God is Surely Doing Something All the Time


I posted this photograph on Instagram and Facebook a few minutes ago. If you look closely, you can see the fog on the lens of my glasses. It has been very cold here in Korea this week, and I have wrapped myself in a scarf, gloves, a neck warmer that pulls up to cover my ears, nose, and mouth, a hat, and a jacket gifted to me by a family in the church who must have thought I didn't look sufficiently insulated against the freezing temperatures.
I always thought I had a large head, but my head gets lost in the hood of this new, toasty warm parka.
I thank God for heated seats on subway cars and mugs of hot chocolate and citron tea to wrap my hands around when I arrive at the church in the mornings to teach Bible college classes.
The photograph above is one I took while standing at the bus stop this past Thursday. As you can see, the farmland is brown, brittle, and barren in this winter season. I have moments when I feel like this, moments when it seems that God has left me out in the field alone like the kitchen chair in this next photo.

I took this selfie the day that our second vehicle began to emit smoke from the left front tire area and I had to find my way home via subway. The first vehicle had already broken down on the side of the highway earlier in the week, and I had ridden in the back seat of a highway road crew's truck to a gas station where a taxi brought me to the church. 

It seemed like the people and things I had been depending on were being taken away. 

First, Pastor DeVries left Korea for a one-year sabbatical in July leaving me to carry on the preaching and teaching. In August, Tain Palanun left Korea to take care of a health issue. Then Jadzia Swietek and Dawn Doorenbos left Korea to go to America in response to God's leading. 

My fellow team members were gone and now the vehicles were abandoning me while I was riding in them. What was next? 

Next was my health, which had been great up until recently, but now it seemed as though I was catching a cold which, if all went according to the usual routine, would worsen and become bronchitis and all the weakness that comes with that sickness.

All I could do was keep doing what God has given me to do here by faith, ask a few people to pray for my situation, and ask God to show me in a personal way that He loves me. 

God was faithful. 

Oh, one of the cars is now in some junkyard or recycling center now, and no new team members have arrived to encourage me, but my cold symptoms vanished within twenty-four hours, and I have been loved through the body of Christ in many times and places through many people this last week.

God knew what I was going through. How do I know? A friend wrote an email to me which described exactly what I was feeling then sent it with the closing sentence that said, "Oh, my gosh. Am I really writing all this? I will just hit send now..."

I believe that God sees, God hears, God knows, and God cares. 

No matter what I may feel, these statements remain true. Even when I can't see or understand what God is doing, I can have faith that God is surely doing something all the time. 

I sometimes hear from people that my experience has helped them imagine themselves being a missionary somewhere, and I am glad that my ordinary life of faith benefits others and may lead people to step out of the boat like Peter and see how the faithfulness of Christ holds us up when we look to Him. 

That last sentence made me think of this:

As a boy, I used to hang out at Dennison's drugstore, trying to read the latest Batman and Justice League of America comic books without paying for them. Men and women with the ability to fly, run at super speeds, and outwit arch-villains fascinated me, and I remember playing games with my friends, pretending to be one of the "good guys." 

Have you ever noticed that Bible is not a Marvel or DC comic book filled with superhero good guys gifted with amazing powers? It's a book filled with the stories of everyday people (like you and me), who are often bad guys instead of good guys (like you and me), who are often weak, foolish, and unremarkable (like you and me), but chosen and loved by God (like you and me) to do His will through simple faith. With God, nothing is impossible; in fact, with God, all things are possible. Our lives are filled with possibilities if we just say "Yes" to God.
Some of our youth group members posing with Eunjae (the young man in the hat) who is beginning his two-year military service tomorrow.
Here is one final photo showing the baked beans (with ketchup) that I made from scratch. The beans are on top of some good old Korean rice along with a bit of kimchi and some kind of yummy green vegetable. Is this a Maine/Korean fusion lunch?

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