Wednesday, December 21, 2016

God Is With Us

It's true that life is full of unknowns and "not yet's."  But it's also true that God will sometimes very graciously give us a heads' up and help guide us through the waiting process.  I've seen Him do it in a variety of ways in my own life, the lives of others, and throughout Scripture.

If you've been following me, I was hoping and planning to leave for Europe by January. Yet within a week of my return from training, the freshly-determined goal was shattered with a reality check: I cannot leave till I have 100% of my funds for the first year.  

When met with a challenge like this, I prayerfully wrestled with one of two options: either the Lord would not be intimidated but simply show off and provide everything really quickly, or He was behind this seeming delay and overruling my timeline.  To be honest, I was sensing the latter was the case, though strongly wanting the former.  

And I love how God lovingly communicates with us.  I had some dreams that opened me up to hearing things I might not want to.  Then I was reading Acts 22 where God warns Paul that the Jews won't accept him. Paul objects, pointing out all the reasons why he would be the perfect person to tell the Jews about Jesus. And where I totally see Paul's point, God had a different plan: to send him to the non-Jews.

As I interacted with the text, I felt convicted to let God search my heart for where I have objections and think something is obvious or perfect, but God may have a different plan. And so where do I need to accept some things I may not want to hear?  Like getting to Switzerland in January.  That's just one example.  They keep coming!

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

But you know what?  When I found out Monday morning that my projected leave date is February, I had such peace.  No objections this time because I'd already brought them to the Lord.  And while I really don't have to understand, I already recognize the wisdom of having the necessary time to visit churches and complete a checklist before I go.  Not to mention the emotional relief of a timeline to say goodbye to family and friends.

It reminds me during the last week of this Advent season that though waiting is a purposeful part of life, our God's name is Immanuel because He is a God who is With Us in our waiting.

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