May 30th, 2012
The Harper Chronicles
Or Journeying in the Land Between.
Hello to you all,
I have been feeling for some time that it is time for the third installment of our Desert wanderings. I have been having a hard time putting words to paper. What could I say? How could I encourage? Where the heck are we, as we travel in this desert?
So here it is! As I have written before, the journey that Cindy I have been on since my firing from the Mission a year and a half ago, has been like being in the desert. We have been wandering around trying to figure out what God was doing and where we were to go. Back then, I received a book that was life changing for me and it has helped me so much in my journey to healing. A Sword will Pierce your Soul written by Caroline Julihn. Then recently another very dear friend passed a book onto me called The Land Between, by Jeff Manion. This is another excellent book that has quite literally changed my life.
Over the past, couple years I have been defining things B.M and A.M. life Before the Mission and After the Mission. The way I thought, felt and lived was different before the Mission. Then after my firing, I have changed. This changed me as many of our family and friends can attest to. Not only has it changed me, but Cindy and our kids as well. Recently, as I was meeting with our pastor. I was trying to get some understanding about our present circumstances, and what was God trying to show us? As we were talking I shared that we sure could use a miracle. But more importantly that if I had a choice between receiving a miracle and being a miracle I know both Cindy and I would choose to be the miracle in somebody else’s life. He was encouraged by this statement. Thus, this is the reason for my sharing with you.
It has been overwhelming at times to hear from and receive emails, cards and notes on Facebook about the hurt that so many people are facing. Cancer, death, job loss, health issues, marriage breakdowns, and family problems, on and on it goes. So many people I have been in contact with are broken and hurting. Each one of us has our own hurts or knows people who are struggling. The one thing that has stood out to me is that so many people feel like David. In Psalms 13: 1-2: How long Oh Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and everyday have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
These words have echoed the cry of my heart. Why Oh Lord have you allowed this to happen? Why oh Lord have you abandoned us? Why are you silent to our cries? Why Oh Lord have you not given me a job? Do you want us to lose our house? What is your will? This has been our cry in the desert. As we journey in the land between. The Lord had been showing us a few things, long before a book would fall into my hands.
The journey we have been on has shown me much about suffering and has forged a deeper understanding of the hurt in the world and those who hurt. But it has also shown me a deeper understanding of God’s love for us all. It has also shown me much about my own insecurity and the insecurity of others. We all struggle with feeling not good enough. Actually, we will never measure up with God. Why, because of our sin nature? I was reading about the desert wanderings and I was struck by how often the children of Israel complained and then God would deliver them and then they would sin again and God would deliver them again. It would seem like they had forgotten that God spared them. Things would be good then they would screw up and ask for help again. Conversely, we can all measure up. Why? Because Christ died for our sins. So, in that sense we all will measure up, because we can live with forgiveness! God remembers our sin no more!
The lives of Joseph and David have been huge in my journey to wholeness. They suffered unjustly at the hands of others. As did I. But they also made their mistakes too, as did I. In the process, God was paving the way for life changing circumstances. Something that Jeff Manion said in his book that stood out to me was that we have a choice. It is in these times we can whine, complain and be negative. Or, we can choose to use this as fertile ground to grow. As Cindy and I believe growth is happening in our lives, our faith is being forged into a more solid and refined tool.
The other theme that has stood out for us was the area of Trust. We were praying one day as we were driving and the Lord spoke to us both about trust. We are to trust Him. In Acts 16 it talks about how the Holy Spirit constrained and the Spirit of Jesus would not allow Paul and his companions to enter Asia. We are sometimes frustrated by the lack of what seems to be unanswered prayer and silence by God. We have been looking for work, here in the Okanagan as well as in Calgary. Many of the things we have tried, ideas we have tried. Just when we think we have an answer, something else happens to show us, that this is not going to happen. Or enough money will show up to pay for food for today, or a bill. We have been living on manna and the Lord has been showing us to trust for today. Other surprises and blessings have happened.
As I close this letter, I just want to encourage those of you who are going through the land between; where you are uncertain of your circumstances and your future. We are all traveling this journey together. One day we will get to the true destination. The city of New Jerusalem. But, here on earth as the Lord prepares us for our ultimate destination we are all trying to find the exit ramp out of this present desert. Cindy and I have no idea what will happen tomorrow, or the next day. We continue to commit each day to Him. We continue to seek direction and look for employment. We continue to trust.
As I have shared so many times over the years. My Holy discontent continues to be to provide hope to the broken and hurting in the world. I am more passionate now than ever. Secondly, to encourage the body of believers to continue to walk along side and be the one God uses to help another; to provide that cup of cold water.
Finally, to those of you who are facebookers, I have created a new ministry I have called it prayer poke. On Facebook there is a poke icon. It was meant as a fun thing. I decided to make it more meaningful. If you poke me, I am committed to pray for you and whatever is on your plate. Your responsibility is to pray for our family or whatever I happen to post in regards to prayer