So I was thinking about building something but before I tell you what it is, I have to tell the story and forgive me if this makes this post a little longer.
Now I know what you’re probably thinking, “How does Jon have the time to build anything, when he is working part-time, raising support for the mission field and doing life as a family?” or you might just be thinking, “Is Bianca ok with this?” Both are understandable, if that’s the case and I will admit up front that my building inspirations haven’t always had the best timing, which Bianca can attest to. (:
Anyway, There’s this problem that I’ve been noticing lately and recently it occurred to me…I could probably just build something to help fix it though I would need resources. This happened to me before when we lived at Trinity and I built a small bridge in front of our apartment to get over a gully that kept flooding with water. It bothered me for almost 2 years before I actually built the bridge to literally “get over it”. I built it during the week of finals and I used money I’d been given for my birthday to get the wood and as far as I know, its still there.
Now normally I’m not that ambitious unless I just can’t take it anymore, like with the bridge story. Usually if I just wait long enough, common sense will grab me and talk me out of it because of all the time, money and energy it will require or I just put it on my “someday” list; which is practically the same thing as forgetting about it. With this new thing I wanted to build I didn’t have the chance to do either.
Before the inspiration fizzled, I ran into a guy that I know who doesn’t live too far from me. We were making small talk and in the process I mentioned what I was thinking about building. To my surprise the same problem was bugging him. In fact he agreed it was such an issue that he even offered to help! He promised right then to supply me with the resources I needed and even to have them delivered directly! I was shocked and had no words. If you know me, you know that that is a shock in itself! All I could say was “Thanks and that would be great!” Looking back now, I wish I would’ve said a little more but I think I was still just wondering if he was really serious! Even though he never acted like he was joking. When I walked away I remember thinking that that was either the coolest thing that’s happened in a long time or a really sick joke and all he asked for was a list of what I still needed.
I didn’t wait. When I got to my car I started typing out on my phone what I still needed to actually go forward with the plans. I was trying to be conservative though cause I didn’t want to push his generosity too far, so I tried to stay basic. I emailed my list to him quickly because I wanted him to know that I was taking him serious. He fired back right away and said that he would get it to me ASAP!!! I couldn’t believe this guy was actually helping me out like this. Who does that sorta thing?
The stuff showed up just a little while later exactly like I’d asked for it and I realized that I had just enough to do what I had planned. I got working and things were actually wrapped up even faster than I’d expected. Yet even after I finished, I was still so blown away by what had happened that I decided to stop by and thank my friend for his help. When I got to his place, he came out to say Hi. As we talked we walked around to his back yard. That was when I noticed that he actually had several, unusually large barns in back; so I couldn’t resist asking him what he kept in them. Instead of telling me, he just took me to the closest one. When he opened the door, I got my next big shock, because from wall to wall, he had tons of stockpiled building supplies and the other barns had more of the same! No wonder he could get what I needed so easily.
My gratitude turned into mild self-disappointment. My little request must’ve been nothing to him. Here I was trying to conserve because I thought I would stretch him but it probably didn’t even make a dent in one corner of one barn. The longer we stood there talking, I started thinking of how nice it would’ve been if I had had a few extra pieces to work with or how much more I could have made If I had no concern of running out. Finally I couldn’t take it any longer, I just asked, trying not to sound ungrateful, why he only had delivered what he did if he had had so much in his barns. He just smiled kindly and said, “It was all you asked for.”
OK, I know by now that you probably figured out that I’m not talking about an actual structure. I’m talking about the Church–His Church made up of His people, which Christ wants to build through people like you and I.
The scenario above haunts me. Though this story didn’t actually take place, I have a personal real fear of getting to the end of my life and finding out that if I had just trusted God a little bit more or if I had only had the courage to dream bigger dreams for Him or if I had dared to believe His Word for what it actually says then we would have built many greater things with our short lives here on this earth. Yet, we continue to doubt his ability, or imagine his resources to be limited or suppose that He’s not concerned with our affairs for some reason. Yet we have less of a reason to do so, than anyone because we know He owns it all. May we refuse to get to heaven someday and say to ourselves “What if we had only ___?” or “If only we had truly believed everything he said.”
With that in mind Bianca and I have started dreaming.
Our personal dreams and prayers are that God will send us all that we need in people, money and other resources to build up His church in Panama from his eternal supply. We’re asking Him to make Panama the future Missionary-sending center of Latin America because of the sheer overwhelming numbers of healthy, biblical churches that will someday be there by His Grace working through us. We invite you to pray that with us too but may you also consider how God could build up his Church through you wherever you are and remember – ask for much because He has that and more.