Being in ministry often means arriving at church a little earlier than most people – sometimes Daddy has a prayer meeting or a counselling session. Sometimes we arrive early just to make sure that we arrive on time! We’ve learned to include ‘waiting time’ in our planning – our kids often have a picnic dinner before church on a Sunday evening, or I finally read them that book they’ve been asking for… I often ask them: “What will you do while you are waiting?” You see, waiting time does not have to be wasted time.
Here is some of what I’ve learned about waiting:
- Waiting grows my trust in God. Having to wait reminds me that I am not the one arranging my steps. We prepare and plan. We put our plans into action as best we can. We do our part. But the harvest is the Lord’s. So while we prepare, while we work, and while we wait – we trust God. We feel a definite urgency to get to Papua New Guinea – people are perishing without the Good News. But the people of Mawerero will hear the gospel at exactly the right time. While we wait, we pray that the God of the harvest will prepare the soil.
- Waiting provides time for the growth we need before we take the next step. Joshua spent many years serving as assistant to Moses before leading God’s people into the Promised Land. This was not wasted time. God was preparing him for a very big task. We have prepared for the challenges we know are coming. But much of what lies ahead is only known to God. And we can trust Him to prepare us for the work He has for us.
- On a practical note, waiting provides time to serve. We were so encouraged by the response of our church family in South Africa when they heard we’ll be returning for a while. All our supporting churches immediately planned for us to visit and update them. We are excited to see our brothers and sisters in Christ, and share all we’ve learned in the last six months. What a privilege to be able to serve at our church again, and to be an encouragement to believers all over the country!
- Waiting strengthens my prayer life. Our God is in heaven, and does what He pleases. He also answers prayers. What a gift that we get to be a part of the outworking of his will through prayer! While we wait, we pray for each other, for our children, for our team mates, for the people of Mawerero, for our supporting churches… And we know that God is faithful – He will work all things together for our good and his glory!
- Waiting provides rest and family time. Our task is a serious one. Romans 10:13-14: “ For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” Our aim is to bring the message of salvation to the Finisterre Mountains. And when faced with a serious task like this, where so much is at stake, it is easy to neglect rest time. This waiting time is providing an unplanned time of rest for us. We will be working at full speed for another two months, and then we will take some family time to rest.
Waiting does not mean we are doing nothing. While we wait, we will continue loving our Saviour and serving his people. Of our first nine weekends in South Africa, seven will be spent visiting and updating supporting churches, and the other two with our beloved sending church. We are thankful that God ordained this time in South Africa and we look forward to sharing all we’ve learned with our friends.
Please pray for us for sustained energy during this busy time. Pray that we will wrap up the school year well and that the children will enjoy catching up with friends and family. And pray that we will not waste any of our wait-time.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken…
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.