We left for Camp Living Stones on Tuesday morning last week. We made it there before supper and by bedtime David was feeling awful. We are pretty sure it was the flu. He ran fever for four nights and was very frustrated that we had come all the way to Tennessee and now here he was laid up in bed, with no energy to work and serve. His goal was to set up the sawmill and have the teenagers who were there on spring break help him each day mill lumber for the camp’s future building projects. He was sick, it was cold and rainy, and it took everything I could to encourage David not to come home early.
David and Carter both went to bed pretty early each night, so that left me laying in bed with no internet, no cell service, and no tv. I got out the Kindle and found a book I had downloaded by Janette Oke. Now, I rarely read fiction anymore, but for some reason I was drawn to this book. It was about a young woman in the early 1900s who felt the call to go to Bible School and get trained for the ministry. This was not strongly encouraged back then, especially for single women. Once in college, not only did she study the Bible, but she answered a much harder call – the call to GO. Back then, men were sent out as pastors to small communities all over Canada but there weren’t enough men to fill all the positions, so women were encouraged to step up and fill the posts as mission workers.
This young woman, Emily, was assigned to a small town that had never had a church. Her job was to begin a church and reach the community. God provided her every need, even when it seemed that there was no possible way. She reached out to people who appeared unreachable and intentionally went out of her way to cultivate relationships with all types of folks. She regularly felt frustrated and could have easily given up, but instead she spent time in prayer and continued to remember the fact that she had answered a call. This is what God had created and equipped her to do and even though she couldn’t understand why things were happening, her responsibility was to be faithful where she was and with what she had been given.
That last thought stuck with me the whole trip and even now as I have gotten home. I still don’t know why God allowed David to be sick the first part of our trip, but I’m grateful that he was well enough the second half to get quite a bit of lumber cut for the camp. We aren’t responsible for the outcome, we are just responsible for being faithful and obedient with where we go and what we have been given.
I came home with a renewed focus. I’ve had a hard time lately being intentional with the gifts God has given me. I find myself wasting time instead of investing it wisely. It’s easy to make excuses instead of willingly obeying and following. There are goals and projects that I know for a fact that God has laid in my lap and that He has equipped me to do. I need to be faithful to work on and complete them, not worry about the outcome or what God will do with the project when finished.
I’m so thankful that Janette Oke was faithful to write the story that God placed on her heart. She had no idea who she would reach when she wrote that book, she just knew she had a story on her heart that needed to be told. We never know how God will use our “Yes” to impact someone else…but if we never say yes, then there will never be the chance to find out.