Saturday, September 12, 2009

An unexpected catch

Hello again! I have been meaning to write for the past two and a half weeks.

Life has been a little hectic as of late, but I'm blessed in it all, nonetheless. Maybe I'll just recap a little of what's been going on at the Hillsong International Leadership College...

I have been blessed to receive a job just five minutes away from where I live in Sydney. I have also been able to start leading a venue team for Hillsong College. Aside from this, I have been attending a full-time school and ministry schedule and still managing to find time to sleep and get my daily routine of excersise in. I am also being reminded of the importance of making time for relationships in the midst of busy schedules. As my friend who is a pastor at Hillsong says: "People, after all, are the only thing you get to take to heaven with you."

It's also been interesting trying to fit work in, for I've had a resurgance of health issues as I've tried to take on this new role during an already full-time school and ministry load. As a quick recap, I have battled on an off with the symptoms of chronic fatigue since arriving in Australia. Although getting a job has been a great blessing, it has also tested the limits of my energy and strength while in this season of recovery. I have been recovering so well with my health in the past couple of months that, to be honest, it scared me a bit when I had a setback after starting my job. As I'm now in my last bit of savings for school and needing to work to continue but not knowing how I'll actually hold up in the process, I'm starting to ask the question, "Lord, how is this all going to work out?" I think what I'm really asking is, "Are you going to take care of me Lord?"

I'm reminded now of my school Principal's message to the students the other day in chapel. She was reading from Luke five where the disciples have been fishing all night and have caught nothing. Jesus then asks them to try the fishing net on the other side of the boat. Of course, the disciples have been doing this all of their lives and so for them to comply is definitley an act of humble submission. They are shocked to find that out of their own lack they find provision when they obey Jesus' direction. As the disciples knew, and what I am discovering, is that trust leads to obedience.

Daniel was one such example who I read about this morning. Even when Daniel was persecuted and tried by his enemies who were trying to frame and defame him, Daniel's one response was to seek the Lord more fervently. He was thrown, however, into the lion's den because of it. But Daniel never stopped trusting the Lord; because of this, the Lord showed his faithfulness to Daniel by shutting the mouths of the lions.

And so, in all of this, I have begun to ask myself the question: "How am I showing God that I trust him? Do I really believe what He has promised in his Word? Do I have the integrity to 'go to the lions den' because of my devotion to the Lord in complete faith?" As Jesus relates in John 15, if we really love him, we will obey his commands. One such command which speaks to me is found in Matthew 6: "Do not worry." When our trust comes out of a revelation of God's nature and who he really is, then obedience flows naturally.

Although I don't know exactly how everything will pan out in this season, I do know that he who began a good work in me will carry it out to completion. Although there are questions regarding jobs, finances, health, and even how I might pay for a second year of college (I am feeling more and more called to stay) I do know the one who has already accomplished it all on the cross and secured my eternal future. And so, why do I find myself worrying? I think because God has assure my eternal destination, then providing for health/finance/fill in the blank... shouldn't really pose a problem. God is ready to fill our fishing nets beyond capacity when we simply follow him in trust and obedience--a lesson I'm apt to apply and re-apply every day.

Jesus truly is the best fisherman of all and wants to fill our nets when our own resources have failed. I think that Jesus actually wants us to reach this point of realizing we have nothing left to offer or give, nowhere else to turn but Him, so that his power in our lives may be realized to the fullest potential possible for our human understanding. I am finding that striving and straining must go and that trusting and obedience must flourish. I want to avoid all-nighters fishing when I can rest in my God, knowing that he has the biggest catch of all for those who trust in him.

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