Our family, since mid-2015, has been looking forward to the day when we find out when we can leave for South East Asia. We know God has called us to work there. But for most of this time, we haven’t known when this will happen, we just hoped it would be soon.
Waiting for something that you are looking forward to, can be hard and frustrating. At times, it was confusing, as we didn’t know why it was taking longer to get there than we had thought it would. But as time passed, we have been able to look back over this time and reflect on what has happened. So, what have we learned from over a year of waiting?
Firstly, we have learnt to completely trust God’s timing. Many of us say we trust God, that we know he knows best, but there are times when this can be tested. When going to South East Asia didn’t happen when we thought it would, at first we were confused, we didn’t know why. So then it meant that we really had to trust God. To completely rely on him. His timing truly will be for the best. God will make things happen right when they need to. He is never too early, never too late. And, as time has gone on, we have seen clear reasons why it was good that we weren’t in South East Asia when we thought we should have been.
Not only was it good we weren’t there yet, but, this time of waiting has not been wasted. Waiting for something is not a time to sit on your hands and wait for the clock to tick over. We can use this time to prepare for what is ahead. Our family has been trying to prepare by learning what we can about the country we are going to and about cross-cultural work, and we have started listening to and learning some basic language.
God also has used our time of waiting to grow us. He has not wasted our time while we wait. Firstly, he has grown us closer to him. We have been able to continue to read our bibles, to pray, and to attend church where we learn more about him and worship him. We have also more regularly been putting on worship music at home and worshipping him there. And we have been watching some Christian speakers online. These things will be helpful for us to continue to do once we are overseas, as when we go to church it will be in the local language and we won’t initially understand everything. So being able to connect with God in our own home too will be important. We have learnt more about God and the ways he works in the world. We have had to depend on him, and as we have trusted him, this brings us closer to him.
God has also been growing our relationships with people in New Zealand. Our support team of people who will pray for us and support us has been growing, and we have had more time to travel around New Zealand and meet with them. Over 2016 we have been to places from Invercargill to Whangarei, and as we have travelled, we have enjoyed meeting and getting to know the people behind the names and churches that we are in contact with. These people have greatly encouraged us.
We have also been able to grow our relationship with our Tranzsend teammates. This year we have had regular Skype meetings with the other couples that we will be working with, so that even though we are not there yet, we have still been able to meet with them and discuss what is happening there.
Another way in which God has not wasted this time, is that he has used us while we are still in Timaru. In May, Josh was told by the company he worked for that they had no more work for him. We didn’t worry, because we knew God has always looked after us, and he wouldn’t stop now. So, I asked the principal of the school that Luke goes to if I could do some relieving teaching, and she offered me full time work! She was needing another teacher, and was excited that God had answered her prayer by providing me. We could never have planned for Josh to lose his job so that I would get a teaching job, but God walked before us and not only provided a job to give income, but provided a way for me to get more experience in teaching before we go. And, this was not only for our benefit, but my availability answered a need they had at the school, and through this work God used me to help some of the students and teachers at the school. So while God has called us to South East Asia, he has not waited until then to use us.
I hope this has encouraged you that in whatever season you are in, God is not wasting any time. He is with you, and he wants to use you where you are now. And if you are looking forward to something that God has called you to in the future, remember to trust his timing and know that things will happen right when they need to.