God has been trying to teach me so much over the last three years. I can't believe that we have been gone from Maine for so long. God has brought a lot of "almost" to my life. Most of the time I get very upset about that. I have called it "dangling a carrot". You probably have experienced it. Those are the times that what you are praying would happen is right within your reach and then ---BOOM! The shoe drops and it doesn't happen. Those times can really hurt. I have grown a little gun shy in the process. I am trying to learn to just be quiet and trust God through it all. That can be rather difficult.
I think that God is trying to change me. I don't like to be changed. I like to be the same ole Jasper no matter what. Fortunately, God has much to say about change in my life. The last three years have been a study in that --- a long, hard study. As many in ministry can tell you, there are times that you do "Christianity going through the motions". That is when you are a "professional Christian". It doesn't mean that you are not a "real" Christ follower but it can mean that you fall into this rut of loving God in a "professional" way. It means that you fall into a routine with him and not always in a good way.
I think "professional" Christianity is characterized by things like your quiet time being preparing for your next message; your prayer life consisting of almost all supplication for the people you serve and your service being limited to those things found in a job description. When we live in that "professional" christianity, change can be hard in coming.
For me, God threw me out of that "pc" place and back into the "real" Christian world. In the last three years I have had triumps and failures galore as I try to figure out being a "real" Christian. Sometimes I have felt as though God will not let me return to my heart (full-time ministry) until I start living some lessons. One of those lessons is trusting that He has a plan.
My favorite verse in the Bible is Jeremiah 29:11 and anyone who knows me even a little well knows that it is my life verse. I love the idea that God has a plan for me. I need to know that the things going on in my life are happening for a purpose. Knowing and living like I know those Truths are two separate things. Perhaps the "desires of my heart" are being held back until I can start living the Truth more completely.
Today, I am a little bummed out about things in my life. It has been a rough couple of days. I know there is a plan. I want to live like I know there is a plan. Sometimes it is just so difficult to change.