One of the scariest times in my life was getting into a taxi at 4 in the morning for a 3 hour drive to the airport in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to leave the country and to, quite possibly, never return. Robert, Darren and I arrived in Miami without a single key in our pocket or purse; we owned nothing any longer. Just a few hours earlier we had a house, a cat, two dogs, a truck, a motorcycle, a church, a clinic and a future as missionaries in a third-world country. Now what did we have? Nothing; it was all gone. The only thing we owned now was faith.
I must say that this experience was a real faith-shaker. As Joni Mitchell wrote in a song some years ago, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” (Big Yellow Taxi), I came to realize the truth in these words. But I also knew the words of another song that says, “He did not bring us out this far to take us back again; He brought us out to take us into the promise land” (it’s old). I knew there must be a reason God had sent us off to live as missionaries, waited for us to get used to that, then bring us back to the states not knowing what or where to turn to next. Well, at least we knew Who to turn to. This was one of those life-changing episodes where my faith got tested.
I know, like you, that the Word says God is faithful and true (Rev.3:14); but mine was more of a head knowledge rather than heart. I knew He had always been faithful in my life, even to provide for us on the mission field. In many, many ways I knew He was faithful, but it was time for a stretch. It was time for that knowledge to make the long journey of 14 inches from my head to my heart. Sometimes when things are the most difficult, I feel like my faith grows more, do you? I’m pressed into God out of desperation. During this time in our lives we were desperate; we had no home, no job, no income, no future that we could see. But here’s the good part-within two weeks of stepping foot on American soil, our church and families rallied around us and we had a house someone let us live in, furniture, a rented vehicle, food to eat, and even a provision for Darren to attend a summer camp. Now THAT is God’s faithfulness!! Of course, that was six years ago and God has continued to be more than faithful to us; above and beyond all we could ask or think.
So what’s the point of this Stepping Stone? It’s a call to remember that God is faithful. Psalm 77 is a great psalm to read when we’re in the press and are wondering where God is in the middle of our difficulties. The Psalmist looks back and recounts the goodness of God in his life. I like to use this dramatic episode of my life to remind me of the past and how faithful God has been to me. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb.13:8); He changes not. If He was faithful then, He will also be now. He will not bring me out this far and just leave me there or let go of me to return right back to where I was. He’s increasing my faith every day, and I bet He’s increasing yours too.