OK, so I’ve been in Joliet for three whole days now and have begun my fourth day on this new journey. God has already taught me several things about myself, the mission, and his ways. Let me share a few musings along the way . . .
SUNDAY – It was so hard saying goodbye to family and step out in faith to begin looking for a job and home. I gained a new respect for those in our military and their families. Leaving family, sacrificing all, not knowing if they will ever see home or loved ones again all for our country, you, and me. My sacrifices to leave family and follow Christ’s leading are so small in comparison.
MONDAY – Joliet is so huge and I feel so inadequate. What great need BUT what a great God! I thought that there had been one other church plant in Joliet that began 2 years ago and came to find out that it was a church restart. The people of Joliet need Christ and very few are in the community to share the way of Christ and His love. Church plants are being funded in other Chi-town suburbs and cities BUT not in Joliet (supposedly the numbers and statistics don’t add up). What doesn’t add up to me is – what about people and need? That’s the statistic that matters to God. He saw the multitudes and had compassion. And why is it that church planting organizations are looking for the young “put together” entrepreneurs to do His work? I don’t qualify to “do the work”, but what about God’s call and Him supplying us and doing what is right despite our weaknesses? When writing His story, God equipped and used many people despite their weaknesses to do His work. With God’s help, we will make a difference in Joliet!
TUESDAY – The sweet lady at the Post Office. If we would just open our eyes and see each moment as an opportunity to be Christ to others, we could change the world! She was so welcoming. She found out we were moving in the area and shared her 2 favorites of Joliet – the bike trail and a local candy store. I hope we meet again.
WEDNESDAY – Still no big job leads or houses. Sometimes it’s hard to trust God and His timing. He reminded me today that it’s not just all about the answers, the conclusions, the good endings. It’s about the journey. God has a job and house for us! Right now, He wants me to enjoy the journey and touch lives, learn the area, pray for the city, experience life, fall more in love with Him. Yes, I must do my part and not just sit back BUT I must not miss what God has for me to learn and experience each day on this journey.
Some quotes from one of my latest readings . . .
“I far too often view waiting on God as an interruption to my life rather than a mind-set that could be helpful or ultimately play a role in making m more spiritually minded. Waiting on God is perhaps one of the most important and significant spiritual disciplines that a follower of Jesus can pursue. Waiting equals seeking. Waiting equals serving. Waiting equals surrender. Waiting on God is a holy engagement of the life that we are presently experiencing; it’s a here and now journey that asks us to become selflessly consumed with our environment. I think waiting on God is a constant reality; it’s not simply a hurdle we have to jump or a requirement we have to pass.” Matthew Paul Turner
“I believe one of the best ways we can worship God is to enjoy life. When I learned to stop fearing what I could not control and started living each day with as much energy as the good Lord gave me, That’s when I really started living.” Lindsey Brown
(excerpts from Hokey Pokey by Matthew Paul Turner)