I made a huge confession last week and I would be lying if I said this isn’t something I’ve been grappling with since then. Moving to Africa has been on my heart and in my mind for over three years and every time I think I’m getting closer something gets in the way. It’s discouraging and it’s frustrating because not only do I not know what comes after a year of living overseas, but I don’t know what comes before then. What am I supposed to be doing in the waiting? Praying? Abiding? Support raising? Is that it?
I don’t have all the answers and honestly this is something I’m still bringing to the Lord daily. What I do know is I have been called to do this. God asked, “Who shall I send? Who will go for Us?” and I answered, “Here I am. Send me.” I volunteered. I said, God my heart is willing. After three years of waiting and struggling to get there am I just “over it”? Do I just give up?
Abraham waited 25 years for God to give him a son. Joseph was in Egypt for 13 years before he was put in charge. Moses was in exile in the desert for 40 years before returning to Egypt. The Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years before God freed them. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years until they reached the promise land. Jesus waited 30 years to start his ministry. Paul waited 18 years. Israel waited hundreds of years until the Messiah was born and we’re still waiting for His return over a thousand years later.
God is a God of waiting. He’s a God of patience. He can’t simply give us patience. He must teach us patience. Do I want to be like Moses and beg God, “Please, Lord, send someone else” (Exodus 4:13)? Or do I want to be like Isaiah and cry out to God, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8)?
As I’ve continued going through Exodus, I came across a note I wrote in the margins of my Bible dated September 11, 2017. This was right around the time I was officially accepted to go overseas. Exodus 20:21 reads “And the people remained standing at a distance as Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.” I wrote, Moses stepped into the deep darkness because God was there! God has asked me to step into the darkness of cities overseas because He will be there.
I may not understand it right now, but I believe He’s using this time to somehow prepare me (and Moises) for our time in Africa. I don’t know what the time in between holds. I do know God is with me and I do know when I step into the darkness God will be there.
“Even if you have to wait a little longer than you were expecting, and even if the process ends up being a little harder than what you prepared for, keep trusting and waiting to see what the Lord has in store, having full faith in His ability to continually provide a way for you.”
~Morgan Harper Nichols