July 28, 2017
by Al Weir
"The Lord said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you'"
(Genesis 12:1, NIV 1984).
Nik Ripken (pseudonym) is a Christian aid worker who has served in the most dangerous regions of the world. In his book The Insanity of God, he tells the story of his time in Somalia during the "Black Hawk Down" days. Christianity was extremely dangerous to promote and deadly for Somalians to accept as truth. Rarely would any Somalian publically accept Jesus as Lord. He tells the story in his book: "I received an invitation that led to one of the most meaningful spiritual experiences that I ever had in Somaliland." He then describes his secret meeting with four Somalis who had secretly come to Christ. They shared the Lord's Supper in a shelled-out, abandoned building and then separately melted into the night.
This was an event of hope, encouragement and fulfilled promise for Ripken's ministry; finally, he had seen the fruit of his incredibly difficult labor. Some mornings later, he received news from a colleague during a briefing with a local military commander, "I have just been informed that, this morning, four Somali believers we have worked with have, in separate incidents, been ambushed and killed on their way to work." These were the four with whom Ripken had shared the Lord's Supper.
We have no idea regarding the outcomes of life.
We are all like Abram, going to a place that God will show us, having no idea where that will be, trusting that, by following, we will bring Him glory.
This becomes obvious in our personal lives as we make our plans and then watch life undo them for us over and over. Thank God He lets us get as far as He does on the road we plan, in order to keep us sane. We did get to be healthcare professionals at least, or students almost there. But so many plans, so many relationships, so many dreams dashing against the shore in our wake.
The same goes for our spiritual endeavors. We charge ahead for the Lord and think we see His goalpost and dive for the end zone only to drop the ball; or we make it across the line with pride only to discover we have been pushed back to the 20; or we really catch a pass for the touchdown but cannot hear the angels cheering.
We are not to know God's outcomes in this life. And thank God we do not. We are like pee-wees at football with Peyton Manning calling plays. We never truly understand the plan but know we should run the plays He calls.
God will not fail. His game is won. He asks us but to hold the line, follow His lead, trust Him with the future, obey, obey, obey and trust the outcomes to Him.
I cannot understand what you are doing with my life, but I know it will be glorious if I but follow your lead.