Blessed to Serve on Mission with God
Some days I feel so excited about what we get to do, and who we get to work alongside. Even though working in mission isn’t always easy, I realize that Dawn and I have been blessed in so many ways as we serve in helping to fulfill the great commission. Yet, I’ve found myself feeling up and down these last couple of weeks because we just came upon the one year anniversary of when Hannah went to heaven.
That’s been truly painful. There’s no way to hide from it.
I think Dawn and I receive more support than most people do when they’ve lost a loved one, which does help sustain us. The Lord also lifts us up. He does it day by day and moment by moment.
The Painful One Year Anniversary
Last Wednesday, October 18th is when we crossed the one-year threshold. Dawn and I felt like it would be best if we could be out of town for a few days during that time. A couple of weeks ago we had dinner with a close friend and ministry partner, JD Pearring. JD lovingly asked us how we were doing, and what our plans were for the one year anniversary. It was something we had thought about, but Dawn and I hadn’t come up with a decision yet. JD invited to go to the Transformation Ministries conference in the LA area. After we thought about it some we decided to attend the conference.
The Lord met us there in some amazing ways. The conference started on the 19th, and both Dawn and I felt down in the morning as we were driving to the conference.
We were sad on the 18th, and it was hard to go visit Hannah’s gravesite, but in some ways, I felt worse emotionally on the 19th.
The moment we drove up to the conference and got out of the car the first thing that occurred is I dropped my phone in the street and cracked the screen! Huge bummer! Things seemed to be getting worse. I wasn’t sure I wanted to see our friends at that point.
Once the conference began we worshipped the Lord together. The group that led us guided us into the presence of the Lord, and there as I began to worship I felt the weight begin to lift. Praise Jesus!
Then Margaret Feinberg shared a wonderful message. Neither Dawn nor I had heard of her before, but she did an excellent job of transparently sharing about joy in the midst of trials. Margaret is facing cancer at the moment, so she is walking through a valley herself as she ministers to others.
Rejoice in the Lord!
One of the passages she shared really spoke to me from Habakkuk 3.
Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19, ESV)
This passage ministered to me in such a way, that I just had to start sharing it with others. I had read it before, but since we are going through this painful period of mourning it touched me in a special way.
The other way that the Lord lifted us up was being around friends who love Jesus and who love us. Dawn met some new friends who ministered to her in a special way. As we pass through this season we see the Lord using our storying to minister to others out of our pain. God does not waste our trials.
I must say I wish for more. I pray for more. I ask for more. I want more of Jesus and more of the Spirit in my life. God hears my prayer, I’m confident of that, but the answer is not always the way I hope for or expect. Yet, I will praise him. “Though he slay me, I will hope in him.” (Job 3:15a)
In His Grip, Dave