Leaping to Obey | He Brings Us Through

This is a two part piece written by Benjamin and Mary Grimm, our missionaries on the ground in Papua New Guinea. 

Leaping to Obey

The first time God requested anything of me, I was seven years old. He asked for my whole life. In that moment, I had a sort of vision of what that would entail. It scared me so much that I said, “No!”

Three years later I was introduced to an over-simplified Evangelical Christian version of salvation — “Ask Jesus into your heart.” I tried “praying the prayer” hoping it would appease God and get me off the hook. God made it clear that nothing less than everything was acceptable.

When I was fourteen, I gave in. I gave my whole life over to God. Others have expressed a feeling of profound joy or elation upon conversion. I felt relief. I was no longer fighting with God. We could get on now with being friends.

That year, God called me into missions, and I — with all the eagerness of someone experiencing being whole for the first time — accepted.

This is how my story of faith and obedience began. Yet all of my life I have been suspicious of authority, idolizing my own control. God, in His mercy, has been patient beyond reckoning. He has pursued me when I ran, waited while I wrestled with my pride and will, and protected me as I danced dangerously close to too many ledges.

When I met Benjamin (my husband) and as we began to grow together, I was at first disturbed and then intrigued by his perspective on obedience. He jumped to attention as a soldier to his commander (a relationship as foreign to me as breathing underwater). Where I had often spent years determining whether or not to obey after being given a command by God, Benjamin would leap immediately at any opportunity to serve and please his Lord. As our life together progressed, I began to realize the beautiful simplicity and blessedness of this approach.

We have both gotten into a habit of seeking God’s will with eagerness and responding when He directs with even more eagerness. Every “Yes” leads to an unimaginable sequence of miracles, beautiful encounters, and experiences of divine provision. Slowly God is building in us a sense of profound security completely unrelated to worldly possessions or circumstances.

I look back at my life and wonder how I ever thought it was okay to dither and drag my heels when the God of the universe had given me a direction. I thank God for His unfailing faithfulness and patience. 

I have often heard people in the States say that God doesn’t do miracles anymore. My experience is that many people are so fettered by the ‘safety’ of money, possessions, and back up plans, that the notion of saying “yes” with nothing held back is anathema. When God is all you rely on, miracles abound and the adventure is breathtaking. I am convinced that God’s plan is truly better than ours, but you will not know this in your soul until you step out in obedience. 

He Brings us Through

The first time God requested anything of me, I was seven years old. He asked for my whole life. In that moment, I had a sort of vision of what that would entail. It scared me so much that I said, “No!”

Three years later I was introduced to an over-simplified Evangelical Christian version of salvation — “Ask Jesus into your heart.” I tried “praying the prayer” hoping it would appease God and get me off the hook. God made it clear that nothing less than everything was acceptable.

When I was fourteen, I gave in. I gave my whole life over to God. Others have expressed a feeling of profound joy or elation upon conversion. I felt relief. I was no longer fighting with God. We could get on now with being friends.

That year, God called me into missions, and I — with all the eagerness of someone experiencing being whole for the first time — accepted.

Mary’s first typing students in the remote village in the East Sepik Region of PNG.

This is how my story of faith and obedience began. Yet all of my life I have been suspicious of authority, idolizing my own control. God, in His mercy, has been patient beyond reckoning. He has pursued me when I ran, waited while I wrestled with my pride and will, and protected me as I danced dangerously close to too many ledges.

When I met Benjamin (my husband) and as we began to grow together, I was at first disturbed and then intrigued by his perspective on obedience. He jumped to attention as a soldier to his commander (a relationship as foreign to me as breathing underwater). Where I had often spent years determining whether or not to obey after being given a command by God, Benjamin would leap immediately at any opportunity to serve and please his Lord. As our life together progressed, I began to realize the beautiful simplicity and blessedness of this approach.

We have both gotten into a habit of seeking God’s will with eagerness and responding when He directs with even more eagerness. Every “Yes” leads to an unimaginable sequence of miracles, beautiful encounters, and experiences of divine provision. Slowly God is building in us a sense of profound security completely unrelated to worldly possessions or circumstances.

I look back at my life and wonder how I ever thought it was okay to dither and drag my heels when the God of the universe had given me a direction. I thank God for His unfailing faithfulness and patience. 

I have often heard people in the States say that God doesn’t do miracles anymore. My experience is that many people are so fettered by the ‘safety’ of money, possessions, and back up plans, that the notion of saying “yes” with nothing held back is anathema. When God is all you rely on, miracles abound and the adventure is breathtaking. I am convinced that God’s plan is truly better than ours, but you will not know this in your soul until you step out in obedience.

Mary and I have been following a winding and highly adventurous path in preparing and finally coming to PNG, and then having to unexpectedly leave and wait for visas in Australia. The things we have been ordered to do and the places we have been told to go…it’s like something out of an Indiana Jones movie — impossible payments, cars that should not drive, total strangers who put themselves at our disposal without any pretense, and supplies that show up out of nowhere. An important question which must be made in all this heady talk is: why? The answer is that God supplies these things to meet our needs (Matthew 6:25-33) but as verse 33 points out — it’s not about you! It’s about doing His plan. His awesome, amazing, incredible, impossible, (insert several other superlatives) PLAN!

How many people can see every consequence of their decisions? None you say? We know God sees everything. We know He has plans and tests that are for our good (Proverbs 3:12). So is it difficult then to recognize that an omniscient and Almighty God whose name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14) and Love (1 John 4:8) desires you to be well and seeks after you persistently? Is it such a stretch to believe He will bring you through circumstances regardless of what you see and understand?

Example given: We could have easily become grumpy and withdrawn in our hideously overstayed wait in Australia for PNG work visas. We miss our PNG home, family, and friends. We even miss speaking Yamano. But according to our prayer: He has used us here in Australia. What’s more He heard the cry of our hearts to bandage wounds, bring hope and inspire faith. Many people donated medial supplies for the work of WMF Papua New Guinea. If we had not been delayed in obtaining our visas to return to PNG, none of the eleventh hour shipments, help, and logistics would have shown up and we would be struggling against a proverbial mountain of interconnected problems. Did you know, as I write this, YWAM’s Papua New Guinea ocean carrier is docked at the slip in Cairns for refit? This has happened on the same night that the support team at the church and I had been talking about renting a container to get all the supplies to PNG. That’s right: so many supplies have been donated to WMF Papua New Guinea that we cannot possibly carry them back in our personal luggage but need to ship them via ocean-going vessel.

So think about this little slice of what God is using us for and apply it to your situation today, right now. What has He been telling you to do? Don’t know? Ask. Fervently. Then listen. Carefully. (Matthew 7:7) God has a perfect plan for your life starting this very moment. If you haven’t been seeking Him as though your very life depends on it, you are missing out on the greatest fulfillment you will ever know.

ABOUT MARY AND BENJAMIN

Mary and Benjamin Grimm are working as WMF staff alongside the Yamano people of Papua New Guinea. Mary focuses on creating adult literacy programs and completing a translation of the Bible in Yamano. Benjamin focuses on addressing medical and economic needs. They live with their daughter, Joya, in a remote village in the East Sepik Region. The Grimms look forward to partnering with the Yamano in establishing a long-term Word Made Flesh community presence that will be of service to the Yamano and the surrounding communities.

Connect with the Grimms: mary.grimm@wordmadeflesh.org benjamin.grimm@wordmadeflesh.org

@GrimmsinPNG

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