Serve, Love, and Live... right where you are!

Coming into this summer, I was unsure if I would make much of an impact or learn much at all. However, it is amazing to see how God is working providentially in my life this summer to grow and equip me.
            God has been reinforcing in me the lesson of “Serve, love, and live right where you are.”  Our weekly intern meetings are not the only places I hear this message.  Just this past weekend when I went to an alumni day event in L.A. as part of a conference I went to over 3 years ago called Wheatstone. I was not expecting the theme of the day to coincide so perfectly with what I have been learning. The title and theme of the day conference was “Where are you?” and the main text for discussion was the book of Esther. Though His name is never mentioned, God’s providence is striking in this book.  He places Esther exactly where she needs to be so that she can act to save the people of Israel.
Esther 4:14 “14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
At the day conference we started the day with the Jeremiah 29 emphasizing verses 4-7  This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”  This was the exact passage that I heard David Feiser preach on at Neighborhood Christian Fellowship that Sunday morning.
As someone who has had an eye on the foreign land for some time, this bombardment and repetition of the message of “live well now, right where you are” has been changing my perspective and helping me look at my community with new eyes and has made me recognize further that God has good plans for my life, and even if they don’t line up where I had intended, they will still be the best.
            I thought that this summer could end up being a summer of preparation for this next semester, but I think it is actually a summer of equipping for the rest of my life.

-Heidi Furlong