As I start to write this journal, I realize that the focus is completely off my situation – it’s just a small record of God’s overarching plan – and it’s amazing.
As I sit in the lecture I watch Patrick speaking to a lecturer. The girl sitting next to me leans over and tells me how Patrick is so strange. I stare at her, unfazed as she tries to justify that comment. I disagree whenever she stops, and smile at her as I say Patrick’s a good guy. No one has any right to belittle another under God’s love. Patrick, there is no compromise to love – it knows no conditions. Love is our highest calling.
At lunch Patrick sits with us and seems to think deeply and suggests tiredness could be an internal problem. I’m glad he sees through the face to the deep.
Though that is all that happened today, I know what was spoken that day touched hearts and the rest of the day God calls me as a witness to His overarching plan for the world and this city.
I am a witness to the work God does in Jonathan that day. Last night we prayed for a lost sheep to be drawn back into the Father’s arms. Low and behold, he meets with Jonathan which we all see as no mistake.
As I get home I am immensely weary and I go to lie down.
I wake to my mum telling me I have a missed call from Jonathan. I call him up and listen to the excitement and life in his voice as he tells me how he wandered around Adelaide city praying for God to use him. He came across an Aboriginal couple – one in a wheelchair that beckoned him over. Within 10 minutes he had prayed for healing upon this man, god the ward number of the hospital he stays at and got asked to take him to a church.
We’re going to visit him tomorrow Patrick, and the saints are breaking into this man’s life and loving as their own. Somehow, someway, in the beautiful symphony of life God has drawn me into the story of Bradley and Michelle’s life and I obey the calling.
The plans of God are truly majestic and perfect. As you read this journal, know that it is only part of a beautiful and glorious story – one that intertwines and crosses borders to present the fullness of glory to God.
The LORD is raising up a brotherhood in Adelaide, restoring the title of ‘brother’ to its original position. We are raising an army capable of destroying strongholds doing everything out of love, dying to self and living for Christ.
The city of Adelaide will be helpless as the Kingdom of Heaven forcefully advances while forceful men take hold of it. We will set this town on fire with the glory of God. We restore the title of this city, ‘The city of churches,’ to its rightful place.
Praise to God for he will be pleased to do so!
While waiting for the Aboriginal couple at the hospital, I get a call from Patrick. He doesn’t want to come out tomorrow. This is alarming, as my plan was to share all with Patrick tomorrow. I call him up with urgency, wanting to talk.
As I arrive, I begin to share all that’s been happening the last 12 days. He agrees with parts of it, yet other parts just do not relate at all. As we talk more and more, I seem to be caught up in my original epic plans, and he stares at me unfazed as I soon realize that Gods plan these last 12 days have been far more epic than I ever imagined.
Some of the things I wrote down these past 12 days may have been bold, out of context, rash at times, but in all I did I wrote my mind, and spoke my mind for that matter.
What I realize now is this journal is a testimony of God’s work. It never had any focus on me, Patrick, or anyone. It was always going to end up about God. Let’s recap what occurred in 12 days of my life.
I originally think I was meant to ‘show the love of Christ’ to an unknown man. I take it as showing the gospel. Turns out, this man is a pretty serious catholic who prays often and reads God’s word.
What actually occurred is a different story:
– My heart is moved to love a man unconditionally as Christ would
– My brothers and sisters are moved with me in prayer
– I am taught an invaluable lesson in obedience, realizing that I must adjust to God’s plan, realizing His plan never fails, but mine does.
– My faith and belief in God has exploded, doubt has been cast out
– I have a new heart for the unloved of the world and God’s creation
– Prayer groups have been formed
– I now count everything as loss
– My brother and six other people had the courage to go out into the world to seek out the lost
– I feel like I’ve been given the gift of love to others, having no conditions.
– Close, covenantal friendships have been formed
– I am obsessed with obeying god and His coming kingdom
– Jonathan has stepped out in faith like I wrote about
– Our youth group is beginning to step out and walk by faith.
Patrick, they say you are blessed more in giving than receiving. I gave it all for you and God, and held nothing back, and I now look at the rewards of only 12 days. I feel no regret or shame that my plans fell on their face – God couldn’t have written a more beautiful story.
We welcome you if you choose to come tomorrow with open arms, and if you know Christ like you say you do, keep me in your prayers that I would continue to give it all to Christ.
Thanks to God for this wonderful experience! I know it doesn’t end there, and I obey and love Jesus to the grave and when this life is over. I hope to look back and say my plans failed miserably, but God’s plan was better.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21
Thoughts from Joel:
The journey has finally come to a close. Throughout the 12 days, we have all seen Patrick go from a man seeking glory for obedience – prideful and arrogant – to a man seeking only to reflect the glory of God back to all who witness what Christ has done through him.
Ultimately, we have seen a man fail. And succeed.
“I feel no regret or shame that my plans fell on their face – God couldn’t have written a more beautiful story.”
We all struggle with pride at one point or another. Are we willing to let it go? It may be manifesting itself in a small thing, like apologizing to a friend, or it may involve something bigger, like a career choice or job relocation. For many, we’ll try to hold on as long as we can. But eventually, God will overcome our own pride and lack of faith, showing us what we are truly capable of in this world when we embrace Him and overcome the uncomfortable situation He has put us in only through His strength.
It’s not until we experience the uncomfortable that we will experience the comfort found in Christ. Where is God asking you to trust, and surrender your comfort for Him? Don’t hesitate – Christ is leading the way. All we have to do is follow.
*a note to Terence: A big thank you to you, Terence. You’ve caused me to question, analyze, study, meditate, and pray in the writing of your journal, and I’ve come out stronger, more bold, and more willing to completely identify with Christ. Thank you for making me stronger – you’ve been a blessing through your obedience.