They demonstrated faith in action:
- when they asked God for a way to officially work in Colombia despite the unlikelihood at that time,
- when they asked God for land for their center of operations,
- when they asked God for personnel to join them,
- when they asked God for people in their home countries to provide finances and prayer support,
- when they asked God for vehicles and airplanes and airstrips,
- and when they asked God for so many other needs, both big and small.
Wycliffe Bible Translators’ founder, Cam Townsend, had a habit of singing “faith . . . laughs at impossibilities and shouts ‘It shall be done!’ ‘It shall, it shall, it shall be done. . . ” (his version of Charles Wesley’s “Faith, Mighty Faith”). Before long it became the theme song for the entire worldwide Wycliffe organization.
Time and time again, Uncle Cam and early Lomalindians watched while God kept answering “Yes!”
It’s exciting, and it’s humbling, to see the way God answers prayer for giants of the faith like Uncle Cam and Lomalinda pioneers.
But sometimes God said “No” to their prayer requests.
God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9). His ways are better than our ways, they are superior. He is omniscient. He is Sovereign God, who says “My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please” (Isaiah 46:10, NIV).
You see, “Our lives don’t really belong to us” (Jeremiah 10:23). Our dreams, our hopes, our ministries, our families—they don’t really belong to us, either. God is the Big Boss. He wisely, lovingly works out what’s best. Our role is to trust God has good plans for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
And so we come back to the question I’ve been asking lately:
When Jesus said,
“You can ask me for anything in my name,
and I will do it,”
did he mean we are the boss of him?
(See John 14:13-14.)
No, he didn’t. Uncle Cam and Lomalinda’s pioneers knew they were not the boss of God.
Even though what they asked God for seemed perfectly reasonable, and perhaps even brilliant, they also knew they were mere humans with imperfect insights into God’s plans and ways, so they knew He would sometimes answer with a “No.” And they were okay with that—
“Thy will be done. . . .”
How many times has God answered “No”
to one of your prayers
and later you realized
His “No” was for the best?
Aren’t you glad He answered the way He did?