This year for lent I’m giving up my car, my job, my house and my country.
It’s not part of my theology to believe that God gives out words, in prophetic visions, at least not to me, but God is speaking pretty clearly to me in this case. Simply through the situation and circumstances that I’m in, He’s telling me that I need to be in, and effectively move permanently to America, if I am to stay married.
I have no idea how I’m going to do it.
I have no idea how I’m going to support myself and Fran.
I have no idea how I’m going to get a visa, or a work permit.
I have no idea how to sell a house, or how to buy a house in America.
I don’t understand anything about medical insurance.
And most of all I have no idea why God wants us there.
But it seems to clear to me that He does.
And I trust that He will provide the answers.
In the sermon I listened to this week at Kingsmead Baptist Church the topic was Jonah and basically how much faffing about and trouble he got into when he ran away from God’s command to go to Nineveh and preach to them. A modern day equivalent would be for one of us to be told to go to ISIS and preach God’s word to them. I’m reassured that God isn’t asking to me to go to Syria or Iraq and preach to them. However, I could still dwell in all these uncertainties and not make a commitment to move.
I’m still confused about how calm I am at all this. There appears to be no fear within me at all. I realistically should be indecisive and entirely apprehensive about what’s going on in my life. But that’s just it. I’m not making the decisions here. The pressure is entirely off me because I’m just the hand in this. I still have to work things out, I mean I can’t be complacent. It’s not just going to do itself, but the way it all seems to work out, just at the right time, is becoming too commonplace to not be comforted by it.
If anything I feel excitement. It seems clear to me now that God is providing the miracle that we've all prayed so hard for. Fran looks to be in remission and on her journey to a bone marrow transplant. Of course the day to day battle with her health is going to be a constant fight, but the long term miracle is now something that can clearly be seen. God has revealed to me so many miracles in the last few years. He has proved to me again and again that He still heals miraculously when the doctors think there is no hope. And it's the doctors that use the word 'miracle' every time.
I’m at our house in the UK now, starting preparations to sell up and I plan to fly out again in the next few weeks and be reunited with my wife as she continues her treatment.
There is nothing quite as humbling as realising that you are having to live entirely on the generosity of others. It occurs to me that a lot of people have to do that, especially the homeless and the very poor. It makes me appreciate just a little bit what it is like to live as a beggar. Because technically for the time being that is what I am, being technically unemployed and soon to be technically homeless. I am blessed to have a family and a church family that will support me despite this.
But being a Christian I understand that we are all living on generosity. We are living on God’s generosity. God has mercy on us because He allows us to live at all. The mere fact that any of us are breathing means He has withheld His wrath for every single one of us as sinners. Not only has He given us mercy, but He has given us grace. He has blessed us all with the hope of a saviour. He sent us His son to take the just punishment for our sins and allows us all to entry into His Kingdom. His only price is faith. He just asks us to believe and trust in Him and we are forgiven.
Whether you call it obedience or whether you call it a relationship, it amounts to the same thing. In my experience the trust that you have in knowing Christ is that you really do have no fear, and have a constant peace and joy in knowing Him. At the very least God has answered with a resounding yes to the prayers for Him to put peace on my heart. And it’s through knowing that peace that I carry on with my journey. Looking forward to what He has in store for me next.
I’m blessed to be on this great adventure!