Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: faith

life on an island

by ryan

What might have been,
what might arrive
on these bright shores,
we never grasp.
Almost never.
For we are endowed
this precious island
in constant current,
small and ignorant,
and blind to beyond
the mystery . . . 

I penned these lines upon our arrival in Vanuatu, and after more than a year has passed, they have taken on a sort of prophetic significance. It is as if God were preparing us for what lay ahead. We had no idea of the trials that awaited us. Now we have endured storms. We have been shaken to the core. And by the grace of God we are standing in his strength.

The end of the poem has served and still serves as our exhortation:

. . . With open hands
await the tide
with thanksgiving,
confident in
the One who is.

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The Edge

by ryan

Inching toward the edge of the high dive, there was always an increasing sensation of something like an anxious weightlessness. You know, when it feels like your stomach is falling into the water but you’re just kind of hovering there, starting to shake with the board?

Well, that’s where we are right now. We’ve been climbing the steps a long time; we’re ready for this. But we can’t really see the water below. We just hear: “Go ahead.”

So we’re going to jump. I’m sure we’ll feel a rush as the air whisks by, as we fall.

vanautu-islands

credit: airvanuatu.com

And as our plane lands in Vanuatu, we’ll have no idea what lies ahead. I guess that’s how the future is for all of us: always unfolding, always different, always unseen.

So we endeavor to make the most of the present, together on the high dive.

There & Back Again: not quite yet

by ryan

We’re interrupting our road trip recounting because our hearts are heavy.

Would you please pray for justice & peace in Syria?

Would you please pray for peace in Lebanon and in the nation-state of Israel?

This world is full of pain & sorrow, and yet in the midst of it all we can be surprised by Joy Himself.  Grace.  And in that moment God draws us closer to himself.  As the Syrian civil war has been raging, I have often been convicted about my priorities.  So often I am self-focused and running about because of things that don’t really matter much.

All of this reminds me of a conversation a group of us had this week with Brian Doerksen and Dorothy M. Peters.  Many of the Hebrew songs in the Bible come out of a state of anguish or lament (Psalms 3,5,6,7,10, 137 to list a few), yet we do not often sing these songs (ever listen to “Christian” radio?).   Often the Psalms are an intertwining of praise & faith in the midst of pain, or praise because God has delivered (Psalm 30 for example).  Let us learn from the psalmists, singing new songs to God in confident trust not hiding our tears or fears, knowing he is the Sovereign One.  Even in our pain & mourning.  His mercies are new each morning (Lamentations).  And his faithfulness?  Psalm 36.