February, 2017 Newsletter

MINISTRY AT A GLANCE
Financials: Monthly Revenue Required: $7,100.00 and Monthly Revenue Received: $4382.00 Remaining Need:( +carryover need from last month)  $2,718.00

Current Ministry/ Ranch Projects 1.) Journeys group is going well. Very powerful conversations. 2.) Mountain Haven is in need of one time donations to supplement the monthly support in order to complete projects and maintain the property, if you feel like supporting us thanks in advance for your support.

Something Interesting or Unexpected that Happened Last Month: 1.) Chris enjoyed the IF women’s conference via streaming this year. 2.) Kevin bought a really cool wood splitter attachment for his skid steer and is keeping it really busy.

Top Prayer Requests: Continued wisdom and direction for the vision of Mountain Haven to grow and evolve as God leads.

Living Without Evidence of Life

Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not yet seen (See Hebrews 11:1). Are you in a state of hoping right now? Hoping your marriage will get better? Hoping you won’t feel so sad all the time? Hoping your kids mother or father tries to reconcile their relationship with the kids? Hoping God will show up in your painful situation? Hoping God sees you? Hoping that you will find peace, healing and harmony in your relationships? If so, you are in good company. The world is full of many people who are hoping against hope for change, healing and restorations.

This, my friends, is the substance of faith. When you stand in the midst of a storm and continue to look to the horizon for a blue sky. When you stand in the face of an abusive and angry spouse and you continue to look to Jesus for your sustenance and your direction. When you stand in the middle of abandonment and rejection from your parents, but continue to look to your father God. The life without evidence is a sad, lonely life but many of us are in seasons where we are living life with the pursuit of hope when hope does not seem evident.

If this is you, I want to say the simple christian colloquialism like “just give it to God.” I don’t think that will work here. There are times when you want to really “give it to God”, but not in the nice way! There are moments, months, even seasons where the evidence; what we have been asking for does not show itself. I think we can respond a few different ways.

We can ask:

1.) What have others done in my shoes? This approach can be a double-edged sword because every situation is different. And yet there is nothing new under the sun. Seeking support from others who have walked the journey before you can give direction, support, and fresh perspective. Choose your sounding board wisely. But maybe you just need to ask.

2.) What is the thing I am trying to have faith for? Is it worth holding onto? At least your version of it? Are you possibly controlling the outcome by holding on and forbearing with it forever and not trying anything different. Do you have all your eggs in the basket of perseverance when taking a different turn may be in order?

3.) Lastly, do I think I’m having faith because this is hard? Maybe I am reaching a new level of healing and understanding and waiting and praying and pushing through; the pain may be just what I need. I’m used to comfort and my selfishness wants to be first? My discomfort wants comfort? Ask others to help evaluate how you tend to make decisions? Quickly? Hastily? With thought? Without enough thought? Take feedback wisely.

The idea of cultivating hope is tedious and tiring when the requirement of faith is to continue to hope without evidence. Evidence and proof feels tangible, and it just feels right. It feels better to not have to put up with our spouse’s stuff when we have prayed for change? It feels better to not have to work hard in our relationship as a parent, spouse or friend when there is no evidence that the relationship will be reciprocal. It feels right to give up on relationship to quickly; or conversely, it feels right to stick with the old behavior too long because we are holding onto false hope but no real evidence of change.

Faith is incredibly complex, but surprisingly simple. It is like living in the tension of, “what if?”, “If only?”, “but how?” “now or not yet?” But, it is also just as simple as trusting that God’s sovereignty and my choices will perfectly compliment each other. So there is freedom to make a move, or not make a move; freedom to stay still or not stay still, freedom to try something different or not, freedom to ask questions or ask less questions, freedom to keep fighting or stop fighting. When there is no evidence of change, hope, or freedom in our life or our marriage there is paralysis, there is fear, there is being alone.

Take a minute and ask yourself how to offer hope to someone you may know that has no evidence of hope in their situation? Could you give a helping hand? Could you show up for them? Could you give them evidence that God cares and He sees their situation?

If you currently do not see evidence look at the three potential responses to this above and ask yourself what fits you? Do you ask more? Reach out in vulnerability to others? Do you sit still? Do you move in a different direction? There are options. There is counseling, there are groups, there are others out there who are seeking evidence also that may want to talk with you. There are people in your life that may see you clearly and are telling you to seek help or slow down. Take a minute and listen.

A life without evidence of hope can be painful, isolating and lonely, but I know it is not forever. There are seasons where we catch glimpses, where we are given a treasure of evidence and fruit. Use those moments as your launching point to examine your faith, contend with it and ask God to bring it to the next level.

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