For the past six months, I have been looking for the answer on how to live in a culture that baffles me. I am amazed that a three hundred mile move has pushed my family completely out of our comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory. I have been talking to God about all this. "Where do You want us to go to church? How do You want us to serve? How do You want us to be involved in this community?"
One thought has come time and again as I have been searching for answers. Look outside of church for the work that I have for you.
I am not a seeker of signs and wonders. When I pray for direction I look for principles in God's Word to guide me. I listen for His still small voice and I keep an ear out for those whispers to be repeated out loud or in black and white. Sometimes a friend will voice what I have been thinking. I might read something or hear a sermon that adds an exclamation mark to my thoughts. I am a cautious soul. I have been waiting for my thoughts about our current situation to be repeated in bold print.
I do not have friends who can speak to my questions. The natives here are...well... natives. They don't have an outsider's perspective. Their complacency is much of the problem. Only not to them...just to me. I don't know anyone from the outside who can offer guidance because this is a world all unto its own.
In spite of my three-step-answer-seeking system, I have been doing the most bizarre thing for weeks. When the weight of these questions pressed upon me I would check my email. I was looking for A MESSAGE FROM GOD. "This is ridiculous!" I would think to myself. "Your Bible is sitting right next to you. God teaches you through these pages everyday. The answers are in there." But still, I would open my email and scan the contents for A MESSAGE FROM GOD.
I wonder if I have been dense all along. Maybe God had sent me confirmation and I missed it. At any rate, He must have gotten really fed up with me opening my inbox. "Enough already! If this is where you are going to keep looking, I'll send you an email!"
And He did! I got an email yesterday from a woman I have never met through circumstances that only He could have mapped out. She has driven on these very roads. She understands the people and the culture I rub shoulders with. She has both an outsider's perspective as well as a godly one. Her message was filled with wisdom and instruction. I cried both at her kindness and God's willingness to meet me at my computer. He is indeed familiar with all my ways! Psalm 139:3