“I could never do that.”
"You must have a lot of patience.”
“I could never raise support.”
“You have to be strong to just pack up and move to Romania.”
“You are brave.”
Those are just a few of the things believers have said to my wife and me over the last year, but it is so far from the truth. We have been at work trying to raise up a team of financial partners for so long now that some days it is hard for me to even have faith that we will ever get there. At least one week a month, I struggle with discouragement and the lack of percentage growth in our team of partners. I many times find myself day dreaming that God would call our family to some ministry here in America. More than once I have considered quitting.
Our Christian culture taught me that being a missionary or pastor means you are strong, brave, and spiritually mature. It isn’t true. Quitting my job and beginning ministry full time just showed me how weak I am. I am just now beginning to actually understand faith. I always thought faith was “believing God will do it”, but now I realize it is “Believing God even if He doesn’t do it.” Faith is trusting God even if circumstances don’t go how you thought they should. Faith is confidence in the unchanging character of God even when the world says you have no reason to trust Him.
So even though this process of building up a team of financial partners has taken way longer than I envisioned or planned, the God we serve is just as capable today to provide all our needs as He was the day we started raising up financial partners. The only difference is that I now see my weakness a little clearer.
“And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weakness, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Being strong and brave are not qualifications for serving God. The opposite is true. The more clearly you see your weakness then the more useful you are to God. I am not going to Romania because I am brave, strong, or mature. I am going to Romania because that is what God has called my family to do and He promises that His grace will trump my weakness. Even though sometimes I want to quit I don’t, not because I am patient, but because my God is faithful.