Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Asking God for the Impossible - Emily and Bryon

Emily Preston and Bryon Scharenberg are serving in Merida, Venezuela. On Monday, Bryon sent me the picture on the left with dos Llaneros. He said the old man on the left is thrilled, so don't let his face fool you.

Last night, Emily sent me another picture. She asked me to use this second one because said got a haircut and that she looks cuter in this one but that Bryon looks dangerous in both. Maybe it’s just me, but I think Emily looks cute in both and that Bryon looks more dangerous in the cowboy one because he has a holster around his waist… second that, maybe that’s a fanny pack.

Bryon and Emily have a 'dangerous' path step for their team: "Pedir a Dios continuamente Lo Imposible". It means "Ask God continually for the impossible." They hold to the value of trusting God for more than they could do on their own, to stretch their faith so that He would have to show up. On his blog, Bryon’s mentions this and lists a number of ‘impossible’ things that they are praying for right now. Note that one of these impossible things is for is for 50 students to attend to their retreat this upcoming weekend.

Another huge impossible thing they are having to trust the Lord for right now is their team. Bryon and Emily recently faced a difficult issue with one of their national teammates and the hurt it has caused among their team. Bryon wrote, “I can honestly, with all my heart, say that He is in control, and very much active through us- I've been running on 'Spirit fumes' about every day for the last couple weeks, which I suppose has caused me to beg the Lord to show up, and do what is impossible for me to do... whether it's having hard conversations with teammates, believing that He'll do something incredible in our ministry, or just giving me the strength to keep loving and leading.”

A few weeks ago Dan Weidner shared with me a story he got from a Tim Keller sermon that follows the line of asking a God for things beyond ourselves. Being the skeptic I am, I have tried to verify the veracity of this story but can’t find it on any urban legend website. So as my former regional director, Eric Swanson, used to say, “If it’s not a true story, it should be.”

One of Alexander the Great's soldiers approached him about a loan for the soldier's wedding. The amount of the loan was larger than any amount previously asked. The cost to Alexander would be great. (But I guess that is his last name). His entire group of advisors said that it should not be paid, and furthermore the soldier should be punished for asking for such an amount. Instead of heeding the advice of his advisors, Alexander was instead pleased with the soldier. When asked why he was pleased rather than upset, he commended the request of soldier because the soldier assumed Alexander was BOTH wealthy AND generous. Alexander the Great was pleased that his men had the faith to believe in the resources and generosity of their leader.

Dan adds, “how much more true is this for us and our requests of God? Do we not have a God who is both wealthy AND generous? Let's not ask for small things, instead let's together approach with God with boldness to do that which is impossible for us to do.” I would add that finding yourselves where Bryon and Emily are (and I am sure many of you as well) running on Spirit fumes, begging and believing the Lord to show up and do what only He can do, is a good place to be. I'll end with the verse on Bryon's blog post.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

Al que puede hacer muchísimo más que todo lo que podamos imaginarnos o pedir, por el poder que obra eficazmente en nosotros, ¡a Él sea la gloria en la iglesia y en Cristo Jesús por todas las generaciones, por los siglos de los siglos! Amén Efesios 3:20-21
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