My due date came and went. Christmas Eve came and went. Christmas Day is passing by in the Southern Hemisphere. I dreamt last night of the birth of our baby. I am ready.
We are waiting for fulfilment of of God’s promises in our lives. We are living in his fulness, but still not satisfied. He’s promised us so much more. We are still in a season of living in tents, much like Abraham and his family did. Seeing the land from a distance, pursuing it, practicing abiding in his presence, being content walking with the Holy One, trusting him, dealing with our humanity when discouragement or doubt comes.
He’s tested our calling. He’s reminded me how his purpose is to transform us from the inside out. I recall the miraculous sale of our house in Missouri, just two weeks before we moved to Washington State and then on to South Africa. It was past the due date.
I am finding joy in the waiting. We have a house, but something is stopping its release to us. Its past its due date. We have an exciting possibility for a new ministry on the horizon, but can’t apprehend the reality of it yet. We are prepared to cross the Jordan River in our lives. We have consecrated ourselves to the Lord as a family.
Just as this baby’s due date has come and gone without fulfilment, the time will certainly come. God does not bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery. This new life will come, we will see the material manifestation of God’s provision for a home, and we will walk in the complete fulness of his release in our calling, giftings, and destiny. As Gert shared in our newsletter, God will confirm his word and his promises and our response is “let it be as your word says.”
How do you find joy in waiting? It can be a difficult, heart-wrenching time when we are vulnerable to take things into our own hands much like Abraham did with Hagar. What is the secret? For me it is to take one day at a time. God gives us enough sustenance to sustain us daily. Not enough for tomorrow, but enough for today.
Last night we had a precious Christmas Eve service with our family, at home. My oldest daughters planned it. With memories of last year’s 95 degree candlelight service crammed in a stuffy, crowded church with no air-conditioning still sharp in our minds, our sweat dripping just like the wax on the candles we held, the cool, peaceful family atmosphere at home was all the better. I often wonder how deep my children’s understanding of Christ is, as they live immersed in church, missions, ministry, and Christianity. Bedtime prayers and blessings at the table sometimes sound rehearsed and automatic. Last night I heard the most poignant, heartfelt prayer from my oldest daughter as she thanked God for sending his Son to us. A desire of mine to see my family playing music together showed its first fruit as Gert, Chloe, and Hope led the Christmas Carols with their instruments and voices.
We laughed yesterday as what was supposed to be a free outing to view a Lego display would cost us R800 ($80). We agreed to skip it and walked through a market with free food samples instead, enjoying the beautiful city of Cape Town we are blessed to live in.
After 18 months of living here we finally saw Cape Town from the vantage point of Table Mountain. Our dear friends Susie and Hans unexpectedly blessed us with this gift. In missions, the hardest thing is sometimes to say no to our kids. No, we can’t do this, or no we can’t do that because our budget doesn’t allow it. Even harder when we live in place like Cape Town, with endless sights and activities. Its a lot easier to have a low profile when you live in the sticks.
There is no chance to work an extra shift for overtime pay and no leftover at the end of the month, ever. But then the blessing of the Lord flows in, unexpectedly. And we can say, “Look how God has blessed our family! Wasn’t it worth the wait? Isn’t he good to us, to allow us to experience this incredible gift?”
I found joy in our church’s Sunday morning Christmas service. After laughing at the total blackout in the sanctuary and realising it wasn’t another power outage, I was so grateful to sit anonymously in the dark and avoid all the “Are You Still Pregnant” comments: You’re still here? (yes, where am I supposed to go?). You haven’t popped yet? (I’m not a balloon). You’re huge! (This stopped being a complement when I was 7). The service was full of scripture and song and little else. Just what Christmas should be, in my book.
So these are ways I have found joy in the waiting. I am even grateful we could provide a normal Christmas morning for the kids, complete with homemade cinnamon rolls, instead of tending to a newborn.