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Final Semester! 11th January, 2009

Posted by Scotty in Life.
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Wow!  What a surreal title to be writing.  In two days my final semester kicks off… and on May 15th (Lord willing) I’ll graduate with my M.Div.

rollercoasterIt’s been a thrilling ride.

It was back in the latter half of 2004 that I met Brian in Starbucks and my life took a major change in direction.  He came alongside me and challenged me to life a life of radical obedience, committed to doing Whatever God wants, Whenever He wants, Whatever the cost.  God was clearly leading me to serve Him in ministry.

I finished my math degree and took a year out.  I turned all of my attention to our church plant Re:Hope, and to how I could best grow and serve God there.  I poured my heart and soul into serving alongside Brian at Re:Hope.

At some point early in 2005, the idea of going to Seminary started popping up in my heart, and after hearing some of the team I worked with in Glasgow talk about Multnomah I decided to find out more about it.  I went on their website and spent several hours pouring over its content and by the time I was done, I was convinced it was what God wanted me to do, and so I began thinking about praying about the when, and exploring the whatever the cost.

I applied and was accepted, and set my mind to raising the necessary funds to start at Multnomah in August 2006.  I opened a new bank account at the beginning of January, and watched as God’s sovereign hand sorted the finances out for me, working through the amazing people around me who pledged their support.  In three months I had the £12 (+ extra) to pay for my first year.

I was to learn the meaning of whatever the cost by giving up my life in Scotland to fly to another country dependent on God alone!

Year 1 was amazing as I plunged into a new world.  I began learning to depend on Him.  I began to study His Word in more depth than I had before.  My heart was being renovated.  I met amazing people, and saw God move in amazing ways.

Year 2 saw me in Israel, studying the Word in its original context, walking where the men of the Bible walked.  Again, I learned more about dependence on God.  He continued to work on me, cleansing my heart, and filling me with more desire for Him.  He began working through me more, and placing more incredible people around me.

Year 3 was another step up.  My last semester blew my mind in the ways I saw and experienced God’s hand at work.  I settled in more.  My effectiveness as a student, friend, and servant of God increased in huge ways.  I was again blessed with new friendships, and greater depth in the old ones.

Now I stand with the finish line in sight.  It seems like only yesterday I met Brian in Starbucks.  It seems like moments ago that I boarded the plane and jetted off into the unknown.  And it seems like Israel was last night’s dream.  But all these amazing gifts are the reward that comes with being willing to do Whatever He wants, Whenever He wants it, Whatever the cost. Don’t get me wrong here, this is not a story that says surrender to God and life is peachy.  Along the way I have faced plenty of hardship.  I have had days and weeks when I wanted to pack it in and fly home.  Then there’s the joy of heart renovation, which involved ripping out old structures and replacing it with new… a beautiful yet traumatic process.

Nevertheless, the reward of serving Him, the growth that has transpired far outweighs the cost I have paid.  The blessing of seeing people’s lives changed as a result of God working through me is priceless.  My faith has grown a thousand times over giving me an unshakeable confidence in God and His plan.

So, I stand on the brink of my final semester and, just as I have each year, I stop and recommit myself to God, surrendering myself to His will.  I look to the goal ahead and acknowledge that though God has equipped me with the ability to get through the semester on my own strength, it would be foolish to do so.  My life is His.  And if I want to be effective to His Kingdom, then I need to depend on Him always.

What an incredible journey.  What an incredible God!

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