Is the work going well?

Is the work going well?

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A Minute with the USA Director - September 2007

By Colin Stott, Executive Director of GRN USA

I am often asked, "Is the work going well?" A quick response is to say that, yes, things are going well, thank you. If we have more time to chat I usually answer the question by saying that it depends; some things are going well and some things are a bit of a challenge at the moment. It is true that at any given time there are usually many causes for encouragement such as right now we have national staff joining the work in Siberia, we are on the verge of launching a new digital player, we have a team in Ethiopia recording in many new languages. On the other hand there are things that don't seem so good: delays with projects, staff shortages, some overseas centers struggling to survive, opposition to our work in some countries, and the list goes on.

I sometimes wonder how we can know if the things that we see as either good or bad are really that? We may judge some things as evidences of God's blessings and some things as a lack of it. However, without seeing the whole picture as God sees it we may not always have a right perspective. As an example, it would be easy for someone without a gardening background to view a newly-pruned rose bush and conclude that it is not doing so well. In reality though, the gardener has pruned it with a purpose in mind-to bring forth even more roses. Despite being devoid of leaves and flowers, the rose bush really has a bright future.

I believe that GRN has a bright future too. All the things that come into the life of our mission and staff, whether "good or bad," we can accept as a daily unfolding of the will of God for us. He allows those things in our lives that will further His purposes. We may not understand all He allows. But even those things we see as being not so good-the delays, the setbacks, the closed doors-are all things God uses. They can purify us more for the Master's use. They can teach us to trust and wait while He works. They can give us new directions. They are as much needed for the growth of the work as are the more obvious things such as financial provision for the ministry, opportunities to record new languages, and new staff coming on board.

So is the work going well? If we are walking in obedience and our ministry activities are a true reflection of the work of the Master, I believe that, despite some very real challenges, we can say, "Yes, the work is going well!"

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