As we go through life, we will face times of trouble. As Christians, we somehow think that we aren’t supposed to go through difficult times. We are made to understand that our lives will be trouble-free and lots of fun once we turn our lives over to Him!
In reality, Scripture makes no such guarantee. In fact, Jesus warned us, “In the world you will have trouble. But trust! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, Modern Wycliffe NT)
Last summer, we went through a time of trouble together as a ministry. We had just started our new mission, called Desert Springs Ministries. We were praying for wisdom, for ways to grow our team of prayer warriors and partners.
Now, I am known for my crazy ideas, and my willingness to do radical things, even if they are difficult. While I pursued this idea, I was under the impression that I was obeying the LORD. And despite the troubles I went through by doing so, I still feel that God was leading me through it.
I have the tendency to beat myself up for doing what God leads me to do, if the outcome brings trouble into my life. But is that really fair? Does God’s way always help us to avoid trouble in our lives… or does it sometimes bring it on?
My crazy idea got me into trouble
We spent the whole summer of 2016 preparing a shopping and dining guide for tourists coming to Mount Desert Island. It was our way to be a blessing to others while letting them know more about our cause and passion as a ministry.
To publicize the guide, I got the crazy idea of holding a sign by the side of the road to Bar Harbor. As I did, I was wearing in my purple jalabiya. The sign I was holding would point tourists to the place online where they could download the guide. I was worried that, if I wore my normal clothes, no one would notice me. (Thank you, Seth Godin…)
If you would like to download our food and shopping guide to Mount Desert Island, please click on the Marina below:
On the day of the promotion, I arrived early in the morning. I parked my car, and got to work! I held my sign beside the road so that the cars in congestion could see it.
Most people wouldn’t make eye contact with me. To show their displeasure, some drove as close to me as they dared without hitting me. Others couldn’t handle it, and yelled things like, “You’re crazy!!”
My time beside the road wasn’t all trouble. Some people took the time to look at the sign. Several people ended up visiting my website as a result. And one especially kind person stopped to ask me what I needed. And when she found out, she gave me all the money she had in her pocket for her breakfast, to pass on to Desert Springs. I will never forget that act of kindness on an otherwise challenging day.
And then it started to rain.
I stood in the rain for at least two hours. I was hoping that, through my trouble, the tourists and travelers would learn about the people we serve: the refugees in Italy, Ireland, Greece, France, the Netherlands and other places.
Time to Regroup
As soon as the rain let up a bit around 5:30 PM, I had enough. I drove to Ellsworth Assembly of God for their Wednesday night service. Pastor Burt Lowry has been a friend for years. I was really early for church that evening… but just in time for prayer meeting.
As waves of discouragement flowed over me, all I could do was kneel before God, and pour out my heart to Him.
As part of the service, the church gathered around me and prayed for God’s provision, and for wisdom about how to let people know about the new ministry.
It didn’t happen overnight, but God gave us ideas which eventually led us to a place where Desert Springs could begin reaching out to the nations.
No trouble we go through for God’s sake is ever wasted. Through this experience, I learned a LOT.