Thursday, September 29, 2011

Preparing for the Future

Preparing for the future is a tough balance between (a) knowing that God is in control and has everything laid out in advance, and (b) making reasonable preparations in the wisdom He's given us (i.e. being careful not to be presumptuous, which would be assuming that He will cover carelessness and foolishness on my part). It's hard to know, especially in this partnership development stage where we have huge things to prepare for on the one hand, but don't have any idea what our timeline or anything will be on the other. So much is out of our control.
In Luke 22:7-13, Jesus is preparing for His last passover with His disciples. He sends Peter and John ahead with detailed instructions on how to find a divinely orchestrated and prepared setup where they could have the passover. A room and furniture was waiting for them from a person that presumably none of them knew, courtesy of God's working on their behalf. Kind of like Peter finding a coin in the mouth of the fish, right? But what was Jesus sending Peter and John ahead to do? “Go and prepare the Passover meal for us”. Apparently, not ALL of the preparations were done yet.
What I took away from this was that Jesus did think ahead and prepare for the future, as He sent His disciples ahead to prepare for something He was going to do that night. They didn't enter Jerusalem at nightfall and then wander around expecting there to be someone with an open door waiting for them with a whole 13-person meal set out. However, at the same time He didn't have to sweat the big stuff (getting a room and furniture), because God had them taken care of. He just had His disciples take care of the little stuff (buying food and preparing it).
I felt like this was an encouragement to us, as we're contacting people and speaking at churches for our partnership development work for Wycliffe. While we are responsible for the little stuff (giving good presentations, doing the legwork of talking to people and planning trips, etc.) we can be confident that God has the big stuff (the individuals who will be actually supporting us, and the logistics of preparing us mentally and physically for service in Nigeria) laid out for us in advance. It's encouraging not to feel like the whole thing is on our shoulders, but also challenging to know that we are responsible for our part of the work.

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