With a new year usually comes planning and dreaming. A fresh opportunity to consider where I am now and what I would like to accomplish over the next twelve months. Last year about this time we were talking about Ben leaving maintenance to focus on flying. We were introduced to Samaritan Air and things seemed to be coming together. I began to think we may not be to far from meeting Helimission’s requirements.
This year as I sit and write I have dreams sure, but it’s as if I am at sea with no instruments or view of the stars for navigation. Still desiring to reach the shore but not sure if I’m still sailing or just drifting over the waves. Simply put, I have no direction.
This morning while getting ready for church I prayed for direction, telling God that I don’t like this feeling and how discouraged I am. Mulling over the last couple years of training I began to regret Ben working in maintenance. If he had only keep flying full time when the economy was good he’d have more than likely been able to quickly progress to larger aircraft and would now have lots of experience under his belt. Others who started at the same time he did are now flying EMS or transporting passengers offshore to the oil rigs. He could have thousands of hours by now. We could be in missions!
With these thoughts still in my head and regret now taking hold in my heart I sat down at the breakfast table to read my bible and daily devotional. The bible reading was 1 John 5 and the verses spoke of overcoming the world and knowing Jesus. I didn’t feel like an overcomer nor like I know Jesus. Next I opened the devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers and nearly fell apart at the title of today’s reading – “Will You Go Out Without Knowing?” The verse directly below was Hebrews 11:8 “He went out, not knowing where he was going”. I looked up at Ben who was sitting across from me reading his bible and eating breakfast. “Did you read today’s Oswald?” I asked, he nodded he had and smiled. I read the devotional aloud, my heart bursting with each word.
“One of the most difficult questions to answer in Christian work is, “What do you expect to do?” You don’t know what you are going to do. The only think you know is that God knows what he is doing.” I felt ashamed. How was it that my heart and mind were so easily clouded with doubt and regret? I read on, “Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do - He reveals to you who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you “go out” in complete surrender to Him until you are not surprised one iota by anything He does? Believe God is always the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him. Then think how unnecessary and disrespectful worry is!”
As I finished my breakfast I again thought back over our time in Florida. A quiet voice reminded me that working in maintenance was God’s doing, not a bad decision made by Ben or I. Being a mechanic as well as a pilot is important to working in missions and was not a waste of time. Being hired as an apprentice having no previous mechanical experience was a tremendous blessing and really nothing short of miraculous. It meant Ben was paid to learn and got lots of helicopter specific experience rather than later paying $18,000+ for mechanic school and only spending a week or so on helicopters.
I was also reminded that God knew then that the economy would suffer and helicopter pilot jobs would be few and far between. He knew then that we would be at a point where discouragement was easier to come by then hope. He’s known all along that today would come, that I would doubt, and that Oswald’s words would sting my heart.
So as we start a new year I am reminded that this is not about us. It’s not even about missions really, it’s about Him. It’s about a miracle working God who is trustworthy and always knows what He is doing. I might not have plans, but He does and that’s enough for me.