Despair is a Round Trip

I was closing an email from Doug, the Saxophone Player, and my eye quickly glanced down at his signature.

This email came from his office at the jail, and I was just moved to tears seeing his title. You may not know my husband’s testimony**, but I can tell you that I did not marry a man fit to be a minister. I married a great guy, but he had some big problems. Those problems affected his family, and drove me to despair so many times I don’t need a map anymore.

Yet, in those places of hopelessness The Holy Spirit kept telling me to trust God. Sometimes, there would be this flash of a vision from an unknown future. I would see him speaking to a group of people, Bible in hand. Where did that come from?

I can’t get over what God has done in my husband’s life, and I hope I NEVER do! I hope I never forget what God has done, and that He is able to do far more than we can hope or imagine—if we will just keep trusting Him. That trust will most likely mean a few trips to despair for anyone daring enough to let God do things His way, but I promise it’s a round trip when we’re in His hands. It’s a round trip!

I did not marry a man worthy of his titles: Reverand, Pastor, Chaplain, Chief Executive Officer, President. He wasn’t worthy of the work the Lord has entrusted to his care, but God made him worthy. God persevered, and Doug surrendered.

If you know the way to Despair as well as I once did, please seek the Lord for help. Please, believe that He is able to help you in your circumstances, because what He does for one of His children*, He will do for any of them.

*If you aren’t sure you are a child of God, don’t wait to find out. CLICK HERE.
** This is Doug’s Testimony. CLICK HERE

If

I’d like to share a few quotes from Missionary Amy Carmichael‘s book entitled If. It is based on 1 Corinthians 13, often called the love chapter in the Bible.

If you aren’t familiar with Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), I encourage you to click on her name and read the very brief biography at that link. There really have been very few women like her.

“If I myself dominate myself,
if my thoughts revolve round myself,
if I am so occupied with myself I rarely

have a heart at leisure from itself,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Amy Carmichael

“If the praise of others elates me
and their blame depresses me;
if I cannot rest under misunderstanding
without defending myself;
if I love to be loved more than to love,
to be served more than to serve,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Amy Carmichael

“If I do not forget about such a trifle as personal success,
so that it never crosses my mind, or if it does,
is never given room there; if the cup of flattery tastes sweet to me,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Amy Carmichael

“If my interest in the work of others is cool;
if I think in terms of my own special work;
if the burdens of others are not my burdens too,
and their joys mine,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

Amy Carmichael

“If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it,
because the spirit of discernment is not in me,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

Amy Carmichael

I have been thinking lately how much I underestimate God’s expectations of me. When I consider the life this woman, how she served and sacrificed for Christ and others, I am horrified by my laziness, failure, and complacency. Do I know nothing of Calvary’s love? Lately, I wonder.

Waiting Room

I think God builds waiting into His plan for our life. I think it might even be one of the holiest experiences we can have on earth.

  • I think of Moses waiting at the shore of the Red Sea for God to make a way.
  • I think of Ruth waiting to glean discards in the field.
  • I think of David waiting for his son to be healed.
  • I think of Esther waiting for the to appointed hour to enter the king’s chamber.
  • I think of Joshua waiting for the walls to fall.
  • I think of Hannah pleading with God, as she waited for a miracle.
  • I think of Elijah waiting for fire from Heaven.
  • I think of Sarah plotting her own way, instead of waiting for God’s promise.
  • I think of Daniel waiting for the lions to fall asleep.
  • I think of Mary suffering scorn, as she awaited her Savior’s birth.

At those times when we are given room to wait,  let’s be sure not squander them. Let’s not regret that we have a waiting room to occupy, but let’s use it. Don’t plead with the Lord to end it, but recognize what a rare gift it is to be invited to wait on Him.

To wait with Him.

It is an exclusive opportunity that in one instant will end. The waiting will be over.

Until then, let’s attune our ear to His voice. Learn to listen. Learn His ways. Practice trusting Him.

Trust Him more.

Instead of filling our waiting room with busy work or mindlessness—entertainment, diversions, speculation—let’s spend it wisely. Rest on His promises. Trust in His presence. Pray. Worship. Seek.  Practice patience; remain faithful. Learn His comms.

Waiting on the Lord is never, ever in vain. 

❤ 

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