From the Archives: January 30, 2011

Proverb 3:5-6
With all your heart
     you must trust the LORD
     and not your own judgment.
Always let him lead you,
     and he will clear the road
     for you to follow.

The ways of God are rich and winding.  To find someone willing to follow Him with joy no matter what is like a cool breeze on hot and sticky day.  I felt that breeze this week – and was reminded of what a privilege it is to labor among such folks with a deep heart for God and His Kingdom.  The stories you are telling of the grace and faithfulness of God are incredible.  Let me give you a peek into one interesting story.

You haven’t seen Robert Lie around here much lately.  He made a couple of lengthy trips to Bali last year – and he’s leaving again this week after being home for just about a month.  His wife stays behind to keep the home front operating.  Robert is a successful businessman who has retired from the business world.  He told me this week that from his perspective, God spared his life a few years ago that he might do God’s work.  Somehow.  Somewhere.  He has found that work and has thrown himself into it.  And so, he leaves for Bali this week, even as that work continues to unfold.

He has spent months and months in Bali, for just one purpose.  He would like to open a home for abandoned and disabled children.  But Robert has come to the place in his life where that orphanage must tell the story of Jesus – and proclaim His grace.  Not an easy thing to do in a Muslim country.  So, permits and permissions (without bribes!) have been a challenge.  Actually, it’s been nearly impossible.  Until now.

After a string of defeats – Robert came up with a plan.  And in the next few weeks and months, this plan just might bear fruit.  With his business connections he has arranged the financing of a much-needed power plant to be built in Bali.  The government has wanted this plant to be constructed for years – but it just never happened.  Until now.  Until Robert.  So, when he returns, Robert will work on meeting some national leaders to ensure the construction of the power plant.

And all he wants in return is approval for his orphanage.  Cunning.  Amazing.  Brilliant.  A God thing.

But do you know what humbles me most?  The heart of Robert and Shirley.  Robert looked at his life – and admitted a love for worldly things and said I must do something for God.  “The only way to fight my own materialism is to give my life away.  And so, I go.”  Will the orphanage be built?  Unknown.  But God is at work building godly character and the fruit of the Spirit into the lives of His children.  That is well known.

While in Bali last fall, he ended up hospitalized and near death. I cannot help but think of Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi.  “Welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor men like him, because he almost died for the work of Christ, risking his life to make up for the help you could not give me” (Philippians 2:30).

Robert, Lord wiling in August we will welcome you back home with great joy.  Until then, may we all battle the flesh with our work for the Kingdom.  God speed, my friend.  God speed.