It has been a struggle for me for a long time to wait on the Lord, to accept His will when it doesn’t seem to be what I expected. This is the most difficult part of the Christian way for me. I have plans, and goals, and often they seem to be perfectly normal, very Christian, and obedient, in their way. Bu then the Lord sends me where I did not expect to go, to do something I didn’t really want to do.
After a summer offgrid and offroad, in a beautiful place, in the sort of life we wanted, we are back in the city. I am unable to get Nicholas’s medical care straightened out without access to a phone and the internet. Medical tests he may need would have been an hour or more away. We still have no reliable income, and the twenty-year-old son thought we should stay with him until we get matters in hand.
Which is good. But I didn’t want to come here.
Why is not the question to ask. Here we are, and things may be moving along. But there are more questions to ask.
Does the Lord have something to teach me here?
Does the Lord have a witness for me to make here?
As Christians, our presence is a witness, or should be! We should be visible Christians, known for our love, our faithfulness, our honesty, our willingness to follow Jesus wherever that may take us. I don’t believe we are called to blend in, to take a back seat, to be like everyone else.
Was I hiding my light under a bushel? Does the Lord of heaven and earth need me where He has put me? To whom am I a witness?
We’ve been attending a larger church than our previous parish, and although we know the priests there from years back, we were not close friends. (Our son is good friends with the younger priest, a dynamic and outgoing man of about thirty.) We have been soundly welcomed! Partly it is our visible witness of Plain dress, but it is also the culture of this church, to reach out to newcomers and spend time with them. One beautiful elder from South Africa said to us when she heard that Nicholas has health problems, “I am praying for you,” and she immediately raised her hands in prayer. Friends, I had been so discouraged the night before and even that First Day morning, and this woman who had never met us gave us her sincere and instantaneous prayer. I started to cry as the Holy Spirit moved through us. I have felt her prayer and encouragement ever since. I think the young people here in the house have felt it as well.
Despite the changes that came so suddenly, I am content now. The Lord Jesus gives us His peace no matter where we are. Remember our martyrs who went to prison, remember those who gave years of sacrifice behind bars and barbed wire for the faith. Corrie Ten Boom, who wrote so eloquently of the presence of God in a concentration camp, comes to mind, as well as Dietrich Bonhoeffer. And we must never forget the holy martyrs of Russia, condemned to death camps in Siberia by the Communist government – bishops, priest, deacons, nuns and monks, sent to starve as they worked in remote areas, never to see their families again. They died anonymously, many of them, but in the joy of the Lord. If they could pray and live and worship in the worst of conditions, daily expecting death, how can we keep from singing?