“And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD you God” Joshua 4:20-24 (NIV).
I have a list that is my “twelve stones” where I can remember when I’ve seen God’s great power in my life. This list includes big and small things like: when we literally had no money, God provided a house for our family to live in completely free for a year; I was given encouraging words at the exact moment I was in need of them; and even the time when I cried out for a wayward piece of mail to be returned, and it oddly showed up through a friend. These are just a few things that prove that God hears my cries down to my smallest wants—and even cares to answer them in His own way.
I keep a remembrance of these things for the very purpose of fixating my mind on praising God through difficult times, because the majority of the things on my list were when God chose to prove Himself mighty in seasons of drought. Even when the results don’t turn out quite how I envision them, I know I can trust God with the course of my life. Why? Because I have a list that allows me to remember just that.
For some the support-raising journey can be a battlefield where anything can happen from conversations not going as expected, running out of people to talk to—you’ve already presented to everyone, including your aunt’s dog groomer, and nothing is happening—or perhaps even getting to a place where God stalls you completely in your tracks. It’s a firestorm that can leave us doubting a trustworthy God. It’s these times you truly understand that the support-raising journey is all about trusting a big God, and you have to make a resolute decision to do just that.
I praise God that He is faithful down to the smallest detail. God doesn’t hand us a plan of action with our entire route planned out from point A to point B with the exact executions of when things will happen. No. He holds that in His hands. He just says, “Trust and follow Me.” When you hit the wall of discouragement, you have to recognize the awesome things that God has been doing along the way, even if they don’t fit your own plan of action.
When God gave us a free house, it was after months of crying out to God in broken anguish for Him to get us out of an utterly futile situation after the door to Africa closed—at least for that season. It was His way of saying, “Heather, I’m still listening, you still can trust Me.” Honestly, in that moment, I felt like saying, “Um, God, I really love the fact that you provided a house for us for free and all, but wouldn’t it have been better just to have taken us to Africa instead? I mean we already raised the money, shouldn’t we get points for that?” But that wasn’t His plan at that exact time; He simply wanted our obedience. As God has proved Himself trustworthy time and time again, I received priceless gifts that shaped me for service on the mission field, when He eventually allowed us to go to Africa.
Make your own “twelve stone” list so that you can praise God as loving, good, and trustworthy. Reflect on that often so you can know and trust Him, especially when your world is rocked.
- Take the time to see how God has shown up in your life while raising support.
- Set aside your thoughts for the way things should be, and praise Him for being trustworthy with His plan for our life.
*First posted on Godandelephants.com on June 21, 2016