Last night, I kept waking up.
Over and over again.
Each time I awoke, my thoughts centered on my husband.
I don’t know where he is.
I do know that he is on his way to a border post to enter our northern neighbor for ministry purposes. John decided to attempt a new route and a new border post to add to his knowledge and understanding of the various ways to travel about our home country. John loves to discover new pathways in order to experience more of the beauty, wonder, and construct of southern Africa. John’s intrinsic, exploratory nature was birthed and groomed in the backwoods of northern Idaho where John would disappear for hours at a time to explore the terrain. He loved it! So, when John returns home from traveling a new route, he can hardly contain himself as he describes the various detours, fun byways, and unique meanderings and surprising landmarks. It’s a delight to hear about his adventures and what he has discovered.
He’s is experiencing one of those adventures now.
However, I don’t know where he is and I don’t know if the route he is traveling will meet his expectations. His plan was to cross country lines through a fairly new border post.
John called last night to say that this particular border point may be closed.
He said, “Please be praying. I won’t know if it is open or closed until I get there. And I won’t be able to tell you what happened for a couple of days.”
Where John is traveling, there is relatively no cell phone coverage. There is no internet. There is no communication convenience for John to say, “Everything is okay.”
So, I woke up last night. A lot.
Needless to say, I was in constant prayer as a result.
Gratefully, I was comforted. I was conscious of the care, comfort and protection of my God for my husband throughout the long, long night.
The Lord’s Word blanketed me all evening.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
New International Version, Psalm 23: 1-4
Other words of the Lord came:
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
New International Version, 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
New International Version, Joshua 1: 9
As the Lord brought His word to my mind, I prayed over my husband, that he, too, would be enveloped with the comfort, solace, and care of His God.
My husband is experiencing a grand, faith-stretching adventure. What gives me the greatest assurance is that His God is with him throughout the journey.
John will lack nothing in his travels because God is there.
John has the guidance of His Heavenly Father.
John has nothing to fear as He trusts His God for whatever comes along the way.
John is acting upon the Lord’s command to be strong and courageous because His Lord is with him.
And for me?
I’ll be honest.
It’s not particularly easy being unaware of where John is and what is happening with him – if he is okay. However, the blessing of Scripture is that it offers me peace of mind in the midst of this uncertainty. All of the words that the Lord has given me inspire greater confidence that things will be okay.
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
New International Version, Romans 15:4
It’s so true.
God’s Word is available to provide consolation, comfort, encouragement and refreshment at all times and in all places. Scripture helps me keep on keeping on for today and for every day – even in times when I cannot see the way ahead and do not know where my husband is at this moment. The words of solace that my God gave me throughout the night helped me go back to sleep as well.
I won’t know for a couple of days where John is or what has happened. And I may have another night in which I awaken again and again because of my heart’s care and concern for my husband.
However, just like last night, I know I will not be alone. God’s word of hope which comforted me before can assist me again. My God sees our situation, knows our heart, and will be with John, my family and me. I have no doubt.
His word says:
Heather, have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with John wherever he goes.”
His Word says:
Heather, the Lord leads John beside quiet waters,
he refreshes John’s soul.
He guides John along the right paths
for his name’s sake John will fear no evil…
for God is with John;
His word says:
Heather, for your light and momentary troubles are achieving for you and John an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
What a tremendous solace to me!
Even though I do not know where my husband is, my God does! There is a glorious and awe-inspiring adventure happening for John – one that has eternal meaning and significance in the Kingdom of God!
I look forward to hearing all about it when John returns.
In the meantime, please pray for our family. Please pray that John is able to travel without obstacle or hindrance in order to reach his ministry destinations this week and has a glorious adventure with his God along the way!
Thanks so much, Friends!