God’s ways are so different than our own. He works in ways we don’t always understand. I mean, it’s Christmas and look how He chose to send His Son, Jesus. So very counter-cultural. So different than anyone would have ever expected.
But, for anyone who has walked with Jesus for a while, hands down, you would probably say that although His ways are different than what we’d like at times, they are ALWAYS best.
Do you know why?
Because He is after our hearts.
He is after His glory.
Recently we have found ourselves in a little pond, wallowing in self-pity. Sad, I know. Don’t worry. By God’s grace, we did not stay there very long.
For whatever reason, we have watched our ministry team shrink a little. For different reasons, some for great reasons, like a family desiring to go on the mission field. But, as you can imagine, it can be a little discouraging, especially as we are on the brink of leaving. In times like that, it is easy to ask God “why?” and “what are you doing?”
Thankfully, He is ever patient with us and always has something bigger in mind (sometimes it’s simple things like drawing us closer to Himself or teaching us a lesson we are in desperate need of)!
Along our journey of partnership development, we have ridden quite the roller coaster of emotions. Highs of seeing the Lord add members to our team and then times where we saw no growth for months. Over and over He has whispered “Do you trust me?” and “I am trustworthy!”
Because remember, He is after our hearts…and His glory!
One of our elders recently reminded us that we should never place our hope in the percentage of our support, because that number will change for the remainder of our ministry. HOWEVER, we must place our hope in Jesus, for He will never ever change. He is consistent, He is faithful, He a rock on which we can stand.
As I was still wallowing a bit the other morning, God allowed me to read an article by Ann Voskamp about the precious, suffering people of Aleppo. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to check it out by clicking here: http://annvoskamp.com/2016/12/the-world-changing-art-of-not-being-a-sham-this-christmas/.
Talk about quickly changing perspectives. Wow. I saw so clearly that I was sitting here, in America, on my comfy couch, drinking a hot cup of coffee and worrying about the remainder of support that we still would like to raise before Tanzania while people in Aleppo are fighting for their lives. Children are dying in the streets. People are without food and medical care. They are trying to flee. They have nothing.
I don’t ever want to be someone who is so focused on my own needs that I fail to see the needs of those around me! I don’t ever want to lose perspective on what this journey is all about. Jesus. His people. My heart.
Should God chose to add more partners to our team, we will praise Him. Should He chose to keep us where we are, or even take from our team, we will praise Him. If that is what He does to keep us clinging to Him, so be it.
After all, He is after our hearts.
He is after His glory!
Thanks for walking this journey with us.
-Jamie (for the Sharpes)
P.s. As I wrote this blog God added a partner to our team. He is faithful! We praise Him for His provision and we continue to cling to He who is always trustworthy!