We’ve been friends with Stan and Renata for over five years, starting back in 2002 when Stan and I started working together. We’ve spend time in their home, and they’ve spent time in our home. We’ve played with their children, and they’ve played with our children.
Several months ago, Stan and Renata moved from North Carolina to the Cleveland area. Many people in the seminary could not understand their move. Stan was not taking a “ministry position”, nor was he going as a “church planter”. Instead, they moved their family into an urban area of Cleveland because that’s where they think God wants them. They are living as salt and light, building relationships, making disciples.
The last few months have been very difficult for them. So, I was excited to read Renata’s blog “Nurturing Notes” Thursday night. In a post called “A renewed passion“, she told how God has renewed her interest in Public Health. That night, she didn’t know what that meant, so she closed her post with these words: “This has reminded me how much I really want to move away from just thinking and start working this out with real people (i.e. my community).”
When Renata wrote those words Thursday night, she didn’t know what God had planned Friday. On Friday, she had a conversation with someone who shared the same interests as Renata. Not only does this person share the same interests, but he had alread taken some steps in that direction. Renata told us about this in a post on Friday called “Exciting update from my past post“:
Well, I don’t know what to make of all of this yet, but in casual conversation with a fellow storytimer at the library today, let’s just stay that desire has just taken one baby step closer to reality. And I wasn’t even trying to make this happen, neither did I bring this subject up.
I don’t know how fast things could develop, I think it is still a long time coming, but as I am comfortable in sharing details, I will definitely blog about it.
Renata was very vague in her blog post, so I had to call her to see what was going on. I’m not going to reveal any details, since, like she said, it could still be a long time coming. But, suffice it to say that God was already working in the direction that he was leading Renata. She didn’t know that, but she started stepping out in faith, trusting God even though she didn’t know what he was doing. And, as she started stepping out in faith, she stepped right into the path where God was already working.
I can’t count the number of times when I’ve seen God work in similar ways. Times when God has encouraged me or another person to step out in a certain direction, and as soon as I or the other person stepped in that direction, God revealed what he had already been doing.
What is God calling you to do? What passions or interests has God stirred in your heart? What gifts or talents or training do you have that God wants to use to expand his kingdom? Step out in faith, even though you do not know how God is going to use you, or what God is going to do. You may find that you step directly onto a path where God has already been at work. Then, like my friend Renata, you can watch in awe as God does wonderful things through you.