“Confronted with a host of opportunities and the sincere desire to serve God, [we] desperately want to know what God wants [us] to do” – The Missionary Call by David Sills
Insert “Hannah” in between those brackets and right there is probably the statement of my life, or really any other person’s life who is in one of those “in the mean time” phases. As college students especially, we are always confronted with the question “What is your next step?” “Where are you headed after graduation?” or if you are asked by a fellow Christian, “What do you really feel like the Lord has called you to do?” These are all great and valid questions for anyone who is preparing for what is next in God’s big plan for their life. However, as I am waking up early my last weekend in Gainesville before I embark on summer adventures, I am trying to remember all that the Lord has taught me this year and how it relates to God’s will and plan for my life. The beloved Sophomore/Junior year of college was one for the books, every year of college is, but I think the thing the Lord really wanted to teach me this year was:
“For great is his love towards us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever”
Great is an understatement to the amount of love the Lord has for us, I think INFINITELY great would be a better way to phrase it, but David was trying to be poise so I completely understand. “The faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.” Wow! What power comes from that, the faithfulness of God. When you are young, even though I am still young, but younger, it is hard to really understand the faithfulness of God because there isn’t as much life experience to reflect on and say, “wow God really proved faithful during that time.” However, having almost 20 years on this planet I have come to realize a few instances in my life where the Lord proved ever faithful. One being at a very young age when he miraculously healed me from some weird spot on my eye (to this day we still don’t know what it was), when he gave me the opportunity to go to Collegiate and although I wasn’t sure about it-turned out to be the greatest blessing of my life, when I really wasn’t sure about coming to UF but took a leap of faith and made that deposit (now I never want to leave), when a group of us steadfastly prayed for a little baby to be born, now little Eli is healthy and alive, or leading up to most recently when the Lord was faithful in providing the perfect, and I mean perfect place for me to serve Him this summer in Quillota, Chile.
Needless to say, the faithfulness of the Lord truly endures forever. All of these big milestones of faith in my life encompassed a smidgen of uncertainty. In the case of going to Collegiate or coming to UF, I had my doubts about whether or not it would be a good fit for me, if that was really where the Lord wanted me to go, and if there was something better out there. For Chile, it really was taking a leap of faith and just watching the Lord work. I knew the Lord had called me somewhere, but I just didn’t know where. Having applied to numerous programs, I was just waiting for the Lord to say “Okay Hannah, this is where I want you to go…this is my will.” The Lord was like, “no, no my child, step out of the boat, trust and have faith in me, and everything will be okay.” So as many of you know I am going to Chile this summer!
My journey to Chile has been nothing but a testament to the faithfulness of God in so many ways. I could recount numerous stories as to how God proved faithful, starting with how he called me to feed sheep and we just talked about sheep the whole time at training, how he blessed me with a bounty of financial support, and gave me great missionaries to work under. Even just down to the little of things like being able to go to a gym there and eat healthy food. These seem like such little things, but our God, the God who loves and cares so deeply for us knows the intricate desires of our hearts and what is of importance to us. He knew I would probably go batty if I couldn’t workout for two months or had to eat fried food all the time due to my allergies. To me, this is just a testament of His great love and faithfulness towards us. He knows us, loves us, and longs to give us the desires of our heart.
Going back to the unknown and uncertainty, like I said before sometimes next steps require BIG FAITH. Peter had uncertainty before he stepped out of the boat, was walking on water, lost the faith, and plunged, but you know what the Lord picked him up and said “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” I’m sure the Lord looks down on us sometimes in our doubt and uncertainty about His love and will for our life and just does one of those laughs that parents do when their child asks if they still love them after they spilt milk on the carpet: “oh my silly child, of course I still love you, why do you doubt that?”
My beginning quote talked about how we all have this sincere desire to do the will of God and to live out his plan for our lives. A lot of times we are just uncertain as to what that exact plan is. So what we do is we pray, we wait to hear an okay from the Lord. We pray “okay God show me the way, tell me what to do, show me your will, tell me your will.” The Missionary Call talks about this when missionaries are trying to decide if this missions thing is really for them, where they should go, etc. One thing we have to remember, is that we are not God. Therefore, we cannot know the will of God; He makes it known to us through our pursuit of Him. His ways are not our ways, and the goal of life is not to find out the will of God, but TO LIVE THE WILL OF GOD. Many times, myself included, we get caught up in seeking the will of God instead of God. He says seek ME and you will find, knock and the door shall be opened. A wise friend once told me, we sometimes see the will of God as this tight rope that we have to tip toe across and if we step off we are screwed. Uhm…no, God’s plan for our life is an eight way high way that has many turns, dips, mountains to climb, valleys to trudge through. it’s not a straight easy path. Therefore, sometimes we just have to take a leap of faith and watch the Lord work and bring His faithfulness to life.
God has definitely breathed that faithfulness into my life this year, and I am eternally grateful for all He has done and how He has blessed me. I am still in this sort of awkward next step phase. However, as I will be a senior in college this coming Monday after I take my last exam at 7:30 AM (yes 7:30 AM…), The Lord keeps continuing to challenge me in taking leaps of faith, watching the Lord work in his faithfulness, and seeking GOD instead of God’s will. My wonderful roommate shared this verse with me the other day, and I think it brings me so much hope for what the Lord has in store. Even though the future is uncertain and not all my plans are known to me, the Father who loves me, pursues me, and proves ever faithful is calling me to be bold and courageous. He tells me,
“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded.For I am doing work in your days that you would not believe if told”
I’m ready Lord, thank you for your faithfulness and blessing thus far, not my will but yours be done, I long to seek YOU. Praise the Lord, His love and faithfulness endures forever!