Today I Saw God
Sometimes we have a clear understanding of what Jesus wants us to do. When the disciples asked Jesus, "Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?" Jesus was very specific, head into town, find a man carrying water and follow him. Then say to the owner of the house he enters, "The Teacher asks: where is my the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples." Jesus said the owner will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. The disciples did exactly what Jesus told them to do and they found things just as Jesus had said. (Mark 14:12-15)
Other times, we have the sense that God is up to something and it's not as clear. I imagine that the owner of the house might have felt like this. The Bible tells us that the owner had the large upper room in his house furnished and ready, this makes me think he was expecting company. But I wonder, did he know who his company would be? How long had he been waiting to welcome his guests? Were there times during the wait that he became discouraged, wondering if they would ever arrive? Did he ever doubt the need to prepare the room? Who told the owner to prepare the room?
I think in the owner, we see someone who was responding to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I wonder if maybe he just had "the feeling" or "sensed" that he needed to have the room ready. It's hard to be the owner. You don't have the same clarity as when you get a clear instruction from Jesus. But the owner is just as obedient as the disciples, maybe even more so. In preparing the room the owner welcomes Jesus Christ into his house.
Since October, a group of us have been preparing for recent college graduates to join us on an adventure called the Wesley Fellows. Like the disciples who followed the man with the water, these young people have spent time in prayer and discernment and are embarking on a journey that they feel called to be on. They have a vision and mission. Like the owner of the upper room, we have host families who have been prompted to share their homes, mentors who have agreed to walk beside these young people and employers willing to give them jobs. Like the owner, the details aren't clear, but the need to respond to a request to be part of this adventure is clear.
It is an exciting time for all of us. These next nine months we will journey together. Just like the owner of the upper room we will experience Christ in our midst and we will learn and grow together as we extend Christian hospitality to our Wesley Fellows. I can't wait to see what God is going to do with this first cohort of Wesley Fellows!
This is not how it was supposed to go. This was not the plan, at least not my plan. She was supposed to graduate and come home, find a job in D.C. and live here for a few years while she saved money. Then she was supposed to move into a house in Ballston with a few friends. I mean, isn't that what young people do? They come back home for few years, right?
But in truth that was my plan, not hers and certainly not God's. Instead she completed a drive "across the Deep South and Southwest," as she called it, to begin a ten-month Border Fellows program in El Paso.
When she showed me the link last fall I cried. I cried not because it wasn't my plan but because it was so clearly God's plan for her. She has a heart for the under-resourced, the underrepresented and the forgotten. She's fluent in Spanish, and she is wise enough to answer God's call.
Last time we talked, my heart filled with joy as I realized that she had followed God's call all the way to El Paso. My daughter Emily (Em) isn't down the hall. She won't be coming home from work to have dinner with us every night. I cannot protect and provide for her, but I can pray for her. And pray I will!
I'm reading a book, "The Circle Maker," that encourages bold prayers. The author, Mark Batterson, makes the statement, "The greatest tragedy in life is the prayers that go unanswered because they go unasked." He also challenges us to pray bold prayers. That's exactly what I plan to do (because it is pretty much the only thing I can do for her). I will pray for her safety and that God will use her to bring God's kingdom to Earth. I will pray that God puts a passion in her heart for a God-size vision that can only be accomplished if she taps into the power of the Holy Spirit.
Lately a phrase pops into my head about once a day: "You have not because you ask not." I searched BibleGateway.comI wasn't even sure it was scriptureand found that it is actually the last part of James 4:2. So, I am going to pray and pray boldly for Em and for all the other young people who graduated in May 2016. May God bless them as they seek God's will for their lives. I wait with eager expectation because I know God wants this millennial generation to change the world and make God's kingdom visible here on earth.