Updated: May 11, 2020
Part 2, The Bumpiest Wagon Ride
When we left off last time, God had given me the amazing opportunity to serve as the director of the Baptist Bible Institute of Torrejón. I was privileged to develop curriculum for training pastors and church leaders. In effect, I had realized my dream. Yet, as I said last time, all was not well.
I knew I wasn’t staying in God’s wagon, but it took me a couple of years for me to acknowledge I was habitually getting out of his wagon to take my own excursions.
God orchestrated circumstances, as only He can, to get my attention. My children were rebelling and did not respect me; my wife could barely stand to be around me; and I was losing the ability to keep it together among my peers. My hypocrisy was slowly being exposed.
I finally admitted I was trying to do everything in my own power. I could not even see God’s wagon, much less get in it! When I confessed and repented of my pride, surrendered to God’s patient prodding, and pleaded for God’s help, He brought His wagon into view once again.
We went to Faith Church in Lafayette, Indiana, for counseling. God was working in our lives and it was clear that His wagon for us was parking in Lafayette. If I wanted to ride in His wagon, I would have to be willing to sit in a wagon that did not appear to be going anywhere. I had prepared academically for ten years to serve in the Bible Institute in Spain. I had spent three years raising support for our family to go to Spain as missionaries. Surely God did not want me to stay in Lafayette and work a secular job. Yet that is where God’s wagon was, and I decided I wanted to ride in His wagon.
I then made the most difficult decision of my life. I resigned from our mission agency and took a job to support my family while we healed, learned, and grew in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some of the blessings of sitting in that parked wagon include the salvation of our oldest daughter, the healing of our marriage, the healing of my relationship with our children, and a true surrender to God’s plan for my life.
For my first five years at Faith Church, I served as God brought opportunities my way. I wanted His wagon to go down the missionary road, but it didn’t. It took every bit of that five years for God to get me to the place where I could consistently, confidently, and joyfully say, “God, I fully surrender to your will for me, whether it includes missions or not, even if it means staying in Lafayette for the rest of my life.” Then I heard the wheels on God’s wagon creaking. It was moving forward once again, and I was in it!
Tune in next week for part 3 and learn where God’s wagon takes me!