October 20, 2017

Being Abraham

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called
to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance.
And he went out, not knowing where he was going.

By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land,
living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise.
For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations,
whose designer and builder is God.
Hebrews 11:8-10

Lately we have been reminded frequently of the believer’s need to walk by faith and not by sight. We have been traveling down a path that did not allow great visibility, a path headed toward a definite intersection but without any definite directions.

We have been walking as though blindfolded, knowing the turn was coming but not knowing when or whether we were supposed to take it.

This is a little bit like Abraham’s story: he knew he was called to go out from his homeland, but he didn’t know where he was going or how long he would be traveling. He went out on faith.

We’ve done the same thing.

Many of you know that my husband believes God is calling him to serve as a Chaplain. But in order to become a full-time Chaplain, he needs certain training — specifically, a Master of Divinity.

We’ve known this for a while, but we’ve had a sort of catch-22 situation. You see, he has to be a full-time student in order to enter the chaplain candidate program — but he has to be a chaplain candidate in order to receive the financial assistance necessary to be a full-time student. What’s a person to do?

But we have worked and waited and watched over the past several months as God has put one thing after another into place.

First, we were notified that he could finally receive full educational benefits. James did the legwork to get all the details figured out. He got accepted into the seminary and got the paperwork submitted to receive tuition assistance.

Meanwhile, he was also doing all the 40+ pages of paperwork, physical check-ups, and other tasks for the chaplain board, which had to be completed and turned in by September 1.

And then there was the waiting part…

It finally came down to this past weekend, and he had to decide whether to check-in at school or not. Everything had come together, piece by piece, except for a part-time job that would mesh with his class schedule.

We were praying hard (as were many of you) for wisdom and clarity and direction, to make the decision God wanted us to make. Everything had been working out up till then, to point towards going to school full-time. But – and this is a big “but” – we weren’t sure how he’d get the income we need to cover our living expenses.

So the choice was to ignore everything that God had worked out for us so far and keep on living as we were…
Or to leap out in faith and register for full-time school, trusting God to provide the right work opportunities afterward.

We chose to leap.

We prayed and talked and prayed some more. And people – spiritual leaders in our lives – gave us encouragement toward stepping out in faith, sharing examples from their own lives of doing just that, and reminding us of examples from Scripture (such as Abraham in Hebrews 11).

We still don’t know how God will provide for our living expenses, but we know that He will provide what we need each day, even if it comes just one day at a time.

Sure, my husband is still working his regular job and praying that he can swap shifts with people to be free for class and that he can get some sleep on the job the nights before he has to be in class. We wouldn’t give that up without something better already confirmed. But we know that, as we walk the path that God has led us to take, He will provide good things along the way.

He will provide what we need.

 

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
the conviction of things not seen.

And without faith it is impossible to please him,
for whoever would draw near to God must believe 
that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Hebrews 11:1,6; 2 Corinthians 5:7

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  1. […] we need it. And every semester, I think back to when he first enrolled in seminary, in August 2010. I wrote a post at that time about what we were anticipating, and how we were (not really) planning to get through it […]