2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."
|Joplin, MO--God kept us just a few miles away. We visited a few days later.|
For years as a pastor's kid I have heard messages and personal 'word' (from my godly parents) about God's Divine Delays. Possibly, because I was a typical child who when I saw something I really wanted...having to wait for it felt like a major punishment. Do I hear an 'amen'?
As the years passed and my husband Brad and I dove into full time ministry, the Divine Delays took on a rather different meaning, but my response felt the same. Well, at time...for example; whenever the Lord would give us a revelation on a direction we were seeking for; waiting for it to transpire was not in my vocabulary! I was one to drive on, and get ahead of God. Oh, my heart was heading in the right direction-just not at the right time. In that, plenty of mistakes happened (some were life changing). But, I do serve a God that is amazingly patient and He allows the lessons of life to be FELT and LEARNED. Then and now He takes us all further on the road of life He planned for us.
The Lord opened a great door of opportunity for our family to use our vacation time to volunteer a week at The Voice of the Martyrs in Bartlesville, OK. We have read their monthly magazines for years during our family devotion times; learning about brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer horrible persecutions for the Kingdom of God. This week was just a small 'offering' we could give to help the church all over the world.
We live in IL, so our route took us through Springfield, MO; then Joplin on into Oklahoma. While we were stopped to eat (at Lambert's-yum) we noticed a tire on our van looked pretty bad. My 'even-tempered' husband was concerned and decided it would be good to get it looked at, and that was a good thing too, the tire was in serious shape. So, we had to wait awhile to get a new tire put on the van.
We finally got back on highway I 44 arriving close to Joplin, MO. Brad and I noticed the clouds were getting pretty dark. So, I flipped on the radio where station after station was telling everyone to take cover, a tornado had been seen on land. So, I texted a bunch of friends for them to pray. Not knowing the area we were at, and it was getting difficult to see,it felt as if we had no where to go! It was then a very good friend; Dave Stankus called us, he had his radar on and told us, "we needed to take cover NOW!" As I was talking to him, the wind was picking up our van a bit as debris was flying all around us. The Lord led us off an exit right to a convenient store (Kum-n-Go). As we all piled out of the van, my kids and I looked up and in the distance (just a couple miles) we saw a large tornado moving our way. We got inside the store and immediately their power went out. A state policeman ran inside and instructed us all to wait inside the store's cooler. He informed us that a large tornado was just a couple miles away. The store manager instructed that all the children go inside first, this separated us shortly from our girls. As we were in the cooler; kind hearted people allowed me to squeeze by and be with them. During that wait; God gave me so much peace and oddly enough-joy. There were people crying and some froze (little from the cooler a lot from fright). So, I just told people about the Lord, how serving Him is worth all we face and go through. I continued on and said, that He is not only an all powerful God, but an omnipresent God (He is everywhere). As we waited, we could hear the powerful winds blow over us and then the hail.
|Our visit to Joplin after the storm.|
|Our lives will NEVER be the same again!|
My goodness, when I think of the many 'Divine Delays' through-out history, I think of one Divine Delay we are blessed to learn from today. That is when God promised to Abraham that he would have a 'seed'...well, it turned out he had to wait until he was 100 years old and the seed came (the promise, in Christ hundreds of years later as well).
His time is about His perfect Will and plan for our lives (it's about HIM). When we all are in Heaven; the clarity will be amazing; we will see how all the bad tires and waiting, are (were) all worked out for GOOD & for the GLORY of God.