notice that another man, Tyrone, is on the treadmill. God highlighted him a week earlier, and I knew I needed to pray for him the next time I saw him. I wait for the Holy Spirit to create an opportunity. Throughout my workout, I get to explain to my other friend about the goodness of God, and that all sin is a result of unbelief. It is literally a lesson right out of a discipleship book that I used to use regularly. I feel the gentle whisper of Holy Spirit, “See son? I have called you to make disciples and love all people, everywhere that you go, expanding my kingdom and bringing my children home.” As my workout is coming to a close, Tyrone jumps off the treadmill and comes over to say goodbye. I say to him, “Before you go, I want to pray for you.” Then, without hesitating, I put one arm around him and grasp his other hand and begin interceding for him and his family. As I begin praying, I have no idea of what I am going to pray about, but I know that I have to step out in faith and that God will take care of the rest. Holy Spirit begins revealing specific things about his relationship in marriage and between him and his sons. With each revelation, I continue to speak life and truth into those circumstances and relationships. When I finish praying, I open my eyes to see tears all over his face, running down onto his shirt. He wraps his arms around me and just cries. All of the people in the gym, including the worker, just smile and nod their heads in acknowledgment that God has done something good.

Tyrone then pours out everything to me about what he has been going through, and explains how God literally dissected every single thing that he was going through while I was praying. He leaves the gym lighter than when he came in, knowing that God is an intimately involved Father who is with him in the darkest of moments. As I finish up my workout and say goodbye to everyone, I get back into our van and just start shouting out to the Lord how good He is.

“You are so good!

You are so amazing!

You are so worthy!”

I put on a worship set and just cry my eyes out all the way home full of the overwhelming joy of the Holy Spirit. His goodness knows no limit. The Lord had to cancel our visas and force our hand to coming back to the United States at this time so that I could be in that gym with those people who are walking through painful situations of extreme loneliness. Wow! I am so glad that I get to be a part of what my Dad is doing all of the time. He is always working, even when it seems like everything is falling apart. He is doing something through it all that is for our good and His glory. He is a good Father, and He desires to give us good gifts. I am learning in this time of waiting that He is the purpose of everything, and I don’t need to DO anything at all. A friend of mine said last week that we aren’t human Do-ings, we are human BE-ings. I just need to know Him. I just want to know Him. His love washes over me, cleanses me, renews me, rejuvenates me, invigorates me, and brings life abundantly to all things that I put my hands to and to all people that I smile on. He is incredibly good!

I want to encourage you to ask God who He is calling you to pray for tomorrow. Which co-workers, family members or neighbors is He highlighting to you? Don’t let the fear of man stop you. Don’t hesitate, just do it!

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2 thoughts on “Not a destination, but an invitation

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