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11 February, 2014

It’s never easy, and it doesn’t get any easier….

I have heard it presumed that missionaries are “super spiritual” and for them it is easy to trust God. I have been labeled a missionary now for over 20 years and I have yet to find any part of trust to be “easy.” The very existence of living in a marriage relationship, “raising support,” living in Africa, parenting, the nursing profession and being a Christ-follower implies measures of autonomy, fortitude, self-reliance and “guts.” But it doesn’t imply easy. It is never easy.

I have long loved God’s Word. I believe God is Who He says He is. I believe God does what He says He does. I believe God’s Word is alive and active and always relevant.  I believe it when it says we who choose the Way of Christ are in a battle. I believe it when it tells me to trust God. I know it is never easy.

October of 2009 found us in a battle of great intensity. Living on the edge of a small village containing some of my dearest Kenyan friends we were keenly aware of the battle for souls raging in the village. We prayed at home. We prayed with our Kenyan friends. We went on prayer walks around the village. We enlisted other prayer warriors to join in the battle. We prayed Scripture. We stood firm.

And while standing firm, our son was afflicted. We continued in prayer, caring for our son. We experienced victory and souls found their freedom in Christ. It hadn’t been easy, but we trusted in our Warrior God and He accomplished His plan.

We met November of 2010 with a confidence that God had healed our son. Our son was doing well. Plans were in motion for him to pursue the calling of his choice. We parents were planning to visit Uganda soon. God might be inviting us to join Him there. We prayed much and made plans to travel.

And while we were planning, our son was again afflicted. The phone call came. We hurried across the Rift Valley to spend time with him. He was injured but not struck down. Relief was visible on our faces when we actually got to see him and be with him. We praised the Lord for His protective, loving care.

I awoke from a deep sleep that night with an overwhelming emotion spewing from my heart and mind. “God, I am so, so disappointed in You.” The words came unbidden from my mouth, from somewhere deep and unacknowledged within me. I couldn’t believe that was in me, but I could not deny it either. I felt the strong emotion pulling me under and again the thought formed, “God, I am so disappointed in You. I thought you had healed my son and he would never have to suffer from this again.”

God held me close. He soothed my soul. Then He gently inquired, “Daughter, do you trust Me?” 

“What? Trust You?  Of course I trust You. Here I am, walking with You. I am where I am because I trust You…” but I could hear the hesitancy creeping into my thought-voice.  “I do trust You, don’t I?”

“Daughter, you must know for sure, for certain, beyond any doubt if you trust Me. Where I am inviting you to join Me, through what lies ahead for you and your family, for what is before you…you must know that you know that you know that you trust Me. No matter what. Come what may. Do you trust Me?”

Thoughts swirled in my head, but my heart readily answered His Spirit voice, “Yes, I trust You. No matter what. Come what may. Regardless of what is ahead. Though you let myself or someone I love be slain, I trust You. Apart from You I am nothing, I have nothing, even my love of family is nothing apart from You. I trust you, God.”

“Then be at peace. My peace I give you. Rest in peace.” And I did just that the remainder of that November night in 2010.

July of 2011 we finalized packing up our household. The final items of our son’s childhood were packed for travel. We were leaving home-home. For good. Because we trust God. Come what may, for whatever lies ahead in this vast unknowing before us, we trust God. I knew that I knew that I trust God. But those steps out to the waiting vehicle that would carry us away were some of the most difficult, least easy steps I have ever taken.

August of 2012 we said, “See you later”…however much later, to our son, daughter and son-in-law and newborn granddaughter. We bid our “See you agains” to parents and other family members. We left our knowness and ventured into the unknown of entering Uganda. Before our departure we made sure we spoke all that was on our hearts. Nothing left unsaid was our motto, so we laid it all out. All because we trust God. None of the going was easy, but it was right.

Every month since then, we have reminded ourselves that we trust God. He is in control even, or most especially, when everything else in my life seems out of control.

 In a recent spiritual battle I felt myself almost begging God to change hearts and decisions and restore what had gone wrong. I read and prayed Scripture. I felt God’s assurance that He is for me, for those I love and serve, for His own purpose to be accomplished. But still, I felt almost desperate. And then I heard….

“Daughter, you trust Me. Remember?”

At once my soul was soothed and my spirit calmed. “Ahh, yes. We already settled that. I do trust You. Thank you for reminding me. I trust You, God.”  (“But I want the other person to change. I want Your Church to stand up stronger. I want….but I trust You.”)

Waiting on God builds trust, but it is never easy. And over the years, I can knowingly say it does not get any easier. But the calm that comes and stays, the underlying joy that doesn’t depart, the firm assurance that God’s Word is true and He is Truth all together form  a firm foundation that is not shaken. It is settled. I trust God. I am not “super spiritual,” I just have enough experience under my belt to know that if I can’t trust God, I have absolutely nothing to hang onto. Nothing. Only God.  Even though it isn’t easy I trust God…and I always find He is enough. Trusting Him is enough. Every time.

What a relief! I’m glad that is settled. I need to remember I trust God, because it won’t get any easier….


Christine