“I’m not going!” I said emotionally when we finished reading the message. Since 1993 our family had been living in an Amazon jungle community. A lot of time had been invested in Mayoruna Indian language study, building relationships with suspicious Brazilian neighbors and Indians and also starting a local church. My husband, Jeff, was now at the point where he could experiment with a bit of translation. How could our organization ask us to move from our jungle home to a city base at this point in our language and culture study? And all because there weren’t enough personnel to replace the couple leaving. Dozens of upcoming problems rushed to my tongue, among them, “I’ll never see you. I’ll be stuck in our house while you work down at the house, hobnobbing with the traveling global workers. I’ll just never see you.”
I needed some time and escaped to the quiet of my bedroom. Of course, the tears came and after Jeff entered the room I sobbed out, “Nothing good can come from this move, except maybe that we can now drink Coke.” Even I had to laugh. Aside from that I could find little good in the upcoming change. My present house would be open for others to possibly abuse. If the kitchen of the new house was not equipped like mine, how could I get along? So much of our everyday “stuff and belongings” I implemented in our boys’ homeschooling. How was I to do that there? Our furlough would be pushed back a few months – wouldn’t that wreck the reunion my mother-in-law set so long ago? How could I talk to my mom on the HAM radio if we couldn’t bring it? We wouldn’t see any more Indians. What seemed worse, we would go backwards in our language study
while involved in a different ministry. Actually we would be away from the Mayoruna language for at least 2-1/2 years because our furlough came on the heels of this new assignment. On and on the thoughts came. Jeff’s first counsel was wonderful for me. “Let’s not think about it for today,” he calmly told me. He wisely knew that any conversation would be a repeat of my first thoughts—millions of reasons why we shouldn’t go.
When it was time to calmly talk it over, our conversation went well and ended with a very happy resolution. We would simply pray and ask God that if He wanted someone else for the job, He would raise them up – a calming thought.
As bitter emotions fought for control, God’s faithful working began in my heart. In my daily reading through Proverbs for that week I came upon “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct Thy paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6) This is a comforting passage at any time, but more so during a big change.
Doubts still did come, however, and rocked my boat. Our directors aren’t divine, I thought. What if God wants someone else for the job and they don’t recognize it. The Lord had to remind me that HE is Divine and has the hearts of kings in His hands. At the time I was reading Catherine Marshall’s To Live Again. She had been struggling with the same thing I was—God’s ability to move and overrule people’s plans. “Either God lives – or He doesn’t. Either He has real power – or it is all delusion. If God could overrule Joseph’s brothers and assorted Pharaohs and kings, then He could manage modern rulers.” Now while Catherine Marshall’s thoughts included God moving non-Christians her statement of God’s power gave me hope. How much more so could He direct Christian leaders.
The Lord even worked in a humorous way as He used my own tongue to teach me. One Sunday found me singing the merits of Jesus’ mother Mary, during a children’s Sunday School class. I firmly praised her for being God’s open servant. She was willing to do whatever He wanted. “This Christmas,” I challenged the children, “you can give Jesus a present—give Him yourself.” As I was teaching the class, these words challenged me right where I was.
It seemed as if The Faithful One was not throwing me out but trying to make a willing servant out of me. There came a point where I realized that I was being rebellious and needed to ask forgiveness from the Father Who always has the best plan. Who was I to fight against the all-knowing One. Wherever He is leading us we can be assured that He has already been there. Tender, merciful, loving – all comforting characteristics about our heavenly Father. Sovereignty is also comforting as it gives us security as we realize there is no safer plan to be involved in than the plan that the all-knowing One has directed.
“I know that Thou canst do all things, and that no purpose of Thine can be thwarted.” Job 42:2