Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Expect (07/11/13)
TITLE: "I Expect So"
By Fiona Stevenson
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Sara woke with a start. The words spoken in her sister’s voice echoed strongly through the corridors of her mind. Her dream was shattered: the only fragment remaining was the phrase that had awakened her.
She lay quiet in the still dark trying to recapture the events leading to the remark. She was aware of a need to pray for Diane without having a particular reason why she should do so. Surely the clue must be in the dream: the elusive dream.
Perhaps if she first prayed for clarity the Lord would show her the way. Despite the surrounding dark she closed her eyes the better to concentrate her thoughts on the Person to Whom she prayed.
“Father God, Creator of all things; all-powerful and everywhere present: I ask for Your help in praying for my sister Diane.”
She paused, aware of a great gulf yawning around her: the gulf of her own understanding and expectation. Would God show her the way? How would He communicate with her? Unsure of herself, unsure of what more to say, she waited.
The silent darkness pressed about her. Unbidden thoughts began an agitated chatter. Where was Diane likely to be? What might she be doing? What was the time difference between Devon and New Zealand? Perhaps she should check her emails: Diane might be trying to get through to her.
Her body lay inert, refusing to push away the enveloping bed clothes.
A few words of Scripture slid in among her panicking thoughts – “You must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder ...”
Made aware of her inattention to the Lord she had asked to help her, Sara back-tracked.
“I’m so sorry Lord, I wasn’t listening.”
She closed her eyes again and waited, fiercely concentrating on the He-who-is.
Her body relaxed. Imperceptibly her mind slipped towards renewed sleep.
“I expect so.”
Diane’s voice interrupted the returning slumber. But now she had her clue. It was there in Diane’s voice, in the tone of her remark. Although she said, “I expect so” she might as well have said, “I’m afraid so.” Her tone was despondent, not expectant.
Sara sat up. Reaching for the gown thrown across the foot of her bed she pulled it around her shoulders. Aware of Diane’s tendency to desperation with even the smallest setback, Sara was now prepared to pray. But first she owed a thank you to the Lord who had answered her initial request. Another whisper from the pages of Scripture reminded her that “before they call I will answer.” This prompted the realisation that the answer was already there in the moment of her waking, that she only needed the Spirit of the living God to highlight the tone that expressed the opposite of the hope of expectation.
Sara wakened slowly, shaking back the layers of sleep. It was some minutes before she remembered her wakefulness during the night. In the deepening pre-dawn light she brewed a cup of coffee before opening her emails. There was a note from Diane.
“Hey, Sis, you will never guess what happened to us today – we lost all our luggage, passports included. Harry thought it was a joke but I couldn’t see the funny side of it. He thought if we visited the Embassy they would sort the travel documents out, and although I said I expected they would I knew it would take a lot of time which we could ill afford. We still had our travel cheques but I grudged spending that on replacement clothing – well, you know what we had planned, and it was all falling apart. I don’t know what to do. When you get this please will you pray for us?”
This was followed by an even briefer email from Harry.
“Sara, you will have Diane’s email already. This is an update. The local constabulary caught the thieves before they had time to go through their loot – our baggage is safe! An adventure in less than a day and all while you were snoozing (I think)! Diane is in tears trying to excuse her doubts but I am just praising God that now we can get on with what we came out here to do."
Sara chuckled before hitting the ‘Reply’ and communicating her shared thanksgiving to the Lord who truly cares for His servants.
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