Do not forget the Lord: a timely reminder

“God, thank you also for this internship here with Disney.  Please continue to show us [Michelle and I] what we need to get out of this…  Open my eyes to exactly what I need to see and learn down here. … Please use me how you see fit, and help me realize it and be joyful in whatever it is…”                               – Journal entry, March 13, 2003

Working hard as a custodial host in
the Magic Kingdom.

This is an excerpt from the only journal entry I wrote while Michelle and I were taking part in the Walt Disney World College Program.  Yesterday I spent some time reading back through old journal entries, and it was interesting and amazing to see how God was working in me throughout different times over the last 11 years.  This particular journal entry really struck me in light of where we currently are.  I never would have thought that my time working at Disney was preparing me for an even better dream that God had in store for us at a later time…to be ready to give our lives to serve Him in a unique way He prepared just for us…to go back to Florida to not just work at “creating the magic”, but to go back and work for God to bring His Gospel to the world.

I am so thankful that He answered those prayers I wrote out over 8 years ago, even if it wasn’t the answer I had expected.  And I am thankful that I am in the midst of the Lord revealing the answer to those prayers to me right now.

I have to admit, as we have been building our team of financial partners in our ministry, it has been a roller coaster ride.  There have been many amazing ups that are exhilarating when we hit the peak, but there have also been many downs when it can be difficult and even lonely, especially when we lose sight of our calling or who is in control.  These past couple of weeks, as we finished our Christmas Conference and have started to settle here in Greeley, have been one of these down times for me.  But God has reminded me in more than one way this week of the call He has placed on our lives.  When God gently and lovingly reminded me of what He has been doing all along by bringing me back to that 8-year-old journal entry, I remembered the fact that He is in control, He loves me, and I don’t need to worry.  He has called me to trust Him, to follow Him, and that He will provide for our needs in His time.

Also at Christ Community Church of Greeley this past Sunday, the outreach pastor gave a timely message titled “Unleashed by Hardship” based around the book of Acts (just another example of how God keeps bringing us to the book of Acts, see this post for more).  To start out his sermon, he read from the book titled The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, which is a book that God used to speak to me in the time leading up to us joining the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ.  Then the pastor talked about how God used the suffering and persecution of the early church in Acts 8:1 to scatter the believers to the places that Jesus originally said they would be His witnesses to in Acts 1:8.  That it was the hard times that pushed them to go where God wanted them to go with the gospel.  Which again reminded me of the time I spent unemployed that God used to open my heart to the call we are now pursuing.  It also reminded me of what we are currently going through, which can be difficult at times, but difficult is not bad – and we now God is using this time to refine us for His glory.

So, I am reminded, just as the Israelites were in Deuteronomy 6:12, to not forget the Lord who has brought us out of slavery and continues to lead us daily on the journey of following Him.  8 years ago, I wasn’t sure why I was picking up trash in the middle of Walt Disney World, and I thought I was “earning my ears” in order to one day follow my own childhood dream of working for Disney.  But instead God has given me a better calling and dream for my life – to follow Him wherever He will lead me.  Sometimes, I just need these reminders to continue doing so.

Michelle and I graduating and officially “earning our ears”.

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