“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55: 8-9
This verse has been a verse that I have turned to countless times over the last year and a half and God is still bringing me back to it, over and over again. My story is quite typical as far as life stories go, although you may find it unique and encouraging. I accepted Christ as my Savior as a preteen at summer camp and rededicated my life to God when I was a sophomore in high school. God led me to a Christian college and while there I told God that I would be a missionary.
There was a catch though.
I told God (as if we can tell Him how He should direct our life) that He can use me here in the United States as close to home as possible, not overseas and DEFINITELY not in Africa! I was so convinced and sure that God wanted to use me as a missionary in the public school system because He wanted me to be a teacher and what better way to spread the love of Christ then being a shining light in a darkened public school. Surely, this was my calling in life. Well, as He always does, God had other plans for me and He used my church’s youth pastor and a missionary in Chile to show me that. I was made aware of the need for teachers at a school in Chile. I accepted the email with the pertinent information. I didn’t delete it, but it conveniently sat in my inbox where I saw it each time I opened my email. After a series of attempts to get my own classroom in the public school, I decided to finally do things God’s way and in 4 ½ months I had my birth certificate ordered, passport in hand, and 50% of the support I needed to get to Chile for a 2 year missions commitment to teach. I arrived back in the states, was made an official missionary with my sending agency, and began my journey to full time missions.
I live right along a river. Having lived here most of my life, I have gone on many river trips so I can relate my journey to Chile and full time missions like a rafting trip down this river.
God is like the person in charge of coordinating the trips; the person who has mapped out the route down the river and has given me all the resources I need to get from start to finish; the one who has everything completely under control.
My accountability partner is like the river guide who sits at the rear of the raft giving directions on how to get from point A to point B and steering the raft keeping it on course and following the guidelines and being obedient and faithful in the task that the person in charge, God, has given him or her to do.
I am the one in the raft going on the ride and listening to everything that is being told to me by other rafters and the guide so that the trip can be successful, meaningful, and purposeful. There are times of peace in between the rough waters to enjoy the ride and look around at what’s going on. There are also times of confusion, wondering if I will EVER get to the destination because the checkpoints along the way just seem so hard, almost impossible, to get to and likely that I may never get to them. Then there are those times of rapids, or in my case, new supporters, contacts and support percentages going up. These are the times when there is the excitement and rush of the moment and how it adds to the end result is so encouraging and exhilarating, just how one experiences rapids on the river.
Sometimes I have doubted my calling to return to Chile and then God does something to remind me that my ways are not his ways. I have also not known how to think of ways to find new supporters and ways to connect with others. That’s when He reminded me that His thoughts are not my thoughts.
See how the verse ties in? I have found that the more that I walk by faith, the more God shows Himself to me.
How do I have joy in the midst of all this, in the possibility that God may take longer than I want Him to return me to Chile? How do I have joy during the times when I think God is silent? How do I have joy when I am so heartbroken because I long so much to be in Chile, especially after a very long and energetic day with the kids at the daycare?
The answer to these questions is this. Prayer.
I’m not just talking about the “thank you God for this day, in Jesus name I pray, Amen” kind of prayer. I’m talking about the on your knees, broken, honest, crying out, God I’m confused but I know you are in control of it all, kind of prayer.
God loves our honesty in what we’re feeling. I am not always joyful. I’m not always full of trust in God. But I am always ready to pray and wait. Waiting is so hard, my sisters. I truly believe that God makes us wait so that the end result is that much more amazing! It doesn’t make sense to wait so long but what does that verse say? His thoughts are not our thoughts. But I’ll never get it done like this. What else does the verse say? His ways are not our ways. Doesn’t scripture also say to pray without ceasing?
So how do I rely on Him and keep my eyes on Chile? Prayer and a most wonderful river guide (accountability partner) that God has put in my place for a time such as this. Walking by faith is not always easy, but it’s always right and always God centered, if we let Him be who He is.
I leave you with some words of the song “Walk By Faith” by Jeremy Camp.
“Would I believe you when you would say your hand will guide my every way? Your hand will guide my every way. Will I receive the
words You say every moment of every day? I will walk by faith even when I cannot see because this broken road prepares your will for
Be encouraged my sisters, that God is faithful in whatever He has called you to do in your life whether that be a wife and mother, ministry leader, missionary or all of the above!
Praise God that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts because if we were left to our own plans and procedures, oh what a mess everything would be and what joylessness we would have.
Praise Him for his infinite wisdom and ability to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine!
If you want to read more of my story and what God has done here is the place to go….angelaclousersca.msites.com. Enjoy!