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Thought: Waiting

"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:3,4

When we are in a period of waiting and uncertainty, it's easy to give way to discouragement. We need to remember the truth about what is really happening. God has not forgotten us. He's not surprised by our plans crumpling around us. He knows what He's doing. Our faith is being tried--and it's a trial that we can let produce patience and do a precious work in us.

I have been struck lately by how often the Lord has chosen to take time to accomplish His plans. He made the world in six days--He can accomplish things quite quickly--yet He often chooses to take time to accomplish His purposes, using that time to make His power known and to transform lives in amazing ways. To start a great nation, Abraham remained childless for years. To rescue the Israelites, Moses went into the desert for years, and then, instead of instantly leading the Israelites out of Egypt, the Lord took the time to do a series of miracles.

God's leading often doesn't make sense from a human perspective. But His ways are higher than ours--and He sees what we don't: eternity. Our time here is but a passing shadow, and "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21

Story: Where Are We Going?

"Just trust me and obey my directions. I'll guide you turn by turn." Those had been her father's words when they first set out on this special trip together.

At first, Jessie had been excited. She knew her father loved her, and she could hardly wait to see where he'd planned for them to go. In her mind, she kept imagining possible destinations.

Then, one by one, they had been passing the destinations she had in mind. As she passed each familiar intersection, she'd ask her father, "Are you sure we shouldn't turn here?" But he'd shake his head.

As one possible destination after another zoomed by, Jessie's mind instantly replaced it with another possible location and began racing with all the wonders in store for her there. Ah, we turned left on Maple. Maybe we're going to end up at Mary's house. We'll have so much fun together--that must be why Father had us pass by the store I'd hoped we would stop at and why he had us turn onto Maple, she reasoned...until they passed by Mary's house too.

To add to her discouragement, Jessie noticed as she passed Mary's house that many of her good friends were there. She also saw that another friend had stopped at one of the stores Jessie had longed to stop at. It seemed everyone else got to experience the places she dreamed about.

On and on they drove. Disappointment followed disappointment for Jessie as one after another of her hopes came to nothing. Sometimes her father clearly told her to bypass a road she wanted to travel; other times a roadblock or impassible road made it impossible to go the way she wanted, ruining all her plans.

Jessie kept driving, but as she continued her heart began to feel heavy. She knew deep down her father knew what he was doing, but she still felt unsettled. Was she just wasting her life driving around aimlessly?

"Father, can't you please tell me where we're going? I'll be fine with anywhere. Just tell me where," Jessie pleaded.

Jessie's father looked at her lovingly. "Jessie, do you trust me?"

Jessie nodded. She knew above all else that she could trust her father. "But have I misunderstood your directions?"

Jessie's father smiled. "Do you really think I'd let you go far the wrong way without correcting you? You can trust me to pull you back on track."

"But Joanne and Nadia ended up at Mary's house and-"

"And don't look at where others end up. They have their own challenges and temptations. Don't forget that I am here with you, leadng and guiding, and I love you perfectly. My dear daughter," Jessie's father added, "won't you just trust me to lead you where you need to go and start enjoying our time together in the car? " 

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

Homeschool Tip: Waiting Happily

- Cris Loop

Early this morning I woke up to find a dog sitting outside my deck door looking into my house. It startled me to see his content, expectant, happy countenance. And it puzzled me that his demeanor did not change when I walked toward the door to look at him more closely, nor when I walked back away from the door. I wondered, Why is this dog here? What is it waiting for? Was it lost? How can it be so happy and content? How and why had it come to this dead-end part of the deck--two stories above the ground?

This dog's sweet countenance got me to thinking about waiting on the Lord, not only without anxiety and fear, but with joyful expectation! This dog was waiting joyfully for me...and he didn't even have a clue who I was or that I could be trusted. How much more contentedly should we wait when we know we can trust the Lord!

This month, as you wait on the Lord for different aspects of your life or homeschool, I pray you will wait like the dog this morning--with joyful expectation. I can assure you God has the whole picture and your ultimate best interest in sight--your eternal interests. Join me in thanking Him that His mercies are new every morning.

Hymn/Poem: O God of Truth

- Anna L. Waring, 1850. Found in The Hymnal (The Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work: Philadelphia, 1895), number 723. You can listen to the hymn on Cyber Hymnal.

Father, I know that all my life
Is portioned out for me;
And the changes that are sure to come
I do not fear to see:
But I ask Thee for a present mind,
Intent on pleasing Thee.

I ask Thee for a thoughtful love,
Through constant watching wise,
To meet the glad with joyful smiles,
And to wipe the weeping eyes;
And a heart at leisure from itself
To soothe and sympathize.

I would not have the restless will
That hurries to and fro,
Seeking for some great thing to do,
Or secret thing to know;
I would be treated as a child,
And guided where I go.

Wherever in the world I am,
In whatsoe'er estate,
I have a fellowship with hearts
To keep and cultivate;
And a work of lowly love to do
For the Lord on whom I wait.

So I ask Thee for daily strength
To none that ask denied,
And a mind to blend with outward life,
While keeping at Thy side;
Content to fill a little space,
If Thou be glorified.

In a service which Thy will appoints
There are no bonds for me;
For my inmost heart is taught the truth
That makes Thy children free;
And a life of self renouncing love
Is a life of liberty.

Unless otherwise indicated, articles are written by Katherine Loop, (C) 2012. Where marked Cris Loop, articles written by Christina Loop, (C) 2012. Feel free to forward these e-mails in their entirety and to reprint/share articles by Katherine or Cris Loop within these e-mails (please include a link to our website when you do). Please contact us for information about reprinting articles written by people other than Katherine or Cris Loop so we can put you in contact with the appropriate person to ask for permission.

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Unless otherwise indicated and where marked KJV, Scripture is taken from the King James Version.