Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hidden Ways

"Do you think it was a  mistake for you to go to Cambodia?" a friend asked. We've heard it before. And the unspoken insinuation: and God had to MAKE you come back by giving you a disabled son. 

God doesn't play games. He doesn't hold His will like a yo-yo, leaving us to jump up hoping to grab hold of it and go along for the good ride, the right way. It doesn't match God's character, does it? He leaves careful instruction in His word to guide us. He gives wise counselors. He gives affirmation with His Spirit. He doesn't leave us guessing at His will and then drop us to the ground if we've "guessed" wrong.

If God were to be fair, He would have sent us home long ago. We're sinful. Our work is incomplete. That's why we weren't spreading the news about us to Cambodia. It was the good news of Jesus Christ. Thankfully God doesn't toss out broken vessels but instead fills them up with Himself. What a joy to be useful based on Jesus' righteousness, ability and beauty. Not ours.

It was a gift from the Lord's hand that we could have five years of serving in Cambodia. It stretched our faith, patience, strength and at the same time it was the most blessed time of our life. Life took a very painful turn when Calvin was born and it seemed like there was no bottom to the depth of grief we experienced. But there is a bottom. And it is resting in the hands of the Lord.

Our family is missing Cambodia. Our life, friends, and work. But we don't want to walk through life only looking back. "The Lord uses all things in life to prepare us for what is next," a wise woman told me. If I look in the Old Testament that's validated time and again. So we look forward. Giving up the hope of returning to Cambodia for now. Still burning in our hearts to reach out. How will that work together with a disabled son? We have no idea. But He does. So we'll keep following our Savior who is full of tender mercy.

Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. James 5:11

P.S. If you're one of the friends that asked us, don't feel bad. We've had to wrestle with this question ourselves. 

P.P.S. Darryl is leaving for Cambodia next week Wednesday to take care of our unfinished affairs. We are SO excited for him and SO sad we can't go with. I can just imagine the smell of that Asian air (Rene ;) Seriously, I am going to just close my eyes a minute and imagine the tuk-tuk ride from the airport. Ahhh....

These pictures make me ache in a sweet, sweet sort of way. I'm a little homesick.


Srey said...

Love what you wrote Kara. It is always an encouraging for life journey with the Father. I miss you all and Cambodia so much. Can't wait to go visit next month when Greg has spring break.

Srey said...

Love what you wrote Kara. It is always an encouraging for life journey with the Father. I miss you all and Cambodia so much. Can't wait to go visit next month when Greg has spring break.

KarenKTeachCamb said...

Hey Kara, this is wonderful! You have, once again, shared from your heart in a way that touches others. Rest assured that God called you guys here for a season, and now He has called you back to the US, and as you said, only He knows what the future will hold. Wish you could all come but know it's not possible. Hope you have lots of folk to help you out while Darryl is away, as I know you will all miss him very much. Thanks for letting him come. Keep on writing my sweet friend. Your inspire and challenge with your wise and thoughtful words. Love you.

Anonymous said...

Wishing Darryl, God's blessings as he travels and you and the children as you stay here. Can I help you at all while he is gone?... bring a meal or something? I will call you!! Hope Grand Rapids feels more and more like home to your family:) Take care. Susanna

Lesley said...

Any way Darryl could bring Sophie???

Christy said...

I really love that verse you quoted - don't ever remember reading it before. Amazing. And I just love reading your thoughts.

Kate said...

I love your yo-yo analogy. I think many of us have the habit of trying to attribute any certain trial or difficulty in life to a particular sin so that, oddly enough, we can feel better about understanding "why." Sin's consequences is a different topic, like in the book of Job. God's path goes both green pastures and the valley of the shadow, and He leads us through both, regardless of our sin and our inability to understand His way.

Robyn said...

When you wrote these pictures make me ache. I can relate. I see pictures of our first house, of when Jenna was first born, and look back and I ache also. But time keeps moving on, she is 10 now, it's so hard to believe. I love this time, in my life now also, there are some advantages to it. Now that she is almost 11 I feel I have more freedom to go for a walk for 30 min and she can stay home with the younger kids. I really feel "freedom" now (even if it is only a little bit) and an so thankful for it, because for many years as you know and are going thru it as I type this, we had someone on us all the time. I think of you often. Hang in there your time will come too when you will have a bit of "freedom" even if it is for only 30 min.