While in South Africa, Leon and I had an opportunity to serve with a local team that incorporated several different target audiences. Over the years we have grown to enjoy collaboration and the benefits it offers as we engage with communities and leaders. Our time in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend afforded us the opportunity to connect with ministry leaders in various strategic areas, Cru City, Cru High, Here’s Life Inner City, Athletes in Action (AIA), Campus and Military ministry. The ministry leaders came from different places throughout the USA. My heart grew in excitement because I realized how much I have missed gathering, praying, and dreaming with like-minded individuals.
One of the highlights for me was visiting with my friend, mentor, and fellow sojourner Jacqueline Bland. Leon and I met Jacqueline when we were students in 1998. As interns with the Impact Movement in early 2000s, she challenged us to join her as she led a team to Nigeria, Ghana and later joining her in serving South Africa. Dr. Jacqueline Bland is certainly a spiritual mother to me. As she has since moved on from serving full time with Cru, she now leads a 501 3(c) called Hope of Glory and is a spiritual director for people. As she explained to me a Spiritual Director is someone trained to listen through great questions to fellow believers and prayerfully hear how God is working and directing their lives and drawing them closer to Him. During her time at the meetings, she availed herself to the staff for special prayer times. I was her first appointment. As she prayed for me, the Mark 4:36-41 passage came to her mind. The disciples are in a boat with Jesus and although the waves are rough, Jesus sleeps on a cushion in the stern. They ask him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the wind obeyed. Then he asked his disciples, why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
I have asked the Lord many questions in the last year. Every single question and prayer, he has responded with complete action – reminding me daily of his unchanging character. Furthermore, Jacqueline encouraged me to see Jesus standing with me in the boat speaking to every situation that brings angst and fear in my heart. His authoritative voice and almighty power will control the storms that will come. Dr. Bland pointing me to this passage reminded me of a word I desired God’s help in becoming this year, fearless. I want to trust Him, remember His words and not be afraid because He is with me. He has proven his unchanging character over and over. So, when the turbulence and waves of life want to consume me, I have a visual picture of how God is standing for me and with me to control everything in my life.