Is this fun?

We have had a wonderful summer. In addition to unique weeks for children and teenagers at De Betteld ( read more here ), we and our family really enjoyed the peace and quiet. That was really necessary after a very intense spring. From the corona outbreak in mid-March in the Netherlands until the end of June, we have been a team and I myself have been swept away by a tidal wave of work, innovation and blessing. Fortunately, the season was almost over at the beginning of July and there was room for relaxation and recovery. Sleeping in occasionally, doing some jobs around the house and just spending more evenings at home with the family. Delicious!

Yet something intense also happened during those weeks. A colleague, who works part-time at Royal Mission and is part of the MT, asked for advice. He had been offered a special job and wanted to discover whether this was God’s way for him. The first reaction in my mind was a mix of mild panic and a frantic attempt to hear God’s voice. After that conversation I rode home on my bike crying. Tears ran down my face because I had to spiritually give him back to God, so that space could be created to truly discover God’s will. Intense and not fun!

Heavenly direction
In the following weeks, God’s leading became increasingly clear. The colleague was going to leave us on September 1. So soon! ‘Haven’t you heard that I have ordained this? In times long past I purposed it, but now the time has come for me to do it” (2 Kings 19:25). Although these words are in a different context, this describes what it felt like. There was heavenly direction behind this unexpected change of course. It became clear and yet it was not fun.

Not fun!
On Thursday, August 27, we said goodbye in a special way. Short speeches from colleagues and volunteers, accompanied by small gifts, followed in quick succession. We laughed so much and yet his departure is a difficult moment. I concluded my speech that morning with the words: ‘This is not nice, but it is good’. Such is life with God!

God’s glory!
God is not a nice God, but he is a good God. He even makes everything work together for good for those who love Him, but that still doesn’t always make it fun. Yet we surrender to His will because we trust God. Like David, we submit to God’s plans: “But you, O LORD my God, do for me the glory of your name: deliver me; you are good and faithful” (Psalms 109:21). It’s not about our pleasure, it’s about God’s glory!

Don’t miss anything
Corona has also made many beautiful things disappear in our churches and services. Sitting together in a cozy church building, singing and worshiping God in a hall with hundreds, giving each other a hug or laying hands in prayer… it’s all no longer possible. That’s absolutely no fun! But couldn’t God also make something good come out of this? If we only focus on what we don’t like, we may miss the good that God can bring about in this new situation.

Next school year, our Part-time School, where we receive approximately 180 students every year, will not be able to continue in Drachten and Veenendaal. That is not nice! Fortunately, God showed us early on what good could come from this. We went on the ‘journey of discovery of e-learning’ and God blessed us with the support of an owner of such an e-learning company. The result is that we will start on September 23 with almost 700(!) participants and 35 regional mentors spread across the country with a wonderful one-year discipleship program. What a blessing and how good that is!

God is good!
Life with God is not always fun. Just ask Paul! ‘We are being attacked from all sides, but we are not cornered. We are made to doubt, but not to despair. We are persecuted, but not abandoned. We are struck down, but we are not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9). And yet God remains good and so does the way He walks with us, because in all this we are more than conquerors. God is good!!

About Martin Koornstra

Getrouwd met Karin, 2 mooie dochters, passie voor Jezus, spreker, schrijver, trainer en een beetje gek!

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