When the answers aren’t what we expect
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18
As the people of God rallied to prayer, God’s answers didn’t play out according to their plans for Derek and Tiffany Parenteau, C2C Network church planters at Rugged Tree, Georgian Bay region, Ont.
The late winter Ontario prayer letter had highlighted Derek’s serious health concerns. He’d been in and out of hospital for an emergency appendectomy, tests to rule out a cancer diagnosis (which by God’s grace were negative) and a mysterious illness. He just wanted to get back to work.
Instead, after the letter went out, something unexpected happen. The “work” came to him.
When Derek went into the hospital, a shock wave went through the First Peoples with whom Derek and Tiffany had been building relationships.
Prophetic pictures and words started to arise on the reserves where they work and people were stirred to intercede for the Parenteaus (even among not-yet-believers).
A remarkable picture developed of the “reversal” that characterizes the kingdom of God in the Gospel of Luke. Instead of hospital time being a setback, it has catapulted things forward. Instead of time away causing the Parenteaus to lose contact with the friends they were ministering among, it has resulted in a deepening of discipleship.
God calls us to be obedient, but he determines the outcome. May we answer the Spirit’s call to pray for harvest workers and trust God with the outcome, no matter how unexpected.
The MB churches of Canada want to live into this advice given by the apostle Paul, always attentive to the Spirit’s prompting to intercede.
—A version of this story first appeared in the C2C Ontario region prayer letter.
For daily prompts, follow @CdnMBpray on Twitter.