The last few days I have been enjoying an audible book by Mark Batterson call The Circle Maker. He is the pastor of a large church in DC. His stories and ministry philosophy resonate with me on several fronts.
First, he deeply believes in praying circle around the things he feel God is calling him to, particularly ministry opportunities. Additionally, he feels what God calls him to God will also provide for. One of these things God called his church to was to launch a coffee shop ministry out of a former crack house. His rock solid faith is based first on believing that God will provide, then experience over a life time of actually seeing God miraculously provide.
His writings bring a flood of wonderful stories to my mind. Having cut my teeth as a touring missionary helping my parents run a drama ministry so many years ago, we constantly had to rely on an all powerful God. I think of the hundred of stories about our touring coach bus. We always had unbelievable problems that seemed like they would end the tour and the rest of our ministry opportunities. Yet, some times several times a day, after absolutely desperate prayers, God would provide yet again. I remember one tour, I was in a monkey suit because I had basically been helping my dad keep the bus running the entire trip, looking at the starting, realizing we where stuck without any hope of the bus moving. It was a dark night, I was cold, I had hurt my knee pretty bad and it was throbbing, and the bus was not running. We had been working on the thing almost for 72 hours straight. Now, we had seen God miraculously provide 2 fifteen passenger vans and a multitude of other miracles which allowed us to continue presenting the message of Christ through Drama on that trip. But this problem happened just as we were coming back into Wisconsin at the end of the trip. We were so close to home, yet so very far way. It was like 3am, I was physically, emotionally and spiritually spent. Truth be told, I was angry at God, so angry in fact I broke down crying. Just prior to this, I had put my phone in my back pocket. Forgetting about it, I rolled under the bus and broke my phone. That just added to the general frustration of the moment. I put my grease soaked hair, dripping with rain water, on the grease covered chrome bumper of the coach bus and cried my heart out, half praying for God to provide again, half telling God that if this is what ministry was all about, I didn’t want anything to do with it. Not more than fifteen minutes later, God provided again. We tied a rope to the front of the coach, and pop started it.
I blessed because God taught me the lesson of relentless prayer and continuous effort very early in my career. Last week I wrote about seeking God provide an incredibly favorable lease. This week, I’m faced with the need of raising more money than I have ever seen in my life. That might be a slight overstatement, but the point in the same. I don’t know the end of the story, but with complete confidence, I can’t wait to see how this chapter ends, as we turn another page of our ministry history and enter a new season of change, challenge, and God’s unbelievable provision.
Please pray that God will once again provide. He is mightily at work. My heart is heavy for the thousands of students in Topeka who need purpose and hope in life. I serve a God who specializes in both and every day my heart breaks to share hope, peace, and purpose with ever greater number of youth. Pray for provision so we can continue doing that!!!!!
Circle Maker is a great book sure to challenge your faith and prayer life.