PLEASE NOTE: this has been written by a very dear friend who wishes to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of this article. As far as possible, quotations that were used to illustrate how God spoke to the author of this article, have been acknowledged. Any ommission that may have occurred is not intended. This article is NOT for sale and is for the sole purpose of sharing God's working in one of His children's lives and to encourage others who are going through a difficult time. Any positive and constructive feedback is welcome.
The AUGUST Miracle
A life experience
Of course I believe in miracles! How could I not? There are so many of them recorded in the Bible and I believe the Bible unquestionably, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. But I’d only experienced a few personal miracles in my life and for that reason it seemed that miracles happen to other people, not to me … … or that was the case until shortly after midnight on Tuesday the 29th August 2006 … … …
The need for the August miracle probably had its beginnings about eight years ago when my dear friend Vee and I left South Africa to come and live in the UK.
Vee and I had linked up in a Christian singing ministry called the ‘Come Alive Singers’ in our home country in the early seventies. We were in our twenties then! This had come about after a lengthy time of frequent frenzied entreaties to the Lord by me, that He should bring ‘Mr Right’ into my life so that I could get married. This was all I desired desperately! But the answer to the prayer was a consistent ‘No’! I’ve been madly in love a few times (the first time with Keith, a Jewish man who had no intention whatsoever of accepting Jesus as Messiah), but as time went by I experienced the inexpressible sadness of seeing my dreams fade. Only submission to the Lord’s will in this matter has brought a semblance of peace over the years. It still gets to me sometimes though, even now, so many years later!!
As for Vee, she was on the point of getting married shortly before ‘Come Alive Singers’ got going. She realized in time that the person concerned was not the right one and the relationship was ended. Shortly after this she made a full commitment of her life to the Lord Jesus Christ and began a life of service to Him. The other ‘great’ love of her life was also not a committed Christian, so no future there!
Then one Saturday at a Christian get-together at Vee’s parents’ home, she and I realized that we could make quite a good sounding duet. ‘Come Alive Singers’ was born out of that evening. Many wonderful holidays were spent going round the country’s Homes for the Aged and the hospitals and churches, sharing the Gospel in song and testimony.
Vee and I became close friends and when by the mid-eighties my parents had both gone to be with the Lord and I was alone and free from the caring responsibilities I’d had up until then, Vee graciously consented to come and share my home. It was a blessing that came directly from the Lord, having the wonderful Christian company of such a dear friend. We both continued in our secular employment and our Christian ministry grew – the Lord opened many opportunities for service.
In 1995 Vee and I went on holiday to the United Kingdom and Ireland – the first time either of us had been abroad. We loved the experience and in 1998 when we were both offered employment at the same place in the UK, we jumped at the chance of life in a new country. We saw this as a chance to share the Gospel with new people and I had the inexpressible joy of hearing three of the folk in the Care Home where I worked, praying a prayer of commitment to the Lord Jesus.
After three months another wonderful job opportunity came up – once again for both of us at the same Company. Shortly after starting the new job my faith was tested abruptly when Vee suddenly developed a large clot in her left arm! The shock of this unexpected event was severe and the implications it brought added panic to the situation. My worst fear was the thought of ever having to drive in or around London. My hometown, the city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, shrinks into insignificance size-wise, when compared to this Metropolis. The Lord thought otherwise though, and the night of Vee’s diagnosis found me driving behind an ambulance headed for St George’s Hospital in Greater London!!! Mercifully the Lord provided Mannie who was on holiday with us at the time. What a comfort it was to have him in the car with me, not only that night but during the many visits to the hospital during the following week.
Money was short at this time too and how well the scene is imprinted on my mind:
Mannie and I sharing one sandwich bought at a little snack shop at the hospital! Then came the anxious wait while Vee was undergoing the relatively new and drastic treatment to dissolve the clot. The warning they’d given her before carrying out the procedure was that it could cause her to have a stroke and she would be seriously affected. It was a heartrending sight to see her returning from theatre with intravenous infusions attached to both arms! How do other people manage (or think they manage) without the Lord and the supportive prayers of His people during times like that?
A definite miracle followed this incident, as less than a month later the three of us were on our way for a short break in the Scottish Highlands, with Vee doing all the driving! Motoring is like a hobby for her and so I began relinquishing my driving responsibilities (not considering that those skills might fade) and just enjoying the ride!!
And so we settled into a fairly predictable routine for the next seven and a half years plus. Things went well at the Company with promotion for me twice and Vee being given work that satisfied her creative nature and made use of her many talents.
The two of us share one car, so how luxurious it was for us to be able to do exactly the same shifts at work: leaving together in the morning, coming home together at the end of the working day; having days off together gave us the opportunity to explore the surrounding areas. We went shopping together, watched our favourite programmes on television together, enjoyed meals together, visited friends and did the Lord’s work together. We prayed together and attended the Lord’s house together. Often we would explore new places of worship, as one of the most difficult tasks since leaving South Africa has been finding a live, vibrant, evangelical church where we would be used of the Lord (not only to serve tea, but more pointedly, to share the Gospel!)
When our Company merged with another much larger one in 2001, there was a decided hiccup and once again a testing time. My job and that of my Co-Team Leader was threatened when a redundancy situation came about in the business.
One of us would definitely have had to go – BUT GOD intervened yet again! Out of the blue, a manager from another team suddenly decided to leave the Company. That left a vacancy, which I was able to fill.
2005 was a fair year – nothing extraordinary happening – just the day-to-day routine of Vee driving us to and from work, eating, sleeping, Bible study on a Monday evening, Church on a Sunday, a bit of recreation here and there; at work some new developments, some restlessness and dissatisfaction, but nothing that would prepare any of us for what was to come … … …
The 10th January 2006 was a normal Monday at work – our Senior Supervisory Officer, Reese was on leave (or so our Team thought) and we, the two Team Leaders would be ‘standing in’ for her. The three of us had enjoyed a close and excellent working relationship since 1998. Three other colleagues, including Vee supported us in our management roles. As Health Care Professionals we all strove toward the goal of giving the highest quality customer service at all times. Reese was perfect in her position, highly skilled and well respected. Our team was strong and well motivated.
The minutes ticked by as usual that Monday until I received an email announcing an urgent and immediate meeting of the Company’s Employee Representatives. As a member, I went along and we were duly informed that significant changes were about to take place in our particular team and that the news was about to be broken to us. Next, the team leaders were called to another urgent meeting and this was to be followed by a meeting with the entire Team! When my co-Team Leader, Zain, and I got to the meeting, who should be there but Reese looking pale, sad and slightly bewildered but showing her usual strong, brave and friendly demeanour!
Zain and I were informed very quickly and without much ado that there were to be major changes in our area and that Reese had been made redundant and had ALREADY LEFT the Company. She had been forbidden to mention any of this to anyone and the only reason why she was present at this meeting was that she had asked for special permission to attend so that she could at least bid her Team of almost ten years, farewell! We were also informed that one of the two of us would soon be in a redundancy situation due to departmental restructuring. We were told to say nothing about this, only that there were to be changes.
Numbed and shocked by the suddenness of this event Zain and I returned to the Team to announce the next meeting. We told them to expect to see Reese there! The additional news was that more team members and others in the Company would be faced with redundancy in the very near future.
Gloom, anger, sadness and trepidation settled over our Team. What would we hear next? Who would have to go? Those of us who had been close to Reese felt like bereaved people. Her empty desk was a constant reminder.
Time passed in a haze and then one day I witnessed something so grossly unbelievable that it will always stay imprinted on my mind. I looked up from my desk to see Kyle packing his belongings – soon he came over to say goodbye. He’d been told that morning that he’d been made redundant and could go home then!
About twenty minutes later we heard that Simone, who worked in Human Resources had suddenly been told she could go. Althea, from the same department, was still there though – she had just returned from an advanced Course on which the Company had sent her. An hour later Althea walked slowly along the aisle past my desk. She had a vague and unbelieving expression on her face. The e-mail arrived in my inbox: Human Resources would be closed for the rest of the day. Any enquiries were to be directed to a ‘newly’ appointed ‘head’ of this department!
After what seemed like an eternity of questions, confusion, disorganization, broken appointments, waiting followed by more waiting … … … the 1st of February dawned!
I was suddenly called into a tiny office and informed, again at a rate of knots, that I had not been successful in my application for a senior Position that had arisen – (I was no longer Team Leader – my options were to stay on as a team member or to take my redundancy package). The end of my Team Leader role was with immediate effect! I was asked to keep the information to myself until it was made generally known!!!
Zain was called in next – he had also not been successful in his application for the senior position but he was to stay, no longer as Team Leader but in a lesser role.
The senior position over our Professional Team was given to a junior person who was not a member of our Profession.
All I remember clearly about the 1st of February is that the Lord was my strength – He enabled me not to break down or show any of the complete devastation I felt. Praise His Name! Inside I felt I was dying … … looking back on it now, words like humiliation, degradation, uselessness, worthlessness and rejection come to mind!
Back at home I sought refuge in my Lord and Saviour; as always He was faithful and one of the most direct sources of comfort came in the form of the following poem from my daily devotional book:
God is not in a hurry
The work He chose for you
Can wait, if He is giving you another task to do.
Or, if He calls you from your work
to quietness and rest,
Be sure that in the silence
you may do His bidding best
You cannot be a joy to Him ,
if thus with frown and fret
You turn at each new call of His
to find new lessons set.
The old, familiar tasks were dear,
and ordered by His hand
But come and tread another way;
it is as He has planned.
And yesterday He led you there;
and now He wants you here;
And what shall be tomorrow’s work,
tomorrow shall make clear.
So patiently and faithfully let each
day’s course be run;
God is not in a hurry,
His work will all be done
Edith Hickman Devall
… … also a precious verse from His Word on the 4th of February:
“… the Lord has told you. You are not to go back that way again.” (Deuteronomy 17:16)
And so I knew that the ‘redundancy package option’ was the one I had to take.
There was a notice period to be worked during which time it was made known that Vee’s position had also been made redundant, as had that of another colleague who’d worked closely with the original management team.
Vee went through a confusing and frustrating time when she was given another position in the Company during this period – a formal email was sent to all Company employees advising them of her new role (a management role) and title. Suddenly this was changed – the title withdrawn and other arrangements that had been made were cancelled for no reason, except that the decision appeared to be the whim of a new head of department. Vee decided that the redundancy option had to be taken.
Others in the Team were still waiting to hear which of them would have to go and how things would proceed from there.
Friday, the 5th of May 2006 was the last day at the Company for Vee and me; sad in a way, but inevitable.
Many Christian friends and family members and others that we do not even know, began praying that we would find new employment soon.
Monday the 7th May introduced a new era for us both! Early that morning we found ourselves in our rooms at our respective computers, starting a search that would turn into a long, arduous journey filled with hope, excitement, frustration, confusion, doubt and despair!
We had decided that we would not take a much-needed short break until we had each found another position. We reckoned we would soon be settled somewhere else. That was, after all, how it had worked on two previous occasions!
Right now I have lost count of how many applications we made to various companies.
I simply don’t recall how many were simply ignored – not even acknowledged!
Vee was the first to get an interview during late May – not a face-to-face one but a lengthy conference call … … hope rose in our hearts as all her qualifications and experience were right for the job! … BUT … … Quite in keeping with what we subsequently learned to expect, Vee never heard from the Company again!
After a week or two, when nothing was forthcoming (naïve as we were to have thought it would be that soon!) we changed course from the original plan and decided to take a short break in Devon – one objective though, was to see if we could find work there. North Devon is magnificent but we had no success job-wise.
My turn for an interview came in late June. If this application were successful we would need to relocate. Vee and I travelled to Berkshire for my interview. By this time we’d traded in our very old Renault Clio for a new car. I drove the car once but could not get the ‘feel’ of it, and because Vee was happy and willing to do all the driving, I left it all to her! Part of the job-hunting became quite fun! We each had the other for support; we saw different areas of the Country. It was not a matter of serious business all of the time! Mostly it was though!
The Berkshire Company is large and beautifully presented, the people friendly and welcoming. The interview went well and a few days later I received an invitation for a second interview. This was very positive! We were sure that this would be the job for me! Vee was happy about relocating and said that she would start applying for jobs in the Berkshire area. I thought the second interview went well, except for the Psychometric test (a written test in which I had to answer 50 questions in ten minutes!) The result was that they did not take my application further because they thought my experience did not quite fit what they needed, they were concerned about my having to go through a major relocation and my Psychometric test results were not quite up to standard! Disappointment and discouragement again, but these were still relatively early days.
We continued to send in applications with modified CV’s to suit each one. We continued to pray earnestly that the Lord would open doors for us, asking that the employment of His choosing would be found. We had continual prayer support from many others. The message coming through consistently from God’s Word was that we should wait and He would provide. (Waiting is just not what I do best!!)
In July a number of opportunities came up, all at the same time! Whilst waiting for people to confirm interviews during this month, I almost made an impulsive decision to take a brief trip to South Africa. My niece had passed away after a brave battle with Cancer. When I heard the news, all I wanted was to attend her funeral and be there for my sister! Once again, in His own way, the Lord imprinted on my mind that it would not be wise to go so far for such a short period at that particular time. I had peace about it, so did Vee, and when I spoke to my sister, Joyce, she agreed that it would not have been the best idea at the time.
We had the privilege of seeing Cambridge for the first time when we each had an interview there in mid July. (Oxford students apparently refer to this lovely University City as ‘the other place’!!) From there we travelled to High Wycombe where we each had an interview. Then it was back home and interviews for each of us in different nearby towns. I thought the darkness was beginning to lift at this time and a poem by Ruth M. Gibbs seemed to confirm this:
There was a rift tonight;
I saw a grey cloud break and let the light
Shine through – a ray of hope to all the earth;
Long had I waited here; I found it hard to say,
“The clouds will drift apart, the darkness melt away Before the radiance of the night’s new birth.”
… … …
None of the applications was successful!
When we asked for feedback as to why our applications had not been successful, response was varied. Some companies just do not give feedback Reasons given by others included: ‘We were worried about the commute’, ‘People sometimes say they will relocate and they don’t’, ‘You didn’t give enough information during your interview’, ‘We are really looking for new graduates’, ‘We’re not happy when people ask whether anything permanent is likely to come up when we’re advertising a short-term contract job’.
NO SUCCESS! CLOSED DOORS! LEADEN SKIES! DARKNESS!
Then came a timely Bible reading one morning, when I said: “Lord, it’s really dark!” He replied from Micah 7:9: “He will bring me out into the light.” (KJV)
So the search continued: more enquiries, more applications, more modified CV’s (I have twelve now!). More disappointments, more frustration, more feelings of worthlessness and rejection followed, more wondering what the Lord is saying to us that we are not hearing. We’d both sent in so many applications – most had simply been ignored!
Consistently throughout this trying time came the encouraging words of the family of God – so many people, local Christians and others from as far away as the United States and South Africa, all sending messages to say they are praying for us, to assure us that God has the right jobs for us and that He will provide them in His own time. Blessed assurances also came regularly from His Word:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13. KJV) This verse has come to me countless times in these last four months; it is the very essence of comfort when my confidence has reached an all time low!
“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart.” (Psalm 27:14, KJV)
“The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh Him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lam.3:25, 26, KJV).
Followed by other extracts from a daily reading book:
In God’s eternal plan, a month, a year,
Is but an hour of some slow April day,
Holding the germs of what we hope or fear,
To blossom far away.
“One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.” (Oswald Chambers)
(Oh! The waiting Lord! NOT NOT NOT what I do best!)
Then came August! The search continued relentlessly. The same pattern was repeated again and again and again: read through masses of job advertisements, modify CV’s, apply for jobs … wait … wait … wait! No response most of the time, or negative responses (so much better than no response!!)
It was mid August when Vee brought an advertisement to me:
“Do you think I could do this job – shall I apply for it?”
She sent in the application but was doubtful to the point of panic at times; some of the requirements made her feel unsure. More than once she thought she should withdraw the application. Then the agent contacted her and an appointment was made for an interview! The light was shining through again, things were looking up, the Lord was hearing us … … … how was this going to end?
Vee attended the interview on the morning of Monday the 21st August. It lasted about an hour and a half. She came back looking pleased, saying the interview had gone well – they seemed pleased and had promised to contact her in two or three days time.
At about 6pm the same day, the telephone rang. Vee answered. The call ended and she came to me laughing and crying at the same time! “I got the job!” she sobbed.
“Oh, praise the Lord, praise the LORD!” I answered. We just stood together, unable to take this in. Words like amazement, relief, gratitude, ecstasy, elation and euphoria come to mind … …
How wonderful this was for Vee, how glad I was for her – how triumphant we felt that the Lord had given her this remarkable chance (a miracle in itself) after the letdown of the last position she had.
But the Enemy never let’s God’s children in peace for long – he was on the prowl, and the realization soon got through to me, that after almost eight years of incredible companionship and ‘togetherness’ in a new country, and after the added intensity of the last three and a half months of job searching together, I was now, humanly speaking, going to be completely alone. Along with the joy at Vee’s superb success, I was overwhelmed with the deepest darkness that I have ever imagined! My mind seemed to stop. Blackness surrounded me. The grief I felt was tangible – crying left me exhausted, with no tears left to cry! Sleeping was fitful and the early hours of the morning found me awake in the darkness feeling only that I wanted to die!
Vee shared this grief with me. How incredibly difficult it must have been for her: so happy and grateful to have the job and yet experiencing guilt because I did not yet have a job and because our ‘continual daily sharing’ of everything had now come to a sudden and abrupt end. What would either of us have done during this time, if it had not been for our dear, wonderful and very best Friend and Saviour, Jesus? He was there for both of us, as He always is. He spoke to me that very night, once again through a reading from a daily devotional book – again there were extracts from poems:
O, not for Thee my fading fires
The ashes of my heart …
And, from an unknown author:
But there were only ashes when He came
Saying, “My daughter, thou hast tried to serve
In thine own way, but now, stretch forth thy hands
That I may lead thee out of self’s dark cell
And work My will through thee –
When thou hast ceased to be
“Before God gives a blessing He writes a sentence of death on the means leading up to it!”
In all honesty, on the night of the 21st of August I did not yet feel ready to hear these things, I hardly took them in, but they have stayed in my consciousness, as He intended!
On the 22nd of August, I was still not ready when I read:
“We are battered instruments; life’s strings have been snapped; life’s bow has been bent. Yet, if we will only let Him take us and touch us, from this old battered, broken, shattered, marred instrument, He will bring forth music fit for the angels.”
Yes, I knew, I’d known for a long, long time, that my daily times with Him were not the quality times that they should have been. They should have been longer, more intense, there should have been more times when it was just He and I. My times with Him had become rushed. Often He must have been disappointed. Oh that I might find the grace to change that for eternity!
On Wednesday morning the 23rd of August, Day’s first full day at work, I knelt at my bed feeling forsaken. Not inclined to pray, I opened my Bible to the Psalms and decided to read Psalm 39. (It had actually been Psalm 139 I’d wanted to read, but in my confusion I’d got the numbers mixed up!!) I turned to Psalm 39 BUT the words of the Psalm next door, Psalm 40, literally ‘jumped out’ at me:
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me
and He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what He has done and be astounded.
They will put their trust in the Lord … …”
Gradually, as I continued to read these beautiful words, a feint light began to shine and I began, very slowly, to feel the beginning of the healing that only the Word of God can bring.
I read the words over and over again and started committing the Psalm to memory, without making a conscious decision to do so.
On the evening of the 23rd of August He spoke again with a clarity that could not be ignored – I knew when I read this poem by J. Danson Smith, that the message was directly to me:
Unto Myself, my dear child, I would bring thee!
Who like Myself thy sure solace can be?
Who can reach down, down so deeply within thee?
Give to thy heart such a full sympathy?
Mournest thou sore that thy loved ones have failed thee?
Failed, sadly failed thy true comfort to be?
“Why did they fail” dost thou ask? Let Me whisper –
That thou should’st find thy heart’s comfort in Me.”
Unto Myself, my dear child, I would bring thee!
None like Myself thy full portion can be!
While, in my heart, there is hunger and longing
That I might find choicest treasure in thee.
Unto Myself! To Myself – not My service!
Then to most sweetly and certainly prove
That I can make thee My channel of blessing,
Use thee to shed forth the wealth of My love.
Challenging, that message, and a privilege to hear it from Him, but I was still too filled with sadness to gain from it the comfort with which it was sent.
Wednesday and Thursday were lonely, sad days with Vee and Silver Pearl (the new car) gone! Then came the bank holiday weekend, which we spent in Dorset by the sea. The surroundings are beautiful and the panic and pain in my heart eased to an extent, but back home on the Monday evening came the climax that brought the August miracle.
We arrived home fairly late in the afternoon on bank holiday Monday the 28th of August. Vee would return to work the next day. As the evening wore on I found myself becoming more and more depressed, my thoughts becoming darker and darker. It had been a gruelling enough experience for the two of us together, searching for new employment since May, but now I was to continue the search alone. Suddenly I realized that I would not be able to do this. Vee had obtained work locally, which meant that the area in which I could search had shrunk dramatically. There is very little work available in the smaller towns. For me, commuting by train into London is NOT an option, we only have one car, and although Vee could take the bus to work (and has offered many times to do so!) it did not bring the solution I needed because I was too afraid to drive the new car! My confidence was at an all time low! I felt wretched and hopeless – in the darkest tunnel with no light at the end of it.
It was nearly midnight! I was distraught. Vee was questioning whether she should ever have accepted the new job, whether it would be better to try and think of another solution. We agreed together that her job was indeed a miracle in itself and that to turn it down at this stage would certainly not be a wise decision and would not please the Lord. Conflicting feelings indeed, and for me, feelings of desolation and despair – how was I to go on?
And then, instantaneously the August Miracle occurred. There was not even a five-second interval between the ‘pit of despair’ experience and the sudden dramatic change in my thinking, which I could scarcely take in. It was just after midnight on the 29th of August when a light dawned in my heart and I knew what I had to do! It was as if Someone was saying to me: “Don’t despair, DO something about the situation; get to know the car – learn to drive it; become independent; make sure that your area for an employment opportunity becomes broader again; take control of your life.”
Literally five seconds before this revelation occurred, I had seen only blackness and a closed door – now there was hope in my heart, my mood lifted and His light shone through!
Next morning I rode along with Vee to her work and brought the car back home. At lunchtime I fetched her, and in the afternoon she took the car and came back later.
So a pattern developed. This was the start that gave me the practice I needed, to once again become familiar with driving, leading to greater independence and renewed interests. The first part of Psalm 40 came true in my own life that night:
“He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God!”
The most important change though, is the quality time with the Lord that has returned to my life and I have experienced Him speaking to me through His Word every day. In addition to memorizing and learning the truths of Psalm 40, He has given me countless other words of encouragement.
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me” and my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” (Psalm 26:8)
I know He is teaching me patience (which I do not have) because most of what He has said to me involves waiting. This is difficult and frustrating because I’m human and I want things to move fast. The Lord does not wish to move fast and I must learn to walk in step with Him and be satisfied.
On the 1st of September, Vee’s official start date at her new job (she’d worked the August days because of orientation), my daily reading included:
“The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord, He delights in every detail of their lives.” (Psalm 37:23). (At this point I would like to say that I am godly only because of what Jesus has done for me on the Cross of Calvary; because he paid for all my sin, I am one of His. Otherwise I could NEVER even presume to be godly.)
George Muller, well known for his work among orphans, commented on Psalm 37:23 by saying that “the stops”, as well as the steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.
“Naturally an opened door seems to us more like guidance than a closed one. Yet God may guide by the one as definitely as by the other. You may be trying to go faster than He is moving. Wait for Him to come up and then the way will no longer lie in darkness.”
A poem by Bayard Taylor has this message:
“Not so in haste my heart!
Have faith in God and wait
Although He linger long
He never comes too late
Until He cometh, rest
Nor grudge the hours that roll,
The feet that wait for God
Are soonest at the goal
Are soonest at the goal
That is not gained by speed,
Then hold thee still, my heart
For I shall wait His lead.”
On the 2nd of September the Word said:
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14, NIV)
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)
“The testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” (James 1: 3 & 4 and Hebrews 10:35 &36, NIV)
Even though the Lord speaks so powerfully, my humanness and impatience still break through. As early as the 4th of September my feelings of frustration were surfacing again! My daily reading was headed:
“Wait, my daughter!” (Ruth 3:18, NIV) (Who says God does not have a sense of humour?)
He went on to say:
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:7, NIV)
On other days He gave other definite guidelines from His Word:
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him and He will help you.” (Psalm 37:5)
“Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Travel steadily along His path.” (Psalm 37:34)
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” (Psalm 32:8)
“He made their hearts, so He understands everything they do.” (Psalm 33:15)
“Why am I discouraged? Why so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again – my Saviour and my God!” (Psalm 42:5 and 43:5)
“Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”
“In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Isaiah 30:15b, KJV)
“…For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for Him to help them.”
(Isaiah 30:18) (Telephoned through to me by Joyce, my sister from South Africa).
And a special little quote given to me my Vee recently:
“God’s delays are not denials, they are simply preparation for greater blessing.”
On the 18th of September my daily reading was based on the verse in Hebrews 12:11:
“Nevertheless afterward …” ‘The afters of God are worth waiting for, however dark the nows may be in your experience.’
And then yesterday! (25th September). Here it was again:
“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4, NIV)
“It is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:26, NIV)
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” (Hebrews 10:35-36, NIV)
“Exactly what part of Your will do I need to do at this point, Lord?” I asked.
No definite answer came.
Could it be that He wants me to complete this article, which has been procrastinated for quite some time? I don’t know, I’m not sure. I’ll complete it anyway and share it with others – maybe it will help someone, somewhere. As long as ALL the glory goes to Him!
I do not know how long the wait will be but finally I will be able to say the closing verse of the poem by Ruth Gibbs:
So, if I can but wait,
I know that God will send it, soon or late-
This break within my life’s grey cloud; His gift
To me, one star of perfect love to shine and show
That they who walk by faith are told the way to go,
And after storm will come the blessed rift.
There have been so many ways in which the Lord has helped me practically in the last month, through flower arranging, music and writing, to name but a few. My driving skills have returned and I’m able to get where I need to be without difficulty. Vee is enjoying her work. She is in the midst of an intensive training program at present that will fully equip her for what she has to do.
And so, in the ‘finding of myself’ that started with the August Miracle, I have continued my search for new employment – the answer I’m looking for is still to come, but possibly many other, much more important answers have already been given.