Monday, September 27, 2010

The patience of faith...

"Lord, grant me patience. But I want it now!"

I still remember that being on my mom's wall in her kitchen growing up. There are so many times that I think I am so incredibly patient only to realize that I am patient up to a point. I will pray and ask God and wait but then I either think it has been long enough and God should have answered by now - so I act. I have good intentions, I have technically prayed about it, but honestly it is me acting, not God.

It has been said that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. It has just been a year since Jake woke up from his coma. Patience is not about waiting a reasonable amount of time; it is about realizing that time, relative to God, is like a pinprick in the in the canvas of the universe. How dare I tell God, "time is up." How dare I try to push God into doing something because I can't wait any longer. Who do I think I am?

God is fully in control and fully loves me and fully cares about my life. He has chosen me, forgiven me, and longs to be in relationship with me. Yet I am not the cornerstone of his plan. His timing is right. His plan is right.

These thoughts are in me as I remember all that God has done over the years. I have been unemployed or underemployed for several years. I have questioned often what God is doing - especially when faced with Jacob almost dying. I have given my life to ministry for God and caring for others. I have wondered and questioned as I have been on my knees before God seeking for him to change things. I have rejoiced at miraculous. I have thought I was patient - but he continues to teach me I have a long way to go. So often what I think I am doing for God is really doing it for myself.

For several years know this vision of something new and different has been forming in me. I have made various attempts to move toward it and yet it seems that I was forcing it and it was about me. Patience is not about me. Over these last several years I have kept the conversation going and especially over this last year that conversation is moving into reality. God is setting up a mosaic and if I stand too close I only see the individual colors and they are pretty nice. But if I patiently take a step back I start to see how the amazing individual colors form quite a masterpiece.

Although Jake's accident turned our family upside down, we experienced the amazing love of community...so many of you provided a web of support carrying us into the presence of God. Our desire is to create a unified network of churches and individuals equipped, empowered and ready to respond to those in need. It has been said many times, we are blessed to be a blessing.

I am continuing to serve as a volunteer chaplain at Valley Medical (where Jake was in the Burn Unit). It has been a blessing to pray and care for those I encounter. I have also partnered with Faith Community Church to create the Santa Cruz Compassion Network, a unified response to those who are hurting. Our goal is to "unite, equip, and mobilize the collective Church in Santa Cruz County to be a proactive and responsive catalyst of Christ's compassionate love in and to our community."

Please continue to pray for us as we build this ministry. As Jake begins to tell his story and encourage youth and as we work to make sure that no one is left alone in suffering, our desire is to continue this community that began with Jacob's Journey. We are in the process of raising up partners who will support us in this ministry. I am so thankful that Faith Community is providing oversight and guidance and desires that this is not a ministry about one church but the collective Church - the people of God raising up and reflecting the love of Christ.

We have created a website kirkendallministries.com. The hope is that this is a hub to get information, blogs, etc related to our family. Also we are building a website for santacruzcompassion.com. There is a link on these pages as to how you can support this ministry us.

Faith is not trying to do a little bit beyond the reasonable - it is trusting in the God of miracles to do that which he has called us to do. We are called to reveal the Kingdom of God. The God who has done miracles - we have seen it...
  Heb 11:2      Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
  James 2:17   faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

  Gal 5:6         the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love...



"I waited patiently for the Lord, He turned to me and heard my cry." Ps 40:1

Grace and peace,

Tom (Daddy)