Friday, February 09, 2007

Straightened Out

Since the last post, God, in a most gracious way, brought heartfelt conviction over my complaining and impatient, irritable spirit regarding the "delayed" arrival of Baby Almengor #3. He reminded me that it is a privilege and a gift from Him that I am even able to bear children and then, also to carry them to term (and past if necessary). He reminded me that His timing is perfect timing, and when I complain about going past my due date, I am really being foolish, thinking that I know better than Him regarding what's best for me and my family.

I read this excerpt from a book we have entitled "On This Day" by Robert J. Morgan. It is a book of 365 stories about saints, martyrs, and heroes, one story for each day of the calendar year. This was the story on Feb. 8th, my "official" due date:

Squalls and Stalls
Just when the apostle Paul intended a Spain-ward thrust of the gospel to evangelize Western Europe, he was detained in Jerusalem, then imprisoned two years in Caesarea. Finally appealing to the imperial court, he was hustled aboard ship for Rome. But a typhoon besieged the vessel; it sunk and Paul swam ashore--only to be bitten by a viper. Thus he found himself stranded on the island of Malta for three months.

But careful readers of Acts 27 and 28 are always impressed with Paul's self-possession. He kept his head above water even when his ship was going down. He knew how to remain even-tempered, though all the elements of frustration were at hand. Paul's missionary dreams were thwarted. He was imprisoned when he craved freedom and forced into inactivity when he desired action. He was eager to reach Rome, but the winds blew against him. He was a man of progress, making no headway. Wanting to redeem the time, he was beached on an obscure island.

He was stalled.

In due time the sea lanes reopened for the spring, and on February 8, 60, Paul boarded ship for the remainder of the trip to Rome. As for being frustrated, there's no sign of it. Paul's life and ministry were so entrusted to the Lord that he took everything that befell him, both squalls and stalls, as from God. Experience had taught him to trust in the Lord's providence and to lean on the Lord's promises. During the height of the earlier tempests, he had summarized his philosophy for the terrified sailors: "I belong to God, and I worship him...Cheer up ! I am sure that God will do exactly what he proimsed" (Acts 27:23-25).

It was not in due time--but in divine time--that Paul reached Rome. His nerves held steady in the storm. His spirit remained patient in delay.
He knew how to wait on his God.

And so is my prayer..that I would learn to hold steady in the storm, remain patient in delay and learn how to wait upon an all-wise, gracious God whose timing is always perfect.

Thank you all, as always, for your gracious, encouraging words and even moreso, your prayers on our behalf!!


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Anonymous said...

God is in control

Anonymous said...

While I cannot prepare the very good gift for you as your new friend and commenter "jiyyufo" has, I will let you know that you are the best. You're doing great and I never took you as complaining. You were honest. I understand what you are saying and I'm glad that you are now encouraged. We are still praying!

Anonymous said...

I think the best encouragement, as least the ones that truly pierce our heart, are the ones God Himself gives to us. We prayed, and God encouraged. That is truly lifeful. Still praying for the day...Love, G.

peg said...

what an excellent, biblical perspective! how my days would flow and be filled with restful joy if I could keep the perspective Paul had!!
So glad you're encouraged by our gracious God and am blessed by your example.
love you!

Anonymous said...

Conviction, like parting, "is such sweet sorrow." I don't hear a hint of defending yourself in the name of transparency, but rather a sincere apology to the Lord for complaining. It's so easy to complain it can become habitual, I know from experience. You're so right about the privilege to bear children and carry to full term. I did way less complaining after losing two in a row, and even when I complained about Feb 14th being the only day I could be induced at the very busy hospital, I absolutley love having my littles sweetheart fall on the day that my dad has always made so special. God changed my perspective really fast, and I'd be disappointed now had Joel not been born on this special day.