Thursday, June 24, 2021

Laughing at impossibilities—or not: Why do so many of us settle for small faith and small dreams?


Lloyd John Ogilvie describes exceptional people like Cameron Townsend, founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators. (See last week’s post about him, Laughing at impossibilities.)


He writes that Christ “uses [their] imagination to show us what we would not have thought of or worked out for ourselves. . . .


“This requires persistence. . . . It means asking, seeking, knocking [Luke 11:9-10] . . . three steps in using imagination in cooperation with Christ.


“When we ask, we surrender the problem.


“When we seek, we wait for Him to show us His best among the many alternatives, opening our minds to His insight.


“Then . . . He gives us an answer. It’s then that we can knock, asking for the provision to accomplish what He has revealed.” (Silent Strength for My Life).


Ogilvie’s words offer us a profound glimpse into the life of Cameron Townsend (Uncle Cam), a spiritual giant.


And his life and faith inspired thousands of other people—among them my new Lomalinda co-workers—to be people of exceptional faith, too.


Ogilvie points out traits Uncle Cam and my fellow Lomalindians possessed: “. . . Some Christians think of solutions we would not have considered. They have persisted patiently in prayer.


“Some are amazingly creative in what they think and say.


Long prayer vigils and complete trust are the reason.


“They are like an inventor who waits for, searches, tests until the great ‘Ah-ha!’ comes.


“[They] do not give up.”


This still boggles my mind:

God gave me and my family the great, 

humbling opportunity

to work alongside such giants of the faith,

some three hundred colleagues who, I would soon learn,

served Him with zeal.


It’s not that they talked about God all the time or spoke in hallowed tones or prayed a lot in public.


No, they were ordinary souls who chose a humble lifestyle so they could live a radical faith, despite consequences that would come their way.


Now, looking back, I don’t hesitate to call them spiritual giants, choice saints. But I didn’t recognize that in the beginning. They were camouflaged as regular folks (from Chapter 10, Please, God, Don’t Make Me Go: A Foot-Dragger’s Memoir).


I wonder . . .  Why do so many of us, in contrast, have such small faith and small dreams?


We don’t have to settle for small faith and small dreams.


But why do we, so many of us, so often?


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