Why does God say “No,” to some really good plans? This has got to be one of the goads of life that keep us reminded that we know and understand so little. However, whatever your opinion is on the reason, a goad certainly isn’t enjoyable.
I can’t help but think of Paul and his team as they were stopped from taking the Gospel to Bithynia, after already being told to not go to the region of Asia (Acts 16:6-7). They were not only trying to do a good thing, but seemingly the most important thing that they could ever do, and God says, “No.” Paul has the famous dream, commonly referred to as the Macedonian Call, and I had always mentally pictured it as though Paul woke up and told the rest of the guys where they were headed next. However, the Bible tells us that the group of men went only after “assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.” (Acts 16:10). That phrase, “assuredly gathering,” carries with it the concept of collecting the pieces of evidence and information and coming to an agreed conclusion. These men discussed what God had been doing, and in light of this new piece of information that God had showed to Paul they could see clearly where God was leading them for the next step. That decision set in motion the starting of some famous churches in cities such as Philippi, Thessalonica, and Corinth.
Unfortunately, being human, we don’t get to know what God will do in the future as we face closed doors in the present. Thankfully, we can still rest in His infinite wisdom and choose obedience and trust. In light of new information, counsel from Biblical authority, and time spent with Him in the Bible and prayer we can “assuredly gather” for ourselves what the next right decision is that the Lord would have us make. Due to the high-risk nature and extra physical burden of carrying twins, combined with the counsel we received from Biblical authority and our personal time with God, Marie and I have canceled our plans to take a survey trip in May and move in October. We are eager to get to the field, and it was hard to get our emotions in line, but we are now planning to move to Romania in January, 2023.
God has graciously blessed our deputation travels, and we are at 86% promised support! We are praying that God will provide at least another 10% by the twins’ arrival in the middle to end of July. We are so excited to share with you all that God is giving us another girl and a boy! Serenity will get to have both a little sister to pal with and a little brother to “strongly exhort.” Please pray for the twins that they remain healthy and develop well and that God gives us wisdom as we prepare for them and figure out what we will need! Many of you have asked Marie to share a registry of things for the twins, and Marie is putting one together. We will share it via our email mailing list soon! Thank you so much for your faithful prayers for us as we seek to walk a day at a time in wisdom.