Julie and I have a lot to learn. The quick transition to the States left us longing in some ways for a “normal” life. What would it be like to have one place to actually call HOME? Wouldn’t it be nice to live out of dresser and not a suitcase? Wouldn’t be great to make a normal salary and live in one place? How great would it be to cut the red tape of international government regulations out of our lives! And on and on the list goes…
Then there’s little Evan. Why can’t he have a normal routine? Will he grow up embittered at parents that have drug him around the world, forcing him to say goodbye every couple of years to friends on both sides of the Atlantic? Will he grow up dreading the constant unknowns of support raising?
Our first major transition to a home assignment in the states elevated some of these losses for us. We actually arrived a couple of weeks ago to a temporary apartment in Springfield, IL. We are thankful for our new place, as well as the car Isringhausen imports has graciously loaned us. But I suppose you could say that some of the losses were sort of thrust in our faces! I have to admit that rather quickly we were crossing lines in the way we talked about some of them. It’s one thing to recognize a loss, quite another to wish it away or begin to complain. Let’s be honest, we were probably being just plain pouty.
One lesson that the Lord taught us yesterday has to do with putting to death this pouting. In my devotions, I ran across 2 Timothy 1:8 which says “do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me, a prisoner for his sake, but by God’s power accept your share of suffering for the gospel.” Now Paul was urging Timothy to accept his “share of sufferings.” I don’t even know if our little list of losses would constitute what Paul would have called suffering. Probably not. But for the sake of humoring our American sensibilities, we’ll go ahead and call our losses “sufferings.” Either way, Paul’s admonition to Timothy cut at my heart. God was asking me to accept my share of losses for the sake of the gospel.
God wants me to remember that any loss is an opportunity to accept, by His power, and for the gospel. In the strength that God provides, we have the opportunity to accept our losses (all of them!) for bringing the good news to Spaniards.