He Gently Leads Those With Young
The events of the last few weeks has caused us to rely on the still small voice of the Holy Spirit like never before.
Should we go or should we stay? When, where, and how should we travel and for how long? Is it safe? What does it even mean to be safe?
As a family we have wrestled with the call of God on our lives to be in Northern Iraq and to serve those in need, especially with three precious young children entrusted to our care.
We have considered some of the worst possible scenarios, often to the point where we have worried ourselves sick. We have wondered what life would be like if we just decided to pack it all in and call it a day. You know, it's quite remarkable where the human mind will take you when you let your imagination free for just a moment. And as the old proverb says, "An idle mind is the devils playpen".
And so the greatest challenge and most humbling reward has been learning to turn down all the noise - the news reports, the phone calls and emails - and quietly listen for God to speak.
Isaiah 40:11 beautifully reveals God's tender way of leading His people...
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
I can honestly say that this has been our personal experience as a family as we have sought to follow His voice wherever He has called us to go. We have felt so sweetly the gentle hands of God carrying us along; providing, protecting and patiently caring for us.
God's faithfulness over the last few weeks has been incredible... from providing an apartment in Istanbul, to favor in booking flights and transportation arrangements. I could easily write a book about how God has taken such good care of us.
We have enjoyed wonderful times of prayer and fellowship. We have been honest with our fears and sincere with our weaknesses. We have also been strengthened by Scripture and have encouraged each other to follow Jesus with all our heart, mind and soul.
There is nothing more faith building than meditating on the promises of His written Word and allow your heart to truly grasp it's truth.
And so as we take the next step in our adventure with God and head back into Iraq, these words have spoken profoundly to our hearts and we pray they give courage and strength to you in your own walk.
"Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened. But in your hearts revere Christ as LORD. Always be prepared to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” - 1 Peter 3:13-15
We feel a great sense of courage knowing that we are not alone. We have a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on both on earth and in heaven. With our eyes fixed on Jesus and the eternal inheritance that we have in Him, our hearts burn brighter with hope of the Gospel that is mighty to save.
Our prayer today is that you too would hear His still small guiding voice, and that you would find courage and strength to follow wherever He leads you.
Thanks for journeying with us,
Tim & Sarah Buxton