You may remember the original Karate Kid movie in which the teenager wants to learn karate but his teacher, Mr. Miyagi, has him painting fences and washing cars instead. Daniel is completely frustrated until he discovers that the muscles he is using for Mr. Miyagi’s chores are the muscles he needs to develop for learning martial arts.
A knee injury in June has left me unable to bend my right leg, but daily physical therapy sessions are helping. My whole purpose in going to the sessions is so that I can bend my knee again. My therapist, on the other hand, spent the first six sessions working on exercises that kept my leg perfectly straight. When she had me work on the good leg as well as the bad one, I seriously doubted her competence. On the seventh day, when she asked me to grab my right foot and pull it up toward my back, I looked at her as though she had lost her mind. Did she have any idea how much that was going to hurt? I clenched my teeth and pulled. Guess what? My knee bent and I had barely a wince of pain.
We’ve been in Brasília for a year where we were sent to help plant a church. Sometimes we are anxious because things are going slowly. We want to do knee bends NOW. Meanwhile the Lord has given us countless other ministry opportunities: retreat speaking, preaching, seminary classes, Bible studies, hospitality, and mentoring. He seems to be saying, “I’ve got these leg strengthening exercises for you to be doing. When the time is right I’ll let you bend.”
I am so glad His ways are not our ways (Is 55:8)! Please pray that we’ll be patient and persevering in our ministry here. Keep praying for the church plant – that the Lord will draw people to Himself and provide a place for us to meet when we outgrow our living room.