There is so much I want to write about here. It really is absurd, the abundance that God showers on us on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute basis. But how hard it is to see amidst the madness, chaos, and suffering that can be at times so pervasive, so overwhelming. I mean seriously, I do know my life is not as bad as someone living under constant persecution by extremists like some in the middle east, or being trafficked like too many of the world’s youth; but even our mundane everyday troubles can get overwhelming, no? Just take a look at the last six months for me and VLA:
- Lost 90% of funding for the organization
- Loss of my full time paid position as E.D.
- Brother lost his job
- Struggling in three new jobs to provide for my family
- My car broke down suddenly, and while borrowing my dad’s truck, an 18-wheeler backed into the parked vehicle’s driver side door and left without a note (thankfully no one was in the truck and we got it on video)
- My car got fixed, then the transmission starts acting up
- Personal and VLA finances stretched as far as they will go after this month is up….
As John Eldridge points out in the book Beautiful Outlaw, which we have been studying lately, “It is as if suffering in the world is increasing at an exponential rate.”
And yet I only had to be pointed to one example in this book that overcomes even the darkest suffering we can endure.
No matter what, dawn will come. In all its brilliant radiance, its fiery cleansing of the night, this reality changes everything. Take for example your worst nightmare you have ever had. What if you could never wake from that nightmare, what if it was your reality? Some people actually live out those nightmares. But here is the thing, we do wake up. Those nightmarish seasons in our lives do pass. We wake up, and the dawn continues to come every time. Every time. In all its abundance of light, giving warmth, vision, comfort, safety, hope, and life to a world in desperate need. We continue to need the light, and it continues to be provided, gracefully and generously, without us deserving it one bit. All of a sudden, that list of sufferings turns to a much longer list of thankfulness for a love that surrounds us that we are not owed.
- A community who rallied and got VLA operations back up in just two months
- Friends and Family that have stepped up in countless ways to sustain my brother, me, and my family
- A new job with a boss who is determined to see me succeed.
- Life giving conversations from every avenue around me.
- Generous donations that will allow our current Seekers to complete the program well.
- A God, father, and his Son Jesus who promises that if asked in faith in Him, we will see all redeemed and restored, even if that doesn’t look like what you think.
- Even just an inspiring song, movie, conversation, etc. etc.
In just a couple of days we will be going on our Conquering Trip with our Seekers for their final trip of the year. A trip that did not seem possible two months ago. But through His guidance and absurd abundance, He allowed us to be given an amazing donation to see our Seekers rewarded and given the opportunity to finish well by challenging themselves to accomplish a 14,000-foot summit in Colorado. You can read about the trip here.
I need to clear one thing up though, the sun and the dawn it brings are not the creator of the dawn, only the creation. It is the beautiful artist, creator, and provider that gives us this dawn without fail every day. There is a reason he is given the title “The light of the world” (John 8:12), a reason He says to “Take heart, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33), and He will “do whatever you ask in His name, so that Father will be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). He is the reason the dawn rises for us each day, He is the dawn we can always hope in, and He is the absurd abundance of life we can see play out across our lives if we but ask…and trust.
No one said it would be easy, only that we would not have to do it alone.