Our First Year and What We Have Learned.

It is hard to believe that Mahanaim Adventures is now 1 years old.  It seems like just yesterday that God laid on mine and Diane’s heart to start this business.  There has been lots of working hard to get everything in place and learning the ropes of what to do and not to do.  There were lots of things that I knew that had to be done like, purchasing of gear, buying liability insurance, building a trailer and exploring new places to go kayaking (I liked this part best).  But there was so much more to learn than I had expected.  It has been fun and a challenging year in so many ways.  This year we have experienced firsthand how God has used family members and friends encourage us.  Go provided so many things that we never expected.  Diane and I want to say a big thank you to all of you who have been there for us and walked with is in the challenging and yet rewarding first year. 

One of the most common questions I get when taking people on their adventures, is “what does Mahanaim mean, how did you choose that name”?  I like to tell this story for several reasons, mainly because it give me a chance to share more about myself and about my faith in the awesome God that I have. 

To start with, I believed that God created each of use and given us specific gifts and talent.  I also believe that He gave us those talents so that we can live a life full of adventure; honoring Him with the life He created.  I believe we all too often never use these gifts at all and when we do, we use them in ways that is not really honoring of God.  For me, this past year had been about me learning to live the life I was designed to live.  To live it before a loving God who takes great pleasure showing me how to live.  You know, kind of pleasure a loving father showing his son how to ride a two wheeled bike for the first time. 

Just recently I have come to discover that I am a lot like Jacob in the Bible.  Jacob was always taking the talent God had given him and used them for his purposes.  Working and trying hard to find ways to get ahead and trying to get the things he wanted.  Trying to get the things the things God promised in his own way.  Yet God still loved him very much and still lead him in all his stubborn ways.  Then oneday while Jacob was on his way back to Canaan, he came across some of God angles in the desert and decided “this is the camp of God!”, so he named the place Mahanaim.   Later that same night Jacob wrestles with God.       

Mahanaim, God’s campground, what a perfect name for our business.  The name seemed to be a place where Jacob recognized God to be at and he stayed there for the night.  On that journey Jacob had some big concern facing him, bigger than he could deal with.  What was going to happen when he met his brother?  Would he want to kill Jacob and his family?  This may not be the “what if” questions you face, but we all face the “what if” questions all the time.  There that night Jacob turned to God.  What a night of wrestling with God that was; life changing to say the least. 

For Diane and I, this has been a life changing year.  One where we are learning how to take what God has given us and letting Him guide and provide for us.  It has been a year of wrestling with God ourselves, learning that He is there even when it don’t seem like He is.  This has been a year of learning that just because we can’t see how things are going to work out, this don’t mean that God can’t do what He promises.  We have learned that God is limited by what I don’t understand, I just limit Him by my faith.  Trust me, He has shown us time and time again this year that he is not limited by my short sightedness. 

So just like Jacob, we are wrestling with God and learning to trust Him with things that we don’t understand and can’t even begin to figure out.  Yet the adventure with God this past year has been one that we would not dream of trading for anything.  Life is an adventure and we are learning that life lived by God’s design is even more of a grand adventure than we could have imagined. 

So the business name, Mahanaim Adventures reflect more than a business, but what God can do in a person’s life when allowed.  How about you, where do you need to wrestle with God a bit?