I have done a lot of waiting lately.
When I stop and count I realize that Eli and I have been waiting on the Lord regarding whether we can return to our home in Melut, South Sudan for 10 months now.
We waited in Uganda for one month while we celebrated Christmas with my family.
We waited in Kenya for a month and a half to see if things might settle down so we could return to Melut.
And as of late February we've been waiting from this side of the ocean.
Honestly it's been a very good season of waiting. I can't begin to list the great lessons the Lord has taught Eli and I, and even our boys, as we wait and pray and trust that the Lord is refreshing and preparing us during this furlough (year of rest in the States) to return to the place He's called us to. Our deepest pain has been knowing that so many of our beloved friends in South Sudan have suffered great losses during these 10 months of tribal fighting. Being so far away, it's hard to imagine what their lives have been like.
I have been so encouraged by many of you who reassure us of your prayers and ask how the situation in South Sudan is. Thank you for remembering us and thank you for faithfully praying for peace in South Sudan. One of my dear teammates sent me this beautiful poem this week about waiting on the Lord that so beautifully expresses the journey I have been on this year. It is a little long but I hope you will read on...
"WAIT" (Author Unknown)
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried: Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate, and the Master who gently said, "Child, you must wait."
"Wait?" You say, wait!," my indignant reply. "Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard? By faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.
"My future and all to which I can relate hangs in the balance, and You tell me to wait? I'm needing a 'yes' a go-ahead sign, or even a 'no' to which I can resign.
"And Lord, You promised that if we believe we need but to ask, and we shall receive. Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry: I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!"
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate, as my Master replied once again, "You must wait." So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut, and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting… for what?"
He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine, and He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign. I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun. I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
"All you ask me I could give, and pleased you would be. You would have what you want – but, you wouldn't know Me. You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint: You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.
"You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair: You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there; you'd not know the joy of resting in Me when darkness and silence were all you can see.
"You'd never experience that fullness of love, as the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove; you'd know that I live and I save… (for a start), but you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
"The glow of My comfort late into the night. The faith that I give when you walk without sight. The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked of an infinite God, who make what you have last.
"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee, what it means that 'My grace is sufficient for Thee.' Yes, your dreams for your loved one overnight would come true. But, Oh, the loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!
"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see that the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me. And though oft' may My answers seem terribly late. My most precious answer of all is still, 'wait.'"
----Facts of the Matter: Daily Devotionals.