Life is often compared to a race. We all "suit up" eager to participate, ready at all costs to finish what we started. Full of energy and joy at the thought of accomplishment. Knowing that maybe there will be hard times ahead, times where the road is bumpy & the bends are a little too severe. But we "press on" longing for the prize.
I wonder if God would've told Dave & Shelly of the obstacles ahead that they would've just not even put on their shoes, not even considered getting involved. What if they knew that God was choosing them to be parents to a boy who in all honesty has completely stumped the medical professionals with his severe health issues? What if they knew that Dave would suffer so much with his health, ultimately to discover that he has Lyme's disease? That Shelly would suffer with depression and struggle to see God's goodness in the desert place? Then that the Lord would give them the desire to be involved overseas but that physically they would never be able to move overseas? The race just got really hard.
Honestly, this story is true. It could be your story.
Dave was prepared to join the team in May-June to Liberia as one of the teachers. Just weeks before the flights, he realized that he couldn't make it. Muscle aches, joint pain, rapid fatigue and migraine headaches all contributed to his decision. Was this hard? To drop off the team? Oh yes! But he wrote, "I so wanted to minister over THERE in Africa but will instead continue to minister HERE in the States" Wow! Did he quit the race? NO! This is a statement of faith and of complete surrender to God. No matter what.
We sang a beautiful song on Sunday called, "By Faith". I immediately thought of our dear friends and partners, Dave & Shelly Nielsen. Different lines of the song popped out at me. Almost blaring in my ears, yet confirming in my heart that the only way that they've made it this far in the race is that their eyes have been fixed on the prize-Jesus Christ.
We will stand as children of the promise
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul's reward
Till the race is finished and the work is done
We'll walk by faith and not by sight."
We are privileged to run this "race" with Dave & Shelly Nielsen as we serve together with Equip2serve!