Delighting in Delays
Well, the time has come… tomorrow was the day that we held our return tickets that were supposed to carry us back to our home across the sea. We rallied the PRAYER WARRIORS- that’s YOU! we dug in with determination- and PRAYED, we kept putting one foot of faith in front of the other-and PRAYED SOME MORE…we continued to; exhaustingly pack, repack, shuffle, weigh, clean, and PRAYED-sometimes without ceasing…
And God Answered…(Scroll down if you are only looking for the direct answer but I hope you find it worth the read.)
*God gave us a loving community!
*He brought friends and family at just the right times to offer their help, encouragement, a prayer, a hug, a meal, and just their calming presence so that we didn’t have to do it or bear it alone.
*He gave us a loving family to fly or drive for many miles to be together for our last week and day together!
*He gave us messages, e-mails, texts from so many of you letting us know that we are NOT ALONE in this journey!
*He gave me, personally, pertinent and challenging Truths to meditate on in the book of Acts chapter 20, (verse 24)…
24 “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
This passage speaks about Paul wrapping up his final missionary journey and how it takes him through the stages of following by faith into and onto over 8 different boats/ships with stops, overnights, sometimes even longer. Lots of praying together and tears. For which we can absolutely identify. He gave my heart comfort and peace.
May I make myself clear, I (we) am/are NOT believing that God has taken Papua New Guinea away from us in any sort of permanence at this time nor do we feel in any way that He has failed us or let us down… It is more a confidence that He is the same God that can command these ‘mountains’ to move and that He can also say “NO” or “WAIT.”
As if His WORD wasn’t enough of a Blessing to my weary-self…
*..He ALSO gave us a SONG!
A Song that I had heard before and enjoyed, but never really paused to listen to before. In a moment of sheer exhaustion, I paused to PRAY and seek His Word and He gave me a SONG, https://youtu.be/fnJDccj0bQQ by Cece Wynans; God, I Believe For It.
Three different times God brought that song on the radio just when I was running around doing errands and going from place A to place B. I Don’t believe in Coincidences…Just God working behind the scenes…The final time, was when I was driving home for the night, absolutely depleted from another full day of last-minute errands, packing etc. With the time ticking away, I pulled over and just allowed Him to sing it over me. This time, the lyrics ‘ He has the final say’ popped out at me…AND I just opened my hands up and through tears, said, “Okay Lord, Your Will be done. I believe, but help me with my unbelief.”
I began to gain confidence as the tears came and just reflected back on an e-mail that a friend took the time to encourage us with. He said so eloquently,
“your prayers WILL BE ANSWERED!!! And the answer will be exactly what you NEED! Your ability to glorify God, through it, is just a matter of you recognizing that God’s Grace IS Sufficient for you and then taking pleasure in what He does or doesn’t give you! Jehovah Jireh, My Provider! His Grace IS Sufficient for me!” (J. Cordle)
Well, the time in the WORD, time with FRIENDS, time listening to His Truths and Time in PRAYER all lead up to a TIME OF PEACE! which prepared both of us for what came next…
(STOP! if you ae scrolling down, Here you go, the answer to the BIG QUESTION!)
*And then He answered…He said as far as we can tell, “Wait. For it is not yet your time to return to Papua New Guinea.”
Yep, Our approval papers did not come through before the close of the business offices in PNG before the end of the week. Therefore, we were advised to cancel our itinerary/tickets and wait 10 more days to see if maybe we get our approval during this extended time or perhaps wait a while longer and try again for July 27th???
Yep! You read correctly. Our PLAN A just got bumped to PLAN B. Remember, we didn’t allow ourselves to make a PLAN B.
*Please join us in praying for the 3 other families that did get their returns granted as they will be making their cross-continental trips beginning tomorrow from around the USA!
SO NOW WHAT?
We received the news, strangely we both felt such a calm and peace and carried on with the day as we had it previously mapped out, ending it with a special time of sweet fellowship with dear friends and family at the Christian school that has become so much a part of our family’s lives these past 2/3 years. Led by 2 Pastors, Mark Behr (North Athens Baptist Church) and Kevin Bennett (Waukeshma Community Church), surrounded by so many of our friends and loved ones, in a round of concert of Prayers, encouragement and sharing of Scripture! I don’t think we could have asked or imagined a better way to spend our last bit of time together.
Pastor Kevin challenged us to not use these 10 extra days to question the “Why?” but believed the Lord was prompting him to share that he believes perhaps it is for a time of “Selah.” The word that follows the lamenting or pouring out of the Psalmists before they continue on to finish their songs with reflecting back on WHO they KNOW GOD to be.
He used it as a reference for us taking this “Bonus” time, if you will, to “SELAH-Rest and Reflect, Rest and Delight in the Lord. Rest and Meditate upon His Word, Truths, Blessings, Character, Provisions…Through gracious donations we have been gifted with an opportunity to get away as a family/couple and to just take some time in these bonus days here in the USA to enjoy a moment of
So tomorrow, our original departure date, we are still going to get together for brunch with our family and close friends near Grand Rapids as previously planned. And then…
We will start planning a getaway for our family/us. Maybe BOTH! We will be 1 year shy of our 20th Wedding Anniversary and it has been soo rare to get an opportunity like this, so we will intentionally plan to get our time of SELAH together and as a family. SO MUCH TO PROCESS and PRAISE Him for!
We still have a few things to work out with the packing as it came to an unexpected halt and we just took the time to spend the day with Robyn’s brother and his family who had flown in from out of state to spend this last day with us, so we will finish that up to get it out of the way and then RETREAT.
NEXT… We continue to PRAY for God to OPEN the DOOR back up for us to return on July 27th with the next group waiting to also return!
Thank YOU for reading this far…Thank You for engaging in this journey with us too. Your investments in our lives we hope are bearing fruit. In God’s economy nothing is wasted unless we fail to see that He works behind the scenes throughout History in the worst circumstances and situations to SHINE in His way and for His Glory!
We would appreciate your prayers as the “Yo-Yoing” is tough on our heart strings, emotions, and for our kiddos too. Transitioning gets stuck in a limbo and can have impact not only emotionally but also physically with side-effects of living in a continual stressful state. We know this all too well. Lots of tears.
Our sweet Matthew said tonight…”Mom, I’m feeling strange inside. I looked at my watch and saw that tomorrow is the date we are supposed to be going back to PNG and now we’re not and it just feels weird in my tummy and my head.” I told him that I understood completely, because it feels so much like being in a “limbo, cloud- hazy fog” to try to put it into words… He said, “Yes. Exactly.” We appreciate your Continued Prayers
We Love You and we look forward to receiving the news that we are able to return to the country that He has imprinted on our hearts.
RESTING IN HIS GRIP,
Robyn and Levi- for the Lenz Family of 6
Michael, Daniel, Matthew, Krystiana