Providence on Display

IMG_5619I have habitually journaled since I was in college. Periodically, I look back through a selection of entries and meditate on all the Lord has done in my life. Fundamentally, the practice has served to remind me of the Lord’s continual work in my life as I am prone to forget; frequent reflection on His goodness brightens my soul.

From time to time, I plan to share selections from entries that show how the Lord directed me to the Ukrainian mission field. As I look back, I see how various life events, strange providences, and hard lessons, prepared me for Ukraine. First up, February 13, 2016.

At that time I had been away from Werner for a little over a month and had already started work as a driver and warehouse staff for a local company. I had been so sure that trucking would be a great fit (don’t get me wrong, there was a great deal of traveling the country that the adventurer in me ate up). Yet, on the whole, the career proved problematic and my expectations eroded.

Coming off a disappointing job venture, I felt listless and unsure of what the next step would be. For some time I thought I could settle for blue collar work; at one time I even began the ground work to start homesteading. Yet the Lord would not let me settle in those pursuits and I grew increasingly restless.

During this transition period, the necessity to pay off my debts was still very real but I also knew I had missed the mark. I simply was not where my gifts should have been. This dissatisfaction ignited a time of contemplation to get to the bottom of my ministerial desires.

In the midst of the conflict between my desires and the frustration of feeling stuck, I wrote. The last line, though one of many questions at the time, certainly stands out today.

Tomorrow’s sermon is found in Mark 10:46-52. Here, a blind man calls out to Christ in faith and asks for his sight to return. Upon meditating on this text, I sensed a similar cry regarding my state the last several weeks.

I miss teaching a lot. Yet I am conflicted by the salary. Having now bought a truck, undergone surgery, and taken on a $7,000 school loan for trucking, I feel dreadfully trapped and lost. I have lost my sight.

Now I, like Bartimaeus, beg the Lord for sight to return. I am fraught with uncertainty and questions I can’t answer.

For almost two weeks now, I have been searching my soul. The draw to be wholly about eternal work is strong. For the fourth time in my life, foreign missions has weighed heavy upon me but I cannot seem to discern to what end. Do I go? Do I support those who do in financial and hospitable ways? Do I teach missionary kids abroad?

The Lord’s providential work in great and small things never ceases to amaze me. I can’t wait to see what is in store in Kyiv!

Praise be to God!

Jacob

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