The past month has been the first time in fifteen years that I haven’t had two simultaneous vocations. While working full-time in the computer industry I also studied full-time from 1996 through 1998 to complete an M.Div., and then into 1999 to complete a Th.M. Then I continued to work while I wrote my Ph.D. thesis, went through the ordination process (including a year of internship at our church), published my thesis, and began preparations to move to Zambia.
Even though I sometimes say that I don’t have a job any more, that’s not really true – it’s just that only having to work on one thing at a time is so unusual for me. I know that God was caring for me when He ended my computer career, since it was becoming difficult to find time for all my SIM-related tasks.
Now that a month has passed, I’ve had time to reflect on the past and the future. I know that God has been good to me and my family by giving me a job that provided for my family while I furthered my education. I know that God has also closed the door on that part of my life as I move toward teaching at TCCA.
What I am finding difficult is the in-between time.
All the preparations have been made, the forms, applications, and interviews have been completed (I hope), the place for our future ministry has been revealed, and our family is prepared to move. The only thing left is for our ongoing support to be provided in full.
We’ve worked hard to raise our support. We’ve spoken at numerous events in many different places, sent out hundreds and hundreds of letters, e-mails, and prayer cards, met with many people, and made innumerable phone calls. And we continue to work toward the goal. We have several presentations planned for the next few weeks, and more in the works. Yet we’re still not at 100% of our required support.
I think God has been using the past few weeks to teach me about patience. Patience is one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). It’s one of the lessons that I need to keep learning over and over, because I’m goal-oriented and like to keep moving. Having to sit and wait for events largely outside my control can become frustrating to me. Yet I know that everything will happen in God’s timing, so I need to be patient. As I wrote in an earlier blog entry when we were setting out on the fundraising process, God has been using this time to teach me about His faithfulness and trusting in Him. Patience is one aspect of having faith in God. If I trust in God, I will trust in Him timing and be willing and able to wait for Him to provide according to His timetable, not mine. I’ve joked that I wish God would hurry up and teach me patience so I can get on with things, but that really is the problem. God is working everything for my good (Romans 8:28), then I need to trust that He’s doing it in the right way at the right time.
So I’ve added patience to our list of prayer requests. Please pray that God will increase our faith so that we can rely on Him more and more, especially in helping us to be patient as we wait for Him to provide all our needs.