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DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Forever Faithful

Written by: on March 19, 2015

“Finally, remember who God is. As you read the Bible, notice the many promises God gives to his people and notice his faithfulness to keep these promises.” [i] This past year has been the toughest year of my working life to date. It has brought me to new levels of trust in God and utter dependence on Him that I (wrongly) thought I had already conquered. There have been moments when I have wanted to quit, moments of waking in the middle of the night with panic attacks threatening, and moments convinced of everything failing. I suppose Trebesch would call it a year of isolation. Despite the toughness of the year, God has been completely and utterly faithful, and I have numerous testimonies of His faithful help.

Last October was one such moment. My mum had just died a few weeks earlier, and I had just dropped off my husband at the airport for his latest two-week work absence. In addition, I was preparing for the departure of my ‘right-hand woman’ back to the USA later that month for her visa renewal, not knowing whether she would even be able to return to the UK. I felt so alone and was busy telling God so during the drive home.

God knows I love rainbows. To me, as I’m sure it is for many others, a rainbow represents God’s faithfulness. On that car ride home of forty-five minutes, I saw four rainbows, each time stopping the car to just breathe in the sight. On two occasions, two of those rainbows seemed to stretch all the way across the street, right to the front of my car (see photo)! I still can’t quite understand how that is physically possible, but those small signs meant the world to me. I may have felt alone, but God was still with me, and faithful to help with the ministry challenges.

As theologians, we can spend hours talking about the validity and relevance of the Scriptures, but when you have little else to hang on to, God’s Word takes on a whole new precedence in our lives. For some reason, God seems to take delight in bringing us to places of isolation, where everything is stripped away and all we have left are the promises of His Word and guarantees of His character. Trebesch talks about being broken and humbled by God and His purpose in it all. No doubt we have all had to go through this unseen ministry training, and perhaps some of us are currently going through such seasons right now.

What I’m learning is that weakness is a place of strength, for when we feel our utter weakness, it provides us the opportunity to experience God’s strength. When we have nothing left to give, we begin to experience the generosity of God. When we’ve run out of hope, God’s counsel provides us with fresh sources.

This past year, I have felt His flames purging my heart, have seen Him provide money from the most unlikely of sources, have received His much-needed strength and hope in the middle of the night, have woken up miraculously transformed, and have received His wonderful guidance through revelations. What a faithful Father we serve. May He continue to provide each of us with the manna we need to sustain us in our desert experiences.

[i] Shelley Trebesch: Isolation: A Place of Transformation in the Life of A Leader (Altadena, CA: Barnabas Publishers, 1997), 59

About the Author

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Liz Linssen

7 responses to “Forever Faithful”

  1. Ashley says:

    Liz, I am constantly in awe of you this year, and what a year it has been for you. The transition from South Korea to Wales would have been enough. Add to that your new ministry. Add to that your mum passing. Add to that the daily craziness of life. And sit back in awe of you. You have been an inspiration to me as you seek to fully rely upon God.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this…but take a second to watch:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3Va6aLbLHk

    Hugs, friend.

  2. Oh Liz, you have been through a hard year, but to have been there with your people I know that the transformation that you have been through has only helped to transform each of them. You have learned to really trust God and look to Him for all your needs. Michelle and I know your heart for both your people and your God. We love and believe in you both.

  3. Michael Badriaki says:

    Dear Liz, thank you for sharing this heart felt blog. It encourages me to prayer in particular ways for you and along with that, I am comforted by your words. It must the comfort you’ve received in Christ. You write, “we’ve run out of hope, God’s counsel provides us with fresh sources. This past year, I have felt His flames purging my heart, have seen Him provide money from the most unlikely of sources, have received His much-needed strength and hope in the middle of the night, have woken up miraculously transformed, and have received His wonderful guidance through revelations. What a faithful Father we serve.”

    Again thank you!

  4. mm Deve Persad says:

    Liz, thanks for sharing the gruelling reality of this past year with us. As Michael says, it should only encourage us to pray more for you and the ministry to which you’ve been called. Having experienced all that you have over this past year, and having recognized the presence of God through His faithful promises (rainbows), “what is your perspective of what He has yet for you to experience?” or perhaps “where do you see the evidence of His activity in your ministry right now?”

    • Liz Linssen says:

      Thank you Deve for your kind feedback.
      You ask, “where do you see the evidence of His activity in your ministry right now?” Hmm, great question! I suppose it’s in the fact that He has brought us this far. So much has been accomplished practically this past year (next week is our first birthday as a church). It really is a miracle we have survived this far.
      Plus I see Him working in people’s lives which brings me such joy! Just this past week, I was arranging a new bible study for the new believers in our church, when the young 17 year old son of one of the women who is coming, asked if he could come along too! Today I gave him his first bible and taught him how to read chapters and verses, and what to read in preparation for our first class. To me, that is what it’s all about. I absolutely love those kind of moments.
      Thank you for your great questions! Have a blessed week Deve.

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