Hidden Sea

Lily first entered a Christian school as a staff member. The school was run by an American couple who shared the love of God through teaching. After a few years experience the American couple began to encourage Lily that she could start her own Christian school. But each time they discussed it, Lily discounted herself.

‘I’m single, with other dreams; wouldn’t a school be better run by a married couple?’ Lily thought.

By the end of her fourth year in the school, she felt the time was right to pursue new dreams. Being a tour guide seemed like fun. Maybe God was calling her to something totally different?

Around the same time, a group from Lily’s church heard from God for themselves. They wanted to start a Christian school in their country, teaching children a biblically based curriculum.

The church leaders supported the idea, but needed someone to run the school. Lily soon realised she was the obvious candidate, but one big problem stood between her and the job; she had no passion for teaching. She wanted to be a tour guide. She had just finished teaching; surely it was time for a change?

As the decision lurked in her mind, she could sense everyone else hoped she would step in. ‘Surely I can’t flatly refuse?’ Lily thought, as she considered her options.

With no road signs pointing her towards the right decision, she took to fasting; for 40 days she wouldn’t eat an evening meal, instead she dedicated her time to God and prayed for an answer.

Days and weeks passed by, but nothing happened until, on the 36th evening Lily received a phone call: it was Joanna, a friend from church. She wanted to know what her decision was.

‘Don’t you think I would make a wonderful tour guide? I could glorify God in the tourism industry!’ Lily proposed curiously.

Joanna listened, but reminded Lily that there were already Christian tour guides in their country, but no one had started a Christian school. As the conversation came to an end Lily was left disappointed. Again the feeling returned, everyone was counting on her.

With a troubled heart, desperate for an answer, Lily cried out to God. She wanted a direct instruction. Time passed and the evening wore on, when, through tired and dreary eyes, Lily read the words of Micah 5:4 and her mind awoke,

‘God spoke to me! So quickly, directly answering my prayer. I had no excuse for denying the calling.’

 But even with this in her heart there was still one problem – no passion.  How can you follow God’s instruction without passion for the task?  She kept silent, and tried to ignore how God was working in her heart.

‘I did not want to accept this task: the lifelong commitment, the danger, the demands, difficulties, uncertainties and weariness sure to come.’  Again she discounted herself, ‘I don’t have the skills!’

But the reality remained, God was calling her.

‘When I was praying for you just now, I only got these two words from God, Hidden Sea.’

The next night some friends phoned to encourage her. As each spoke God continued to point Lily towards the school. It wasn’t until her cell leader called that she thought she was hearing some more welcome news.

‘Have you ever been to Z…..?’

‘Oh travelling!’ Lily’s heart jumped, maybe she had misheard God; maybe he did want her to be a tour guide!

‘Sure I’ve been there!’

‘Do you know G…..?’ the leader inquired.

‘Of course!’ Lily replied as her anticipation grew.

‘Do you know a park there called Hidden Sea?’
he continued.

Without hesitating Lily interrupted, ‘Wait a second, I’ll check it out for you! Who wants to go?’

‘No need to look it up’, the cell leader responded, as Lily realised she might have got ahead of herself.

‘Last year, we went to Z…… for a mission trip. On the last day we had some time for sightseeing. When we got to the park, we couldn’t see past the wall behind the gate. It was not an enticing sight but since we were already there we bought the tickets and went in. We went through the gate and noticed two words on the other side of the entrance, Hidden Sea. As we came around the wall, the most beautiful view opened up before us – the ocean!’

He paused, waiting to see if Lily would interject, but she remained silent, knowing there must be more to the story.

‘When I was praying for you just now, I only got these two words from God, Hidden Sea.’

Like the cell group leader who couldn’t see the beauty of the Hidden Sea, Lily couldn’t see the beauty of what God was calling her too. In her mind it was an unwelcome task, but she was starting to understand that God had a spectacular plan.

Lily thought for a while.

‘If I obey God’s calling, despite my lack of gifting, that’s his business, not mine. He will be responsible for everything’.

As she thought about it she felt the pressure lifting. She knew then that she would follow God’s call; not in her strength, but in his.

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