Last week we purchased plane tickets to Europe in faith that our visas will be approved by then. Our fly date, Lord willing, is December 13. Please pray with us for our visas to be granted by the Czech government very soon!
I am anxious to get there. We’ve been transitioning to CZ for well over a year. We sensed God leading us there about two years ago. We visited about 18 months ago. We began packing up our home in Okinawa the day after last Christmas. We’ve been transient in the US for eight months. We sent our oldest daughter to Europe ahead of us two months ago. I am ready, Lord! I would leave today if You would put a visa in my hand.
In a sermon this morning I heard a quote credited to John Knox, a Scottish Reformer who lived in the 1500s. When asked one day why he was anxiously pacing he answered, “I am in a hurry, but God is not.” And all God’s people said, “Amen.”
God often asks His people to wait. He required Moses to be a shepherd for 40 years after Moses knew that he would be God’s mouthpiece to Pharaoh and lead the Israelites out of Egypt. He required Paul to wait 14 years between his dramatic conversion to Christ and his first missionary journey. These waits make eight months in the US seem like chump change.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Acts 1:7 says, “It is not for you to know the times and dates the Father has set by his own authority.” Job 14:5 says, “A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” James 4:14 reminds us that we do not know what tomorrow will bring--it’s all up to the Lord’s will.
Mark and I are eager to begin our new ministry in the Czech Republic. God has called us to the world’s most atheist nation! There is but one believer for every 200 people there. Along with Romans 10:14-15, I ask, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” I identify with John Knox and say, “I am in a hurry, but God is not.”
In truth, our Father in heaven is sovereign and His timing is perfect. He alone determines when and where we live (Acts 17:26). The Czech government, flight schedules, and my circumstances dictate nothing. “God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne” (Psalm 47:8).
(PS: A little research revealed that perhaps the above quote should be credited to the 1800s New England preacher Phillips Brooks. Either way, we know the feeling, don’t we?)