The Next Good Work

Last month I joined a team of other Christians on a stateside outreach trip to Lynch, KY.

During the trip, our team led an outdoor day-camp for local children and helped kids landscape their elementary school.

Every night during the trip, we worshipped together and listened to local ministers share their stories.

On Monday night, a man told the story of how God brought his entire family to Lynch to open a gas station and food mart.

It was a great testimony and all, but something strange happened in my heart while listening.

The speaker randomly mentioned that he was 37 years old when he came to know Jesus.

When he said this, my first thought was, Wow, I’m 30 years old, and one day I’ll be 37. If I don’t have kids when I’m 37, I think I’ll be really sad. 

After the talk was over, I went outside to call Rachel. I hadn’t talked to her for two days and was already missing her a lot. Lynch is in the middle of the mountains and it’s hard to find a cell phone signal. Thankfully, she answered. It was good to hear her voice.

After chatting for a while I asked if she called her dad for Fathers Day.

“Yeah,” she said. “We had a great talk. Actually, he challenged me to think about something.”

“Tell me about it,” I said.

“Well,” she continued,“he felt convicted to talk to me about the possibility of adopting children.”

“That’s crazy!” I said. “I just had the thought, if I don’t have kids when I’m 37, I’m going to be sad.”

We agreed to pray about the possibility of adoption.

During the rest of my trip, I heard men and women give remarkable testimonies of God’s faithfulness — stories about how he had called them to relinquish control of their lives and trust him completely.

I could sense God was trying to tell me something.

There is a passage in Ephesians that says this:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10, ESV)

God isn’t waiting for bright people to come along and think of great ideas that he can bless.

He is waiting for faithful people to come along, and walk in the works he has already prepared.

As Rachel and I prayed about adopting children, we both felt a deep sense of calling.

Adoption is the next good work that God has prepared for us.

When I got home, I submitted my resignation. (If you didn’t read my mid-week post about quitting my job, you can read it here.)

As I’ve reflected on the last couple of weeks, I’ve realized how God has been working on my heart.

He has shown me the remarkable lives of men and women who depend on him for everything, using their stories to remind me that he always provides.

He has reminded me that he loves me, and has my best interests in mind.

God isn’t asking me to think of an impressive way to serve him.

Instead, he is shaping my heart to pray for what he has already prepared for me.

How cool is that?

How exciting (and humbling) is it to be on the same page as God?

I recently asked my father-in-law about his personal devotional life — how he makes a practice of praying and reading the bible.

He said he reads the bible every night if he can, after he’s finished all of his work for the day.

But he says prayer is different. He doesn’t have a daily prayer schedule or quiet time. Instead, he just figures that God wants him to do a good work, and most of his prayer should be asking God for help and guidance in doing that work.

That’s probably a good approach.

Rachel and I invite you to join us in prayer for this next good work.

And we want to pray for you as well. What good work has God called you to this season?

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2 thoughts on “The Next Good Work

  1. Thanx for asking!

    I read here frequently. I like your blog and love the work you share. Thank you for sharing it.

    I started out in addiction ministry which quickly had me involved in a poverty church, but it also quickly led me to prison ministry. When I finished school, I moved into “after care” ministry working intensly with ex-cons. This went on for a number of years.

    Then I joined another church working the mean streets at midnight. (I posted about it on my blog some.) And while reaching out to hookers, addicts, and pushers in the mean streets at night, I found myself more and more involved with children. And this was ironic, because I had made up my mind as a teenager to not have children. By the time I softened that choice, I was getting up in years and divorced. I also had run from children for years. I actually feared them.

    But here I was offering communion worship on the streets in front of crack houses and flop houses in the middle of the night, and soon all these small children began flocking to the worship! I couldn’t believe it. Kids in diapers… too young to talk coming to Jesus, and I could not turn them away. I had to let them come to him.

    We branched off into “birthday party ministry” for a while. I actually entered the homes of strangers and set up parties for their small children! I would have never dreamed it up.

    And then I got married again to a nice lady who, like me, lost a spouse to unbelief – such is our post modern world, I guess. Anyway, this lady, Mrs. Agent X, is a baby nurse! But she is also an amazing outreach minister. But anyway, she knows babies and kids inside and out.

    My ministry, in the last 7 years or so, has morphed ever more toward the homeless – street homeless particularly. But last year we were able to buy a new house – a much bigger house. And the idea was that we would begin foster care – my wife’s lifelong dream. And now we have. And I am exhausted lately from the 3 am diaper change/feeding and the 5 am do it over again routine. But I am blown away by how attached I am to these little people! I am blown away at the sacrifice I find myself neck deep in.

    I would never have dreamed.

    I have a regular prayer, and last year I added to it the petition to prepare us to receive the master of the house when he comes. And I must say, we are unprepared! God spoke to Job in a whirlwind. He speaks to me in dirty diapers! You just cant get prepared enough.

    But I love it. And it is still homeless ministry through and through. That continuity is powerfully strong.

    I would love for you to ask God’s blessing on this ministry. Ask for strength to get up and go and for calm in the midst of the storm I find him amid. It is a bit unnerving!

    Thanx

    Agent X
    Fat Beggars School of Prophets
    Lubbock, Texas (USA)

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