Mission on the Move Step out in faith; God will provide

Do you like to do puzzles? I feel like in this world there are either puzzle lovers or puzzle haters. I am not a puzzle lover at all. I do not have the patience nor the time to deal with digging through a pile of pieces to attempt to try to fit them together. Oh! I know you first need to start with the pieces that have straight sides or better known as the outside edge pieces, then fill in with the rest of the crazy mess of pieces left. But I seriously am not interested in doing such and feels like a waste of time to me. After all, in most cases, what do you do with the puzzle when you are done, but tear it up again in what seems like a million pieces just to sit down and put it all back together again? NO THANK YOU! I have too much work to do in life to make more work for me!

Perhaps I don’t like puzzles because although I see the big picture of what it is supposed to be, it takes time, and because it is hard to find the big picture in all those little pieces. It gets frustrating to me and it feels like a never-ending cycle.

This is a lot like our lives. God has a plan for it, but it often takes time for all the pieces of that plan to come together and it can be frustrating at times trying to figure out what God is doing, and other times, we are oblivious to His handiwork until He puts that final piece in place and then we see those whole picture.

The other day as I was looking back on our life I can now see many of the pieces to the puzzle of the plan God had for our life come together. From 23 years ago meeting the neighbors who lived next door to us, with their 3 year old daughter, to her becoming our daughter-in-law in just 25 days, even after a 20 year hiatus of hardly any contact, God divinely guided the steps for our son and their daughter to be together again.

I am also reminded of the season of our life when we were stepping out in faith to become U.S. missionaries at the height of the COVID pandemic. God knew what we needed before He asked us to become missionaries. He provided every step of the way!

We knew we needed four things to do this job properly besides raising our budget: a reliable vehicle, a home to live in and a camper to stay in while on these projects and a truck to pull the camper with.

When Jeff and I stepped out in faith and resigned our church in October of 2019 without all those things and told the church we would be leaving in March 2020. (We did not know that COVID even existed at the time.) Some would call us stupid. But the fact is, stepping out in faith was just the first piece to the puzzle. Two days later, we received a phone call from a lady in the community who didn’t really go to church anywhere telling us she heard we were going to need a camper and she had one, “So come get it.”

That was the second piece to the puzzle, God waited for us to put the first piece in by stepping out in faith and when we did, He began to put the rest of the pieces in place.

Two days later, we got a call from a friend who asked if we had found a place to live in Tulsa, and when I told her we hadn’t she said, “Well we have a rental house and it needs some work done on it. But if you all could help us with the labor, we will pay for all the supplies and you can live in it for as long as you want for free.” There was another piece of the puzzle God put in.

As we continued to take steps of faith, raising our budget and following where God was leading us. He begins to put the pieces of the puzzle in place.

At first, we were confused about why in the world, God gave us a camper first. When we thought a car and a home was so much more important. But see, God gave us a “home” it was the camper. It was somewhere we could live, while we worked on the house that needed so much repair. God didn’t give us the car until a year later (October 2020) because He knew when we asked for it, that we weren’t going to need the car right away because COVID was going to shut down all the churches right when we thought we would be traveling to share our mission with churches and ask them to partner with our ministry.

The world shut down.

But you know what God did do? He gave the car we were driving grace enough to make it another year. No, the AC didn’t start working any better and the heater still only worked in the summertime, but the engine ran and ran until one day we felt the transmission slipping and Jeff pulled over to the side of the road and opened the hood while I waited in the car.

Just about two minutes later when Jeff returned, I told him, “You are not gonna believe what just happened, one of our partners just called me and said, they are buying a new car and will give us their old one.”

There was another piece to the puzzle of our life, God knew right when we needed it and He provided it. You see, because we were supposed to speak at our first church since COVID happened just a few days later. That was October of 2020.

We continued to be faithful and God continued to provide what we needed when we needed it and by March of 2021 God had given us all four of those things we knew we were going to need. Just in time for us to start traveling to our first project in April of 2021.

Each one of those events in our life was a piece of the puzzle God had planned for our lives. The only stipulation was that we would do our part step out in faith and keep following where He was leading He would continue to put His part of the puzzle together.

It reminds me of the story of Peter in Acts, Chapter 12:

“6 The night before Herod was going to bring Peter to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers. His hands were bound with two chains, and guards were in front of the door. They were watching the prison.

7 Suddenly, an angel from the Lord stood near Peter, and his cell was filled with light. The angel nudged Peter’s side, woke him up, and said, “Hurry! Get up!” At that moment the chains fell from Peter’s hands.

8 The angel told him, “Put your shoes on, and get ready to go!” Peter did this. Then the angel told him, “Put your coat on, and follow me.”

9 Peter followed the angel out of the cell. He didn’t realize that what the angel was doing was actually happening. He thought he was seeing a vision. 10 They passed the first and second guardposts and came to the iron gate that led into the city. This gate opened by itself for them, so they went outside and up the street. The angel suddenly left Peter.

In each part of this story, the angel askes Peter to do something and everytime he does it, the angel does his part.

Wake up

Get up

Follow me!

If Peter had rolled over and went back to sleep when the angel nudged him to wake up, or if he would of told the angel “I am to tired to walk and given him a list of excuse. He most likely would of been killed by Herods hand, after passover.

But Peter did what seemed impossible in fact it was so impossible, he thought it was seeing a vision. Until the angel left and he had to go find somewhere to hide before the 16 soldiers of squads of four found him.

Often times in our life, we are not really living the life God called us to live. We are essentially sleeping and for many of us God has been nudging us to “Wake up,” “Get up,” and Follow Him.

I don’t know what God is asking you to do today. But whatever it is, I can promise you, He already knows what you need to do what He is asking you to do, if you will just step out in faith and do it. He knows what we need BEFORE HE ASKS US to do something.

He will provide but you have to take the first step!

To find out more about Alesa Lewis Miller and the ministry she and her husband are a part of go to www.millers4usmissions.com and read about their life, and what led them to start Strengthening Churches, Changing Lives, One Project at a Time in her first book “Behind the Parsonage Walls” now released on Amazon. You’ll get the whole story, from the time they met up to today.