Wednesday, January 02, 2013

"Will You Go Out Without Knowing?"... Again?

 Can I tell you how much I love my Jesus and how thankful I am for my blog? The other day I was re-reading through my blog. I am struggling a bit with the unknown of our upcoming mystery months and my blog is a great place to go back to for encouragement. When I am struggling with something I like to go back and re-read post from when I struggled with something similar in the past.

I was encouraged as I read my "Adventures in Homelessness" posts from the fall of 2009. God really provided for us in that crazy time of unknown. I laughed as I re-read Sunday School to the Extreme (Caleb's least favorite post ever) and thought about how close to reality that day is for us right now. (We're packing some warm stuff and some cold stuff, not sure what the weather is going to be like where ever we end up going.)

I also came across the post I wrote last year on this date. That day I was packing to prepare to move here and came across My Utmost for His Highest and read today's daily reading titled "Will You Go Out Without Knowing?". It made an impression on me and I blogged about it. Reading it made me laugh at how much closer to actually going out without knowing we are this year.
"Have you ever “gone out” in this way? If so, there is no logical answer possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the most difficult questions to answer in Christian work is, “What do you expect to do?” [Which is a question we are being asked all the time right now!!] You don’t know what you are going to do. [We really don't know what we are going to do this time.] The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually examine your attitude toward God to see if you are willing to “go out” in every area of your life, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in constant wonder, because you don’t know what God is going to do next. Each morning as you wake, there is a new opportunity to “go out,” building your confidence in God. “. . . do not worry about your life . . . nor about the body . . .” (Luke 12:22). In other words, don’t worry about the things that concerned you before you did “go out.”
"Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do— He reveals to you who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you “go out” in complete surrender to Him until you are not surprised one iota by anything He does?
"Believe God is always the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him. Then think how unnecessary and disrespectful worry is! Let the attitude of your life be a continual willingness to “go out” in dependence upon God, and your life will have a sacred and inexpressible charm about it that is very satisfying to Jesus. You must learn to “go out” through your convictions, creeds, or experiences until you come to the point in your faith where there is nothing between yourself and God."
 I thought that it was appropriate last year we as were preparing for going out to an unknown named Lowville, a place we have come to love. It's a bit more appropriate this year as we are truly going out without knowing. Possibly more than we ever have before.

 I laughed as I read that devotional again today. I don't know the number of times lately that we have been asked, "What do you expect to do?" We really don't know. (Those of you who have followed us for long probably aren't surprised.)

Yesterday I  talked with my brother for a bit. Part of our conversation went something like this:
Russ: So, when does residency start again?
Sonja: At the end of June.
Russ: OK. So, what does late January through June look like for you guys?
Sonja: I really don't know. We're heading west for a bit to do some stuff then we need to be back around Syracuse for part of March around Match Day. Other than that...

We know where we are sleeping for the first few nights after we leave but after that we really don't know what we are going to do for sure. No one has told us that they need their house-sitted though several people have offered to let us move in with them for a time. We don't really need to be in a specific location for much of that time. It is much colder this time of the year than it was back in the fall of 2009, last time we didn't know where we were going to sleep. We are still (at this point) planning on bringing our sleeping bags and tents, even though we didn't get to use them last time. I am hoping to do some camping this time but it is COLD everywhere in the US right now.

It is kind of scary going out without knowing and but I do know my God. He knows our needs and it is exciting that we are in a position to "Each morning as [we] wake, [have] a new opportunity to “go out,” building [our] confidence in God." How many people actually have the freedom to just up and do what God asks them to do? It's an exciting prospect. I'm excited about how He is going to show us more of who He is.

Our mystery months are, I am sure, going to look very different from our previous times of homeless adventures. Our faith is going to grow through this experience and we are excited that, when we come into a situation like this again (at the end of residency possibly?? only the Lord knows), we will be able to look back in wonder at what God did and look ahead in confidence that He is going to do take care of the details again.

A friend recently posted this song to facebook. I don't think that I had heard it before but it has been the song on all of our lips lately, building our confidence in our constant... only good... sovereign God who will not forsake us, even for a moment.

Not For a Moment (After All) by Meredith Andrews
You were reaching through the storm
Walking on the water
Even when I could not see
In the middle of it all
When I thought You were a thousand miles away
Not for a moment did You forsake me
Not for a moment did You forsake me


After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me

You were singing in the dark
Whispering Your promise
Even when I could not hear
I was held in Your arms
Carried for a thousand miles to show
Not for a moment did You forsake me


And every step every breath you are there
Every tear every cry every prayer
In my heart at my worst
When my world falls down
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Even in the dark
Even when it's hard
You will never leave me
After all


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