(Originally written March 21, 21) It’s been a roller coaster these 3 ½ months that I’ve been back in Papua New Guinea. There have been a lot of great things in ministry, but maybe some discontentment leaking in in other areas. My life is not as full socially this term. Instead of being grateful for the free time, I find myself missing the people and activities of last year. Instead of resting in that extra time and relying on the Lord to meet me in those empty evenings, I compare and feel alone.
What does He want to teach me? Could it be that He is enough?
I did a bit of a Bible Study on contentment and joy this morning. In Philippians 4:11 Paul explains how he could be content in any situation because of Christ’s strength— and he was in prison! 1 Timothy 6:6-8 says that godliness and contentment are in themselves of great wealth, so if we have enough food and clothing, we should be content (this is important for me right now, because while we have enough food here, our store is quite short on the extras right now). In John 15:11 Jesus says that his joy is in us and our joy may be complete, but that happens when we remain in His love (v.9). Psalm 16:11 says that we will be filled with joy in His presence.
A verse that has stood out to me in the past, Romans 15:13, says “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (NIV) in the Complete Jewish Bible it says, “fill you completely with joy and shalom as you continue trusting,” in studying that word shalom, it means much more than just the peace we think of. It means contentment, wholeness, fulfillment, well-being, security, safety and peace. As we continue trusting in the God of hope we can have contentment, wholeness, fulfillment, well-being, security, safety and peace.
I can trust that, yes, I have more free time right now, but He wants to use it, even if it’s to grow me in dependence on Him. I can trust that if I remain in His presence, I will be filled with His joy. That my plans may be many, but a reverence and awe of the Lord will lead to contentment and satisfaction and His purposes will prevail (Proverbs 19:21, 23) If I seek Him first, I will be provided for— in contentment and joy as well. “So above all, constantly seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. Refuse to worry about tomorrow, but deal with each challenge that comes your way, one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself.” Matthew 6:33 TPT
It’s a daily thing, this continued trust; a choice in each day.
I had another great round of missionary care Zoom calls with 9 people who were engaged and had a desire to grow in caring for their church’s missionaries. It was so exciting to hear them come to a greater desire for prayer or relationship or communication. Pray that as they move forward they’re able to put their takeaways into action.
I am excited to be able to hold another ladies’ retreat in 4 days and possibly a 2nd one right after the first. If you didn’t receive my print newsletter about debriefing retreats, check it out. Page 2. Please pray for this time that the Lord would preserve this opportunity and that He would guide my words and the schedule. Pray that He would bring together the details of prepping for meals, and making copies and bringing together the supplies. My desire is that it would be a special time of reflection, a time set apart for each participant to seek the Lord.
In the training I took about debriefing, we talked about how important it is that I, as the facilitator, be fully relying on the Holy Spirit and resting in the Lord for the time. Pray that that can be true for me, that while I want to be prepared, that I can also be flexible and guided by His leading.