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Monday, December 13, 2010

Gotta Have Faith

I found out last night how much money we will have to raise to help pay for the house that Art For Humanity is building for us...$10,000!  I was expecting something more along the lines of half of that.  I mean, we still have to pay for medical insurance, travel costs (we are required to leave the country every 3 months to renew our visas),  storage unit in the states, etc.  Wow, if 50 people gave me $100 each, I'd still only be half way to the goal.  Now granted, Glen said the goal is $10K and whatever we can't meet the organization would cover the rest.  So that's assuring that it's not an actual requirement, but it's still causing my head to spin!

I have to be honest with you, my life has been pretty "easy" (knock on wood).  I haven't really had to go through any extreme circumstances.  I've always had good health, family & friends close by, at least a little money in the bank, a job, a place to live and a car - even after I wrecked a few.  My faith has never really been "battled tested," so to speak.  Until now.

After church on Sunday I was thinking about my inexperienced faith after we read the Christmas Story (Luke 1:26-55) from Jesus' mother Mary's point of view.  ( - link to the teaching).  In the story Mary is confronted by an angel named Gabriel.  He tells her she will have child and not just any child, but Jesus and not only that, but she will still be a virgin when she has the baby!
Insert context; in Mary's time having sexual relations prior to marriage was a huge no-no.  The marriage would be called off, Mary would be mocked and shunned by the rest of the community and probably become an outcast.  In our pastor's words, "It would have been scandalous!"  
Logically, Mary asks how it will be since she's a virgin.  The angel says that, "the Holy Spirit will come upon [her]", and goes onto to say that "nothing is impossible with God."  Her response, "I am the Lord's servant."

One of our pastor's points was that Mary models faith for us, even in the midst of what could have been humiliating and left her disgraced.  She didn't want to have child out of wedlock or have to convince people that the Holy Spirit was the father, but when she realized it was God's plan, it became her plan.  Mary could have chosen to not go along with God's plan, or asked God if He could wait until they got married before she would get pregnant, but she would have missed out on the blessings that God had in store for her.  Many times God's will is sudden and requires us to surrender, just as in Mary's case.

When I think of my situation, I can pull - maybe force - some similarities with Mary's situation.  Like,
1. Fairly Sudden change of plans
2. New plans could have people mocking me for leaving a well paying job to volunteer
3. The seemingly impossible (raising lots of money) is possible with God

Ok, like I said, not perfect parallelism between the 2 situations, but close enough for me to want to respond like Mary.  I truly believe that God gave my wife and I hearts to serve others less fortunate, and called our family to Honduras.  The hard part (at least for me) is leaving the comfort of my cubicle (aka the money that I make) and trusting that God will provide for my family.  I truly have no idea how we are going to raise $10K in the next 6 months for the house, another few thousand for insurance and other costs while in Honduras, and also what we're going to do when we are ready to come back to the states, but I do know that God is asking me to have faith.

My response: I am the Lord's Servant.  I want to model, in some capacity, the same faith that Mary did.  And also serve God where and when I think He is calling me.

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