when God’s timing takes 18 years.

 

Most of you know that I spend a great deal of time in prison each week. Thankfully, I am able to come and go. Grin! Although I’ve been going to prison for almost five years, I still get asked the same question often. “Why do you go?” And, my answer is still the same after all this time: When I’m behind the fences, I have a front row seat to see God at work. Last week was yet another beautiful example and also a powerful lesson for me. Let me tell you about a woman named “I”.

When I first met “I” about three years ago, I was immediately taken by her genuine smile. It didn’t just spread across her mouth, but reached her eyes as well. And when I heard her sing in the chapel choir, the smile was in her voice, too. It’s certainly true in prison, but I think it’s true in the free world, too. Smiles like that only come from one place: a heart that loves Jesus.

Imagine my complete surprise several weeks later when “I” shared with me that she had been in prison for 15 years. And then she went on to tell me something else: She had faithfully written to her children every single week, but she had not once heard from them. Not once in 15 years. As a momma who thinks I need to hear from my boys at least every day, I couldn’t even fathom the ache her heart must have. Tears rolled down both our cheeks. She told me that although it was very hard, she continued to write every week and she still trusted God. We prayed together that day, and I have prayed for her and her children many times since.

Fast forward three years.

Still no letter. Still no phone call.

Until last Tuesday.

18 years of writing. 18 years of waiting. 18 years of praying. 18 years of trusting God. And finally, a letter from one of her children. Oh, how we wept with joy together!

And I left the fences last Tuesday thanking God once again for giving me a front row seat to watch Him at work. And thanking Him for reminding me that I am not to sit and wait, but to work while I wait… to continue to be faithful even when it feels like nothing is happening. And thanking God for I’s example of obedience. And thanking Him that we can trust His timing, even when it takes 18 years.

If you’re waiting on God…
If you’ve been waiting on God…
Keep working out your faith while you wait.

Pray more. Pray harder. Pray bigger. Pray believing.

Warrior on!

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself,
“The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
Lamentations 3:22-26

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