Tuesday, February 9, 2016

God is Laughing at Me

God is laughing at me and my family.  They say the quickest way to make God laugh at you is to say, “I have a plan.”  I believe that this is very true.  Except, God’s laughter is not a mocking or jeering laughter.  It is the warm inviting laughter of a father who is watching his beloved child discover, for the first time, the delight of eating ice cream with sprinkles on a summer’s eve.  There is a joy and an invitation in God’s laughter. 

Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

The first half of this proverb is not a bad thing.  God delights in us when we plan our ways.  If you read Proverbs 16:7 we see that a man’s way can please the Lord, when we desire Him and His righteousness.  When we make our plans, with a desire for more of God, God laughs.  He laughs a really deep delicious inviting belly laugh. 

Here is the comfort of this proverb.  We plan our way but God establishes our path.  He laughs because he sees your plans to find more of Him and He takes you on a journey you could never plan or expect.  This is the comfort: when your plans, to see more of God, are held loosely in your heart, He will place your feet where they need to be. 

(My advice is this, for any young adult just starting out, who wants to know God’s will for his or her life.  My advice is simple: make God laugh.  Make your plan with a desire to have more of God and to make much of Him and God will establish your path.)

This comes to the nub of it for me.  God is once again laughing at me and my family (and what a wonderful laugh it is).  My plan was to settle down in my current pastoral ministry in upstate PA and make a career out of it.  However, God is inviting us to join Him in something new. 

God is inviting us to become missionaries.  We get to bring the joy of Jesus to the least reached in the world.  My family (if God so appoints us through the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA)) will get to go to the 10/40 window to proclaim the good news of Jesus’ grace and forgiveness to western Africa.

Initially I will teach English as a foreign language (TEFL).  Jen will teach the children of our missionary team.  And through the joy filled trial of selling all we have, moving, learning a new language, and experiencing hardship for the name of Jesus, we will get to hear the wonderful melody of God’s laughter.

We are experience the great Joy of God’s laughter.  We hope you get to hear his laughter in your life, over, and over, and over again.  I hope you make your great plans to have more of God. 

We are excited to be his workers in the harvest.  We planned for one harvest and God is giving us something new unexpected and wonderful.  My family gets to hear God laugh.  What a laugh!  Come, listen, and experience the joy of God’s inviting laughter.  

We would like you to partner with us in our journey to make God laugh.  The first thing you can do for us is pray.  Pray for us as we wrestle with the transition of leaving the place that is our home.  Pray for our daughters who are moving from the only place they have ever lived.  Pray for them when in 6 months they want to go “home” but home is not where it once was.  Pray for us as we learn a new language.  Pray for us as we get to know new people in a new land.  Pray for the members of our team that God would bless them with His success.  Finally pray for the people of Africa that they would learn about the love of Jesus. 

Lastly you can join us is by supporting the Great Commission Fund (GCF) of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (https://www.cmalliance.org/about/ and https://secure.cmalliance.org/give/).  We are being sent by the Christian and Missionary Alliance and as such will not have to raise direct support but we are supported by their GCF. 

The fourth thing you can do is share this post everywhere.   

Thank you for joining us.  My prayer for you is that all of your plans would be filled with the loving, inviting laughter of God.