Author: Kathy P. is an ardent supporter and member of the Mission 1:27 family. Her husband, David and daughter, Carrie, just returned from their second trip to Russia.
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
I believe God is weaving an indescribably beautiful tapestry through time and space, one of truth and love and trust and life. As I’ve pondered Patti’s post about her step out of the boat and into the water of visiting the Slobodskoy orphanage, it occurs to me that she is describing the process God uses to weave His tapestry; He uses people to demonstrate how unconditional love looks and feels, bring near the Kingdom of God and grow us into the people He has created us to be.
I think this process begins with God planting a new desire into our hearts. Scripture tells us that when He speaks, His word will not come back void; what He intends will be accomplished (Isaiah 55:11). We’ve all experienced this in small and large ways: some story or issue captures our attention, an idea or a name pops into our heads and won’t leave us alone, we may say we feel compelled or nudged or…called.
God’s sense of timing and selection of people is often not as we would envision things being done. This happened in ancient Biblical times and it is still happening today in our here-and-now: stuttering, murderous Moses leads the nation Israel out of slavery in Egypt; peasant teen-girl Mary gives birth to Jesus,” God made flesh”; Paul’s religious training and zeal become an instrument to expand the early Christian church which he had previously persecuted; a popular suburban socialite forgoes conventional wisdom to become a minister in a crime-riddled urban setting; a group of comfortable Americans pursue a mission requiring a difficult 4-day round trip “simply” to give and receive unconditional love; a cash-strapped family chooses the monthly financial obligation of sponsoring an orphan; a “crafty” letter-writer devotes countless hours creating hand-made cards for a sponsored child who never writes back; a woman with a crushingly painful past walks into Legacy Bible study where she knows no one yet persists in attending, then stands up four years later to address the entire group with words of encouragement and love; someone with a nagging sense that all plans must be dropped in order to visit a friend in the hospital arrives at the very moment the friend needs encouragement; my friend Patti’s knack for details compels her to organize the sponsorship of the Slobodskoy orphans which then opens her heart to understand they were not just orphans but her family members. It goes on and on and on.
I am convinced that none of these people really knew what they were getting into. They simply knew that they could not say “no” to the new, yet strangely “right” desire which was now in their hearts. They allowed God to pull them forward into the choice they wanted to make but could not see how it would go. It is so encouraging to hear the strong voices in this blog telling us the “water is fine.” Of course it’s fine! God is control; He planted the desire in the first place and He is ahead of us to provide and work out the details. He is bigger and more wonderful than our imaginations can fathom. Life is exhilarating when we catch a glimpse of what He is doing, when we feel “on purpose,” when we sense He is leading us forward. God’s tapestry is wide and deep and long and high. His stitches are short and long; the color and texture of the threads and patterns are as unique as the people He created.
I have not yet had the opportunity to make the trip to Slobodskoy, although my husband and daughter have now made two trips. I have had the opportunity to participate in Mission 1:27 in a way which is right and meaningful to me at this moment: supporting the travelers with prayer and encouragement, writing letters, sponsoring a child. But most importantly, I have been allowed to be an eye-witness to what is happening to the people at all levels of participation in this mission. It deepens my understanding that God’s beckoning voice is trustworthy and full of life! What is He saying to you?