God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours. ~David Livingstone
Many of you who follow my blog know that my husband and I and our two young children recently moved from New England to the Midwest. We came here in a step of faith and obedience to establish a place of rest/refuge for the Lord's people.
But the Lord did speak to me, through a message that Ravi Zacharias preached, as I was struggling to come to a final decision about whether to go or to stay in New England at that time. In his message, Zacharias spoke about the missionary and pioneer David Livingstone, and he has become one of my newfound spiritual examples since. If anyone is interested in listening to that message, they may find it HERE and HERE. It is a little lengthy (2 parts) but well, well, worth it.
You may read more about my decision to come to the Midwest HERE and about the ministry that my husband and I have been called to begin HERE.
Recently, I listened to Ravi Zacharias' message again. I believe that the Lord speaks to His people, always according to His Word, but that the Holy Spirit is still actively guiding His people through their consciences as they submit to Him in a living love/trust relationship that is not feeling-based, but truth-based.
I have a tiny basket in our kitchen that I had filled with "remembrances," and reminders to me of the Lord's presence and mercy to me here. Some shells from Robin's eggs that I've found while walking, smooth stones from one of the great lakes that we visited on our way out to the Midwest, a chestnut from a nature preserve (in Chicago, of all places! :-)), and a shriveled crab-apple from my Mama's beautiful crab-apple tree in RI. A few months ago, a Bible verse came to my mind and I wrote it and placed it near my little basket. The verse was this one (Matthew 28:20) -
And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Well, a few weeks ago, I was listening to Ravi Zacharias' message again with my two little ones. Near the end, where Zacharias addresses David Livingstone and his call to Africa, he used the very verse that I had written and placed near my little basket. At the time that I wrote it, I did not realize that this was the verse that David Livingstone believed God had given to him. Only the Lord's hand could have directed me to the very verse that tied in with Livingstone's life and the call upon my own and bid me to write it down and place it near my little basket. The Lord confirmed to me again in this little way, that His hand is upon our coming here and that He will continue to guide us and provide for us here.
And this truth that has guided my life for many years remains - that if the Lord desires something to go forward, it will go forward. Men or angels cannot stop it from doing so. If something is truly the will of God, He will establish it. I rest in that confidence and the confidence in the truth of these verses that have also guided my life - Psalm 27:13-14:
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
So here we are, our little family, waiting upon the Lord in the great Midwest. The corn grows around and all is beauty and stillness and birds and trees and quiet. Through the difficulty of leaving what I have known and loved, the Lord has given me His joy where I thought that there would be barrenness - the kindness of a minister and his wife, a church where the Word is preached uncompromisingly, a little thrift store only about a five minute walk from our home (an unexpected blessing - the Lord knows my great love for thrift stores!! :-) - and I was able to walk to it through the winter when my husband and I were sharing one vehicle), the beauty of His creation all around, and the daily peace of His Presence that passes understanding and that fills loneliness and sorrow with thanksgiving and JOY.
I praise Him and His strength for all that He has done and continues to do. We are waiting upon Him for further direction, renting a homely little house and praying for his guidance in exactly where and how to establish this ministry that He has placed upon our hearts and directed our lives to undertake - because we know that He will undertake.
Please lift us up in your prayers as He brings us to your mind; He works through the prayers of His people.
Blessings and joy to each one of you, beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord.