So I have yet to write since moving to Australia. I have been waiting for some clever idea to come to me, the forming of a mind-blowing "top 10" list, or at the very least a memorable story or experience. Nothing has come to me though. So for now I will share what's been on my mind.
This move to Australia has been amazing. I know this word is thrown around and has lost meaning in our culture. But let me try to grasp at what I mean. Amazing for me is wrapped in vast emotions. Something amazing is more than just a cool experience. Something amazing, for me, is something that changes my life. It's so outside of my normal realm of experiences that it alters my perspective and causes a shift in the way I want to approach this life. So this life transition has been "amazing".
Allow me the grace to try and put into words a few of the thoughts that have been forming within me. They come from personal study, the teaching of others, and the daily routine of life. Thoughts have the potential to control our view of self, our ideas of God, and our sense of purpose. I believe our thoughts should always be challenged, expanding, and evolving with time. I don't think the same way I use to when I was 6, or 15, or even 21. They are shaping my views of God and sharpening my relationship with Him.
I have been studying through 1 Peter in my quiet time. Peter is writing to Christians who have been exiled from their land. They've been cast out from their homelands and forced to live as aliens in a new land. His letter is one of hope, God's faithfulness, and of the calling we have in Jesus Christ. I couldn't get past verse 2 of the first chapter for almost a week. It drew me in and spoke so clearly into my own life. It begins like this, "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in the sanctification of the Spirit, for the obedience to Jesus Christ..." and then I just stop. Breathe it in. Then I read it again, "God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and His Spirit made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Him...". I breathe in. I let it begin to sink into my heart. There is so much in this one verse. How does this not excite anyone who is following after Jesus? How does this not excite those who know the grace of God? Listen to this one more time, "God the Father has His eye on each of you, and has determined by the work of the Spirit to keep you obedient through the sacrifice of Jesus." Breathe that in again and again and again.
Although I felt that God was speaking clearly to me in my time with Him, this past week I began to seriously question and doubt our move to Australia. I began to question why we are here and why I felt called here. I started to question if God is, in fact, faithful to those who are His children. It's been difficult. Everything that we've always thought were easily accessible necessities no longer are. Examples would be having a car, A/C in the house, and internet at home (or the ability to easily find it at a cafe). The new normal is changing every day. So my faith began to give, my doubt began to grow, and my questioning of where God is was constant. Here's the best part though, 1 Peter 1:2, "according to the foreknowledge of God the Father". I just want to shout that out! "Yes God! Yes!"
This small phrase holds so much truth within it. One, God knows where He has called me. He knows the life He has asked me to leave and the life He is wanting me to step into. He knows it all. He has been working in it. He has been preparing this work for us- for me. It hits me like a ton of bricks. My doubt, my lack of faith, my worry, to what avail is it? God already, long before I felt His leading, was at work in what He called me to in this season of life. You really could just stop there and it be enough, and yet there is so much more reassurance to be had in this verse. Two, God is our Father. Before we even get into the work Jesus Christ has done on our behalf God shows us who He is. Our Father. I never worried about food growing up. I never wondered if my parents would take care of me. They always did. My dad always provided for my daily needs. I have God as my heavenly Father doing the exact same for me now. I hear His voice, "Jasper I called you out into this life, I am your Father, trust me." I am floored. How can I justify my doubt or lack of faith? I can't. There is no justification to be found in my self- absorbed lack of faith. I could keep going, but I would be writing well into the night.
God has shown me His faithfulness. In my lowest point of doubt and despair He showed up in a very real way. He never allows His children to go through more than they can handle. He never allows us to completely lose faith in His sovereignty. He is our Father. He is our Pappa. So I'm not sure if the lessons I learn here will be the ones that I set out to learn. Maybe this season of life that Ashley and I are walking through is to teach me this; God my Father is a faithful God and has called us out to live for Him. I constantly hear the Spirit whisper, "Trust me. Lean on me. Allow me to be your provider. I am a good Father who loves you."
"These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold - though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."