Don’t you remember that our ancestor Abraham was declared right with God because of what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the Altar? You see, he was trusting God so much that he was willing to do whatever God told him to do. His faith was made complete by what he did—by his actions. ~ James 3:21-22
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where God is asking you to do something you really don’t want to do?
That is where my husband Jerry and I found ourselves six years ago. We were offered the opportunity to go to California with the military ministry I was involved with. In order to do this, we would be required to sell our 40-acre horse ranch and move. We would be living on a 10,000-acre cattle ranch owned by a prominent businessman who was partnering with the ministry. We were to be the liaison between the two and manage the ministry part.
This was a hard decision as we finally had our ranch set up for the cutting horse training which was Jerry’s passion. Neither of us had the desire to EVER live in California. After much fasting and prayer, we determined this was what God was asking us to do. Here was the difficult part, we had to sell almost everything we owned. We boxed up what little we kept and loaded it into a two-horse trailer. This amounted to about thirty, thirty-gallon plastic trunks. I always joke and say we were like the Beverly Hillbillies. The only furniture we kept was an antique dresser and a rocking chair. We were complete, ready to go except for granny riding in the rocking chair!
So, in July 2013 God sent us on a mission and adventure that forever changed our lives. We arrived at the ranch ready to go to work. I was on fire and full of energy in pursuit of the cause God put before us. We had no special training for this position that God placed us in. We held such a strong belief in what we were called to do. I share this because when God is in charge, He provides us with exactly what we need.
There was another couple living on the ranch. Their role was to manage the ranch. ( I will refer to them as C and D for privacy.) We were so blessed at their hospitality and help that they gave us while we were adjusting to the change in our lives.
We coordinated many sessions while we were there. The Holy Spirit was present throughout them all. We experienced many blessings during each one of them. I felt we were making a difference in our world of influence. My problem was I had what I call the spirit of Martha. I always felt like I had to work hard and make everything perfect. So much to my detriment I couldn’t enjoy the journey God placed me in.
It wasn’t easy being away from everyone and everything. The early years of my marriage to Jerry were very difficult. After being hurt so badly, no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t trust. Everyday was a battle to believe he would never leave. When you are traumatized, nothing in life feels safe and secure. It wasn’t just hard on me but on him as well.
The Lord told me early on we wouldn’t be there long. I had no idea why, it was just a discernment I felt at the time. I do know I was placed in a sanctification process in the middle of that 10,000 acres in a beautiful home. One day I found myself on my knees in total surrender to God to take this burden of mistrust from me. I can’t explain what happened, but I knew on that day there was a change in me. Shortly after that, I sensed there would be another change in our life coming.
It was soon after the New Year when we stopped in for a visit with our friends (C and D) who managed the ranch. If you are around Jerry long enough you are going to tell he has been with Jesus, and he will witness about what He has done in his life. You have to understand that people are always watching. It isn’t just enough to call yourself a Christian.
You can spot them by their actions, for the fruits of their character will be obvious ~ Matthew 7:16 TPT
On this day D had finally made the decision to become a follower of Christ. My husband led this man to his eternal salvation that day. What a day of rejoicing we all had!
As we were walking out the door, in that still small voice of the Lord I heard, “your mission here is over.” Two weeks later we received a phone call from our boss, telling us he was bringing us back to Colorado. We were asked to become the Directors of the ranch owned by the ministry in Colorado.
I have to say I was disappointed in leaving and felt we had failed in some way. I know God has his plans and His ways, but sometimes we do not always understand.
A few weeks after returning to Colorado we received a card in the mail from the business man, the owner of the ranch in California. In it were the following words:
“Bev and Jerry,
‘”Thank you for all that you have poured out on behalf of our Lord Christ Jesus and to the service of the men and women who have so selflessly served us through the military. You are true servants of the King and a real blessing to all of us at SC and SRR.
Blessings ~ W”
We were obedient to God when we gave up everything and moved 1200 miles away from everything we knew and loved. We witnessed many of our service members come to Christ during our time there. We did make an impact on many lives, some we still call our friends today. If God had called us there, just for the one on the ranch, then our mission was a success. Never doubt, God knows what He is doing even if it is in the middle of 10,000 acres in Central California.
What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices more over that one sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Matthew 18:12-13