Our Unexpected Journey

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I had a sweet time with Floyd this week.  Due to some change in the schedule, I overlapped with one of the carers when I went to visit Floyd.  This carer brings his guitar each week to play and sing over Floyd.  So we sang, worshipped, and prayed together over Floyd!  It was lovely.  There was a sweet presence of the Lord in the room with us.

It is springtime for us in South Africa.  I think spring is my favorite season because of all the new life.  Everywhere I look there is beauty and renewal.  It brings joy and fresh hope.  And it very naturally causes my heart to lift up prayers asking God for new spiritual life too!  During these days of worship I am asking God for a release of new life in the hearts of people- from Cape Town pouring out into the continent of Africa!  And also in Floyd's room!!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."  2 Corinthians 5:17

"Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."  Isaiah 43:19

"And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.'  Also he said, 'Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.' "  Rev. 21:5

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."  Lamentations 3:22,23

Trusting God to use these days of worship to bring new life in Cape Town, in South Africa, in the continent of Africa, and on into the world!  Our hearts long for new life in Him.

I was talking with a friend a couple days ago.  We were both having a hard day.  We've been participating in the "40 Days of Worship," but it had been difficult with things we were each going through.  Without thinking about it, I said to her that persevering, not giving up, and being faithful is part of our worship.  I said it - and then I stopped to think about it, and realized how very true that is!

It's easy to worship when everything is going well.  But worshipping, trusting, and keeping our eyes on Him when we're walking through difficulty is when our worship gets tested.  On days when I'm weak, when I'm not feeling well, my worship may not be as powerful.  It's quieter and more mellow, but it's very heartfelt.

As I was worshipping out of weakness, I realized that God loves me on my weak days.  He understands.  He is holding my right hand.  And He receives my worship to Him because He wants me to worship Him in every "season."  I don't have anything to prove.  I'm simply pouring out my heart of love and thankfulness to Him.

He has lessons to teach us, and ways of revealing His love to us that come in the hard times.  We can't learn them any other way.  He's with us in the "fire and the flood".......and it's very different from being with us in beautiful meadows!  It's so important not to despise the lessons learned through trial.

And the wonder of it is that as I worship Him from a place of weakness and need in the midst of the trial, He in turn strengthens me.  How unbelievably wonderful that is!!  Only He can do that.

"But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.....for when I am weak, I am strong."  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you....as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing."  1 Peter 4:12, 13

"Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid.....for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you."  Deuteronomy 31:6

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."  Isaiah 41:10

God has been so wonderfully faithful.  I thank Him and praise Him!  

Someone wrote and said to me that there is suffering in the waiting.....that sometimes the waiting is as hard as what we are walking through.

I've thought a lot about that.  There's certainly a big truth in that statement.  The waiting to see what's next, what God has in store for us, how this journey will end, is intense.  It is it's own kind of suffering.  There's no control, no way to plan for what's ahead, no lessening of the pressure.......all you can do is wait!  You feel stuck in a kind of limbo.

As I was praying about this, I also thought of a different kind of waiting......or maybe a different aspect of it.  I thought of choosing to be still in His presence, and waiting patiently for Him to act.  Out of need, of necessity, I've learned a lot about being still during all these months.  Many days when all strength was used up, I had no choice but to be still.  On other days I simply chose to be still before Him because I needed to quieten my own heart.

We need time in His presence, in the stillness, for Him to minister to us what we need.  I sometimes get impatient.  I want to move on.  I want to get things done.  And I definitely want this journey to end.

But I'm learning.  I'm learning about waiting patiently for Him.  It's part of trusting Him.  One song says "beyond our understanding, you're teaching us to trust."  I don't have all the lessons down yet, but they're working their way deeper into my heart.  And He brings comfort, grace, hope, strength, and peace as I wait.

Yes, there's suffering in the waiting - but there's also the invaluable lessons that come through waiting that can't be learned any other way.  He hears each prayer I whisper, even if I don't see or understand the answers yet.  And the more I wait in His presence, the more I hear His whispers back to me.

"Be still and know that I am God."  Psalm 46:10