WAIT. Anyone who knows me at all, knows very well that I do NOT wait well. Personally, I am pretty sure that I was not created to wait!! And yet this week alone two people who are very close to me have spoken a word from God that they personally received during their time with Him, regarding me. One of those words was directly “wait” and the other was “endure”. My response? Well of course my response was, “AHHHHHHHHHHHHH, YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!”
You see, there is one road to Pallatanga. Of course there are auxiliary dirt roads that lead into the main road, but for all intents and purposes, there is one main road to Pallatanga. On Feb 25, early in the wee morning, one of the bridges on that main road fell. Now some have argued as to whether it is technically a bridge or not as there seems to be no metal structure below the section of the road that fell. But, given that there is a river flowing beneath the gaping section of the road that was once there, I’m going with bridge, or lack thereof at this point! For a while there was machinery down on the river bed that moved boulders around and rerouted some of the flow of the river to allow vehicles to get through a small..ish… amount of water and cross through. Those machines have been pulled out and, given the silence on the roads, the road is officially closed. At the moment there is no work being done nor a plan to fix the bridge.
Some of the town’s people called for a strike at the government building yesterday as an attempt to move the authorities into action. The problem is, the town claims that they do not have the resources to fix the bridge (gaping hole over big river) and any resources that they did have were sent to the Tunguragua area to help with clean up from the exploding volcano. Exploding volcano trumps a fallen bridge. The road will have to wait. The people will have to wait.
The cell phone tower was also knocked down due to the heavy rains of El Nino. The camp was without service of any kind for 9 days and only now has service if I stand on my left foot in front of the chapel and twirl till I find it. I ran into a worker from the phone company in town and asked him about the problem and if there was anything we could do about it. His answer, “wait”. We were then informed that there is a possibility of installing a fiber optic line at the camp for us to have internet service!! YES! After 11 years that is fantastic news!! They will need to do a study, send out a technician, send a file to Quito. We will have to wait and see when it can happen. BUT it CAN happen if we wait!
I have also been struggling with my health. I was hospitalized for 4 days in February and when I did not improve two weeks later I called for another appointment with the Doctor. It just so happened that the day of my appointment in Guayaquil, was the same day that the bridge went out. It also just so happened that that very morning I woke up with kidney stones. We had to take a 7 hour trip up and around and then back down the mountain to get to the doctor’s office while I passed a few stones in random places along the way. When I told Guido that I was going to die, he asked me to wait till we got to the city to die!!
Once at the doctor’s, while he was in awe of my test results and the trip we had just made, doc informed me that I would have to treat first the kidney stones and UTI before we could follow-up on the digestive issues that now have me 13 pound lighter! And so now I wait until all the antibiotics are out of my system so that I can return to find a diagnosis of my stomach issues. Some days I’m OK and can function, other days I just have to wait at home until it passes and I can leave again.
Meanwhile, I spent several days working on choosing worship songs, getting them downloaded with words and in a program that we can use on our projector for our church worship time. We officially launched Sunday service on March 6! While it was nothing like what we expected, we had no doubts that God’s hand was all over our time and the 4 teenage boys that showed up were there directly by His doing! We had church in the most unusual yet wonderful way. Then our projector broke. The fan went out. Fortunately a dear church in Florida has already decided to replace that projector for us, thank you God. Now we wait until we can actually get it here!
WAIT…..when there is so much that we could be doing! Wait…..when there are so many who are desperate, truly desperate just to know that someone cares, that love exists. WAIT. When I have great ideas and plans! Wait.
I picked up a book today that I’ve read before, to sorta skim it again (i don’t have the patience to re read!). The page fell open to this sentence that was underlined, “Patience is passion, seasoned with grace, expressed through intercession, sustained over time (Nathan & Wilson, 2009, p.39). As I thought about this rather profound statement it hit that if I have anything, I certainly have great passion! Grace, well I know grace deeply and I am desperately striving to season everything I am and do with that grace. Intercession, now that is where I am weak. Oh I pray regularly and I intercede but not like I should. And patience well…….
So maybe if I work that statement backwards, starting at intercession, I mean truly interceding and then moving to passion seasoned with grace, maybe then patience will be easier. OK, maybe not easier, maybe I should just hope for patience existing in me! As the book suggests, renewed passion without renewed patience leads to frustration and a critical attitude. I think I may need to begin my pursuit of patience by re reading the book after all! Why would intercession not be my first, knee jerk reaction? Because I’m stubborn. Because maybe I’ve considered intercession too parallel to the concept of “wait”. I simply need to understand that I’m not being forced to wait (which makes me nutty) but instead, I’m being asked to intercede (which has the potential to make me more lovingly, patient). It is probably obvious to most of you that it is simply a concept of interceding in the waiting.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you (or torture you by making you wait), plans to give you a hope and a future (adapted a little bit). His plans, His timing, but the hope and a future are mine! And so I wait, in intercession for all the details and those souls within the details.
Reference and overall awesome read:
Nathan, R. & Wilson, K. (2009). Empowered Evangelicos. Ampelon Publishing, Idaho.