Big answers in small packages...

Countless times I find myself saying "Okay God, I'm waiting for your answer" and I expect it to be huge, like written out in the sky by the clouds, spelled out on billboards heading down SR 46 on my way to work huge. And almost every time one of two things happens 1. God answers in the most quiet subtle way imaginable, OR He uses a small experience to slap me in the face with a realization. Tonight was the latter... Background.Story. I've been dealing with a lot of stress lately, most of it self-inflicted stress. I've been worried about my job, my friends, members of my family, etc. Just as a basis for the rest of this post here's what's been bothering me-- My job ends in two weeks, and I need a new one. I have no idea what I want to do with my life and that quiet frankly scares the crap out of me. My Great Aunt who I hold near and dear to my heart has colon cancer, I hate cancer with a passion (at this point you must keep reading, irony awaits you) and I am sick of seeing it destroy the lives of loved ones. I have friends dealing with heartbreaks, death, illness, fear, and failure so I envelope myself in their problems to avoid my own, even though my own problems are very similar to theirs.


Saturday was a crazy day, after a crazy week, and I just wasn't sure what to do. I left Purdue and time with my best friend and one of the most amazing women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing to come back to Hope early that morning. I was going to see other friends which made the drive bittersweet. Yet, the thoughts of my future that flooded my mind on the ride home began to paralyze me. Once home I ignored it, focused on an issue of forgiveness and grace, and enjoyed my afternoon. Then I got word that a guy I have been praying for, a guy who meant a lot to this town and a lot to my family, lost his battle with cancer. I didn't know how to react, I just buried it like everything else... until Monday morning. I woke up with such a heavy heart and I cried the whole 30 minute drive to work. Now, I must say I am incredibly thankful for Lindsey, because had it not been for her encouragement I may have turned around and gone home. While crying I screamed for God's comfort, for answers, for something to give me hope for the future. Yet nothing came... until tonight.


Tonight I went to teach my Kids Like Me class to a bunch of 7-8 year olds at Church. I was still dealing with a lot but the energy in that room always clears my mind and renews my soul. I stopped stressing for a little while and tried to enjoy acting like I'm 8, which as many of you know isn't hard for me to do. Then God started to answer everything I explained earlier in such a big way, from such a small girl. Her name is Kate and she's 9 years old. Now at first Kate didn't want to come into our class, but eventually she came in and had a blast. While out on the playground I heard one of the kids tell me that Kate had her own t-shirts that they sold at school. I asked why she had her own tshirt and she very nonchalantly replied "Because I go to Riley Childrens Hospital" now being curious I again asked her why, she shrugged her shoulders and said "I have cancer"... I went on to learn that she has neuroblastoma and has been battling it since she was 3 years old. I was shocked, and I drove home stunned and I sit here now completely flabbergasted (yes I just said that). At first my heart merely broke for her, I couldn't imagine being 9 years old and spending 2/3 of my life thus far battling cancer...


Remember how I said I hate cancer? God's irony at it's best, leave it to Him to use someone battling cancer to help me realize the answer to my questions as of lately, someone that is much more courageous than I am. Driving home I realized it was part of the plan to meet Kate. Not just so I could pray for her, not so my heart would break for her, and not so I would tell all of you about her. It was so much more than that. See this whole time I thought I was the teacher (funny how this always happens to me in ministry) and yet here's Kate a 9 year old girl teaching me more than I could ever hope to teach her. Kate is a vibrant child and an exhilarating breath of fresh air. God used Kate to make me realize that it all comes down to faith. Here I am, a man claiming to rely fully on God and yet stressed beyond belief over such minor things such as a job. Standing in front of a little girl who has been battling for her life for 6 years and shrugs it off like it's a lightning bug on her shoulder during a night game of tag in the middle of July. No big deal. You see even if Kate is scared she understands it's in God's hands. Thank God for the people that have instilled faith in this little girl. It made me understand that if a 9 year old can put her mortality in the hands of God and shrug it off, than putting all of the things that have been weighing on my soul so heavy should be easier. It's like Luke says in chapter 18 verses 16&17-- 16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” If we have faith like a child, if we receive the Kingdom as a child does, we'll inherit it. A child? Someone so small, young, naive, inexperienced at life... no, someone that has yet to be corrupted by this world, someone who still understands the fundamental parts of faith, that isn't bitter at the world yet... someone like Kate.

Grace and Peace


Providing Uncertainty

the insecurity of not knowing what is next usually destroys me... lately I find comfort in it, because it reminds me I am not in control. I need that reminder so often. It's funny the way God works. Today I have been frustrated, tired, complacent, questioning, uncertain, and discouraged. Then God did three things-- 1. He sent me on a 2 hour drive to help someone, and it was the most beautiful drive I have taken in quite a long time. 2. He provided a conversation about the Bible that got me thinking about the plans we make for ourselves and how they don't always line up with God's plan. 3. He comforted me about where I am with relationships with other people, partly by conversation and by a text message I just received from someone very important to me. It's funny that these things happen, because all of them went against my plan for today. Thank you for the failure of my plans, Lord, thank you for providing uncertainty so I can let you work in my life.

Grace and Peace,



Pray for the World

I feel a season of change coming... I'm fearful yet faithful that God will provide in every instance... slightly contradictory I know. I need prayers. I need prayers for my heart, for my future, for a job, for my Aunt battling cancer, for my friends that are without faith, for my future nephew coming from Ethiopia, for the world. Do that for me tonight... scratch that, do that for yourselves. Don't pray for all of the things I listed, just pray for one. Pray for the world. The people, the cultures, the violence, the sadness, the darkness, the economy... pray for a revolution started by Christian activists. Because if we aren't active in our faith-- what are we?

Grace and Peace-