I was recently asked to seriously pray about taking a teaching position at a US seminary. After having established that this was no prank, I found myself at sea…under normal circumstances, I would have jumped at the chance of serving with great men and women of God whom I love dearly and for whom I have a profound respect.
But we have a call on our lives…a call to serve the Lord in the Province of southern Africa.
Nevertheless, we were asked to pray about it, so we prayed.
The night before this email popped up in my inbox, we had attended a local Bible Study. Andy Stanley was talking about Nehemiah’s decision to decline the invitation of Sanballat, Tobias, and the crew to meet them on the plains of Ono. Five times Nehemiah says: “I am doing a great work. I can not come down now.” Sensing my distress and struggle, Louise looked me squarely in the eye and repeated these very same words. “We are doing a great work. We can not come down now.”
We prayed some more…as I said, I love these guys. What an honour it would be to teach with them. My heart was torn.
Then this past Sunday, at one point during the sermon I ceased to hear the voice of the pastor and only heard the voice of the Holy Spirit. The sermon was based on the story of Jonah. Were we seeking a place on the ship to Tarshish when we were called to go to Nineveh? It was like a burden was lifted off my shoulders. We had prayed and God had answered.
Still, it was not an easy email to write.