"but we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel." Luke 24:21a
Does anybody else feel like God moves much slower than you’d like? And differently than you could have anticipated?
My husband and I traveled to the US around February of this year. We needed healing and rest. We tried to get Brian here too, but failed. Robb left for about two months to try to get that to happen and came back when it was clear that we were hitting a big wall.
Things didn’t go according to plans.
We had hoped to be back to Uganda months ago, but apparently we needed more healing than we realized. More rest than we were willing to admit.
The staff in Kitgum are faithfully doing the work of the Lord, but oh how my heart longs to be with them.
And yet, I know God has me here right now. I can see fruit in it. I see glimpses here and there of redemption being woven through trials and joy growing forth where there was just a wasteland.
“We had hoped”. The disciples echoed out loud what their hearts were weeping over- they thought Jesus would save them from the Romans. They thought there was hope, and now their hopes were shattered. The disciples thought the Messiah was going to swoop in and overthrow the Roman Empire. They were looking at the current sufferings and conditions around them, and they saw the Scripture the way that fit their pain.
Yet, God saw the big picture. A much greater overthrowing- of the kingdom of darkness; A much greater salvation- for the whole world. Not a temporary solution, but an eternal one.
Jesus took His heartbroken, disillusioned disciples through a journey of the Old Testament to prove that the Messiah had to die and that everything that happened proved who He was, not the opposite. He opened their eyes.
Sometimes I need my eyes opened, too. Far more than I’d like to admit at this stage in my walk with the Lord. I should know better, understand more, and walk with stronger faith. But I don’t always get it. I see what’s right in front of me and I can’t imagine what God is doing, or what the bigger picture will be.
I am learning that I don’t have to know. After all, it’s His job to rule the universe and make everything in my life turn out for His glory and my ultimate good. It’s my job to submit to His Lordship and trust Him with the rest.
That seems so simple, but it’s much easier to say (or type) than to do. It’s sometimes a minute by minute reigning in of my thoughts and desires. It’s acknowledging my questions, seeking Him in prayer, but allowing Him to work how He will (and when He will). It’s living in the moment and realizing that I don’t want to focus on the future so much that I miss what He has for me right here, right now.
The truth is, I could die today. Or Jesus could snatch us away. What will I have to show for TODAY, if I’m only sitting here longing for a tomorrow that may never come? Not much. I would be much better suited to live in what He has for me, right now. To enjoy the blessings, to make the most of every opportunity around me, and to trust Him as my Heavenly Father who is in control.
No, my timing is not His timing. My thoughts are not His thoughts. Oh, how I long that my heart may become more like His and I will walk forward, even if it means walking to a whipping post, a crown of thorns, and a cross. Why? Because there is always a resurrection. But first I have to die- to my own idea of how He should be doing things, to my longings for Brian and Kitgum and my friends, and even my dogs there.
God knows what He is doing. I don’t. I may understand eventually, or I may never fully know this side of Heaven. And that’s okay. I resolve within myself today to walk where He has me, to do what He calls me to do in this moment, and to trust that He has great plans and things in store that I can’t understand right now. That is, after all, the life of a missionary. Whether they are on the field or displaced in Southern California, or maybe they (you perhaps?) are called to be His Ambassadors where they live. It’s all about Him, and it’s all for His glory. The minute it becomes something else, it is a work of the flesh and we are undoubtedly getting in the way of His greater purposes.
So today I challenge myself, and you as well, to trust Him. Wherever you are, whatever you’re going through. Don’t fixate too much on the future or try to wiggle your way out of where He has you at this moment.
Live in the moment, enjoy the scenery, and make the most of every opportunity.
Don't lose heart or give up!
HE really does know what He’s doing.