Have you ever wondered what life is like for us as we are preparing to go to France? I believe it’s a real picture of how the Bible talks about the Kingdom of God on earth. We call it “the now and the not yet.”
We believe that when Jesus came and died on the cross, the Kingdom of God came into this world and has been present since then. Of course, even though sin is defeated, it has not been removed from this world, as is pretty obvious just looking at the news. So the Kingdom is here, but not in its fullest existence that it will be when Jesus returns again. At that time sin will be destroyed and this world will become what it was always supposed to be. So now we are living in the now of the Kingdom, but the not yet of the perfection of Jesus’ return.
How does that translate over to our lives preparing for France? The essence is that we are in this very transitional period where aspects of moving to France are real and concrete, but yet still uncertain. Because we need to raise the funding to go serve the French, we can’t say with certainty when we are going or even that we are going for sure. It makes for some really odd conversations when friends ask us how we’re doing with preparing to go and we have to clarify that we can’t go until we are fully funded and we don’t know when that will happen.
So when we talk about the now of the Kingdom of God, we talk about times when the inbreaking of the Kingdom is evident and powerful. We’ve seen and heard of people being healed, we’ve seen lives changed miraculously, people breaking free from addiction, and so much more. In the same way right now we are moving forward in exciting ways toward France. We applied to language school, we are building our support team and starting to talk about what it will take to move and clean out our house. We are mentally preparing to go. We’ve talked to the kids about it and they’re excited about it too. We’ve even heard them using the phrase “when we live in France…” randomly when they’re talking to us or other people.
And yet, we are in the “not yet” of our journey. With the Kingdom of God, sin still is abundant in this world. Pain, suffering, fear all are still all too real. The Kingdom has not yet come in its fullest when those things will be destroyed forever and we will finally be as we were meant to be all along before sin entered this world. In our life right now, we see that tension in our all-too-cluttered house (Kristy even said to me the other day “we have too much stuff to move to France”). We have home improvement projects put on hold. Our dining room set is literally falling apart but we don’t want to invest in replacing it if we’re going to pick up and move in a few months. Our entire lives are in a tension of uncertainty.
We are hoping and praying that we will get to France and fulfill God’s calling, but to get there we need other people to step up and support us. We have no control over who is going to give or how much they will give. We have to trust that God will bring those people to us and that we will get our full support to be able to go. But it’s hard to get excited and start seriously preparing right now.
There’s a very real tension for us between our faith in following our calling to France and our uncertainty of God’s timing and method. Maybe God wants us to go, but just not yet? Maybe God wants us to go, but not in this way? We don’t know. It’s the same with the Kingdom of God. We pray that God’s power would heal someone, but we don’t know if it will happen for sure. We ask for relationships to be restored, but it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes God moves dramatically and in a big way. Other times, God doesn’t do anything we think He will do. Does this mean God’s not there or not working? No. It just reminds us that we live in the Now and the Not Yet of the Kingdom.
So in our lives, we live in that same tension. We are mentally and physically preparing to move without certainty that we will move this summer. We believe God has called us to go and we believe God has opened the doors to get us to where we are now. We have faith that this is the direction we need to go. But that’s what faith is all about. The only thing we can be sure of is that God is with us and no matter what happens, He will never leave us.
We need you to be praying for us throughout this journey. As we move thousands of miles from friends and family to serve the people of France, we need to know we have a prayer support team who will be lifting us up continuously.
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