It happened during a missions service one evening in Woodstock Ontario at the church I grew up in. Missionaries Jim and Sue Keddy were speaking and I was deeply stirred in my heart by their stories of how the lord was using them in Hong Kong. I knew one day that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to go. Not necessarily Hong Kong, but somewhere. A dream had begun to take root in my heart.
Habaakkuk 2:3 This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely come take place. It will not be delayed.
Then I met Dale and life happened. He was the full time Children’s pastor and I his wife. In all my years of being a pastor’s wife I always kind of stayed on the sidelines. I was super quiet….and shy. Yet, I never forgot the dream from so many years ago.
It was fall, about seven or eight years ago during my quiet times/devotions that I began to sense a change was coming. I really felt as though God was telling me that we would be going on the mission field full time.
I kept it to myself for a while. I was thinking what if it was just me? I didn’t tell Dale. I just continued to pray about it, and told the Lord, “Ok God, if this is truly of You, then You need to tell Dale the same thing.”
I did however tell my friend Deana how I was feeling over coffee one night. I told her about the sense I had that Bethel Stratford would be our last church and that I thought we would be going overseas as missionaries. It wasn’t long after that our church took a missions trip to Honduras and it was there in Honduras that we knew. We knew it was where the Lord wanted us. I remember the day sitting in a Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts in Honduras and talking with the founders Randy and Judy Lundrigan about the logistics of such a move…what it would mean for our kids etc.
Flash forward to the present and we have now been in Honduras for almost five years. But that dream took over twenty years to come to fruition.
I think of Abraham and Sarah in the Bible. Abraham was promised many descendants. When Sarah heard the news of the promised baby she laughed. I don’t think she laughed because it was funny or because it made her happy. I am surmising it was more of a “pfft” or a “whatever,” kind of laugh. For years she probably longed for a baby, a child of her own. She was 90 years old! Let that sink in for a moment. Her husband Abraham was 99! It was absurd to think of someone their age having a baby. Maybe she thought it was a heartless joke. Maybe it brought back a familiar ache or a yearning from a time long past. A dream she had long given up on. Years ago. And yet….what is it that God spoke to them?
Genesis 18:13b-14 “Why did Sarah laugh? Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year and Sarah will have a son.”
And we know what happened. God kept his word. Nine months later, just he promised, Sarah gave birth to a baby boy named Isaac, which means son of laughter. Abraham was 100 years old when his son was born. At the end of the story, Sarah again laughs. Unlike the first time, it is a happy laugh. A laugh because God heard the cry of her heart. Her dream had come to pass.
Genesis 21:6 And Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter. All who hear about this will laugh with me. Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse a baby? Yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age!”
One thing I want to point out is that Abraham never doubted that his wife Sarah would give birth to a baby at 90 years of age. I know if it were me, I wouldn’t have believed it. It does indeed seem unimaginable. It’s hard to wrap my mind around. And yet he never doubted that it could happen.
Gen 15:5,6 Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants youwill have!” And Abram believed the Lord and the Lord counted him righteous because of his faith.
I don’t know what desires or dreams God has put on your heart, but I do know that you can trust him with the details. We can trust him to work things out. Even with the things that seem impossible or unlikely to happen. God is faithful and true. He is always keeps his word and we can trust him with all areas our lives. His timing is not always our timing though. I can think of a few things I need to leave to God, a few things I need to trust him with. How about you?
Jeremiah 32:27 I am the Lord, the God of all the peoples of Isreal. Is anything too hard for me?
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do and he will show you which path to take.