Dr. Phil – As the year 2016 draws to a close it seems like an appropriate time to reflect on the year that was. As with every year, including the upcoming one, there are no rehearsals or do-overs; we travel each segment of the journey for the first time. It is likely a blessing that we do not know ahead of time what the challenges will be! Yet with every passing year I am reminded afresh, as I am sure you are, of God’s faithfulness in spite of whatever storms we may have faced along the journey.
As we look back on 2016, on one hand it has been one filled with many challenges. Personally, both my wife Nancy and I saw the passing of our mothers within one month of each other near their 88th birthdays. You too may have witnessed the passing of family or close friends in the past year. These times particularly remind us of the fleeting nature of this life, and hopefully provide us perspective to continue to live our lives with purpose and focus.
In the ministry we have also encountered the head winds of attempting to accomplish our same mission with fewer resources. But again, we have seen God’s faithfulness and how he has taken the “loaves and fishes,” multiplied them and used them to accomplish his purposes. It is a good reminder that it is not OUR ministry or for that matter about God’s plan for OUR life in any given year. Rather, it is about his plan and his purposes and we aligning ourselves with what (and how) he wants to do through us.
Whatever the challenges you may have faced in 2016, I would encourage you to look for those threads of God’s faithfulness that have tied the seemingly unrelated strands of the year together. Often it is only in retrospect that we clearly see God’s hand in what at the time seems unrelated coincidences and random circumstances. Yet as we trust in him he has promised to make our paths straight.
Thank you for again standing with us and this ministry for yet another year. As youth pastors some 30+ years ago, we never could have imagined how the Lord would take our simple efforts to reach the nations and use them to touch lives in such diverse locations around the globe. We appreciate your support as we continue on this journey together investing in these leaders and equipping them to touch the many lives in their countries that their ministries are impacting. If you would like to join our financial support team please use the form below or go to our website (www.icmcanada.org) to make a year end donation or become a monthly supporter in 2017.
As we gaze on the brink of the new year, there is no way of knowing what is in store for each of us. But there is one thing of which we can be certain. He that began a good work in us has promised to be with us every step of the way and he will fit together the pieces of our lives. Fortunately we don’t have to rely on our own strength or ingenuity to fit all the pieces together, we only have to give them to him, trust him, and then allow him to do what he does best: making order out of chaos – providing streams in the desert – creating beauty out of the ashes of our lives.