Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)
TITLE: All Things Work
By Jacquelyn Horne
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Paul looked at his wife of three years with compassion. He knew her normal tendency toward frustration was reaching its limit, and quickly dismissed her actions as part of her personality. Maybe she is the driving factor in our marriage, he thought. Maybe her acts of helplessness make me feel more like the protector I'm supposed to be. Opposites certainly do attract--especially in our marriage.
Paul looked at the letter he was holding, then back to Grace. “Well, I can’t say I’m not disappointed, but I’m sure God has everything in his hand. The board didn’t approve our appointment for the mission field in Uganda, but they can’t stop our mission in God. I trust God, Grace. I’m confident that God has called us to Uganda and he will make a way. He’s in control here.”
Grace ran to the bedroom in tears that grew worse as she surveyed the almost empty room. They had sold practically everything they had, keeping only the bare rudiments, in anticipation of the move to Uganda. “Oh, God, we were so sure you were on our side!” she moaned as she threw herself across the makeshift bed of box spring, mattress and concrete blocks.
Paul found himself alone in the living room with God as his silent companion. His heart went out to his grieving wife. He was losing some of that confidence and small doubts began to creep into his heart. Why God? Where did we miss your direction? How did we misinterpret your will?
He went in search of Grace. He knew she needed him, but felt incapable right now of being there for her. But he had to try. He found her asleep, tears still glistening on her lovely cheeks. His heart ached for her.
He lay on the bed next to her, gathering her in his strong arms, pulling her to his broad chest and placing a kiss on the top of her head. In silent despair, he called on the only one who could help them.
God, I need you, his heart cried. You have given me this beautiful wife who was willing to give up everything to accompany me to Uganda. She’s sacrificed in every way to help me follow your will. She gave up her dream for a lovely home, relinquished friendships, was willing to say “goodbye” to family and to cope with the sparsest of living conditions, and now her heart is broken, and I don’t know how to fix it. Please help me!
He immediately thought of the words Jesus spoke in the garden. “Not my will, but thine be done.”
God flooded his heart with more scripture until he was able to quote from his heart, “…I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him” He, once again, became confident that God would make a way! He lay there with Grace in his arms, praising the only true and living God…
The next few weeks were lethargic. Paul and Grace “went through the motions” of living. They ate, slept, went to church and spent much of their time in prayer. Prayer was their salvation. Family altar became a nightly ritual in their home.
Uganda was never mentioned between them. But, in spite of their pact to never speak of it, Uganda just wouldn’t go away. It stayed foremost in each of their thoughts.
Grace began to grow stronger in her commitment to God. She was finally able to cede to God’s will and trust his decision. The words “not my will” were heard often in her prayers, and she even found the strength to encourage Paul. This trial had really made a change in her.
They’ll probably never be able to describe the euphoria they felt the day Paul came from the mailbox, literally crying tears and handed Grace the letter which read, in part: Our first choice for missionaries in the country of Uganda has decided not to pursue the mission field at this time. As our next choice, we would like to hear from you if you still feel your burden for this post…
Through tears of joy, Paul and Grace looked at each other and quoted in unison, “…all things work together for good to them that love God…”
All scripture is KJV
Words of Jesus in the garden from Luke 22:42
Paul’s heartfelt quote from II Timothy 1:12
Paul and Grace’s unison quote from Romans 8:28
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