By Emily Hinebauch
“Emily, when are you coming back?”
My reply, “Well I am not sure when. I won’t be coming next year because I will be with my family in my home country.”
“But then you are going to come back?”
“Yes, I plan to come back”
“How long will you stay?”
“Well I hope to stay a long time but it is really up to God.”
This is a snip it of conversations I have with some Papua New Guinean friends recently. I realize more and more every day that this life is not my own and I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, so how can I promise anyone where I will be tomorrow let alone next year. It is hard for me to comprehend that concept of not knowing because of my desire to make plans for the next five years. Some days I wake up and can fully trust that God will guide me throughout the day, not worry about plans than other days I wake up wanting control. Nine times out of ten, the days that I wake up and am willing to trust God, those are the days I look back on and know I am right where I need to be serving the Kingdom whereas the days I wake up wanting control I find myself wanting and unsatisfied.
Sometimes when I have such conversations as above, I am reminded of the text in James 4:13-16 “Look here, you people who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.”
My prayer is that God will be gracious to me as I learn to answer “If the Lord wants…” instead of “Emily plans on…”
Emily ministers in various support roles and serves as Scripture Use Specialist.