Thursday, June 14, 2018
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There is no way we could have taken our "On Eagles' Wings" team of young Native Americans across Alaska without the help of our wonderful missionary partner Grant. He made the arrangements for us in village after village, helped fly us across the area, and took on much of the follow-up. Grant is a pilot. You almost have to be when the villages you serve are often hundreds of miles from the nearest road. Now, you can imagine how hard it hit us when we heard that another pilot had crashed and totaled the plane that Grant's ministry depended on. This was some years ago, but we still remember it. I mean, miraculously, no one was seriously injured, but Grant was without a plane and without any funds to replace it there for a while.;
Well, we joined Grant and his really dedicated family in fervent prayer for God's provision. And God really provided! The plane Grant lost was a four-seater – not big enough to even transport his whole family in one trip. The plane God replaced it with? A better aircraft, a bigger aircraft, a six-place plane that then enabled him to take his whole family – or, in our case, many young Native missionaries – in one load.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "How Losing Can Give You More Than Ever."
It is one of God's strange and wonderful ways. He allows something to be taken away so He can ultimately replace it with something so much better! The time you really need to focus on that is the time in between, when you're without what you've lost and not yet experiencing God's upgrade. Our missionary pilot friend didn't get his better plane the day after his first plane crashed. There were months of faith-stretching, heavy duty praying, and soul-searching. But in His always perfect time, God did what our friend believed He would do – replace the loss with something better.
That's what Job experienced after he lost everything – his fortune, his children, his health. In our word for today from the Word of God in Job 42:10, the Bible says, "The Lord made him prosperous again, and gave him twice as much as he had before." Then we read the number of sheep, camels, oxen, and donkeys Job had, and point-by-point, he receives exactly twice as many as he started with! The Bible continues, "The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first...He also had seven sons and three daughters...nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job's daughters."
Over and over in our lives, Karen and I have experienced God's love and wisdom in this same way. He takes away to give more. When we were looking for the land He wanted us to have for building our Ministry Headquarters, we found some that a man was willing to sell us. We proceeded with our plans, only to discover shortly before closing on the land that the seller had changed his mind and was taking it off the market. We were hit hard, we prayed hard, and we tried to proceed as if "the battle is the Lord's." After a season of uncertainty, a man with other land right nearby what we had lost, decided to sell his land to us - except it was twice as much land as the original site for the same price! Oh, and better land!
So right now, if you've suffered a loss that's hard to understand, would you count on the goodness of your God – even though you can't imagine how He could replace what you've lost, or what you've surrendered to Him, how He could replace it with something better. I don't know what it's going to look like, but I know we have a Savior who loves us, who knows what we need, and who desires our best. Can you trust Him to be the God of the greater good?
Remember, one reason God allows crashes is to upgrade you to something better!