Mission Devotional - July 22, 2016

Opening Prayer: O gracious and Holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you, and a life to proclaim you; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. - Saint Benedict

Scripture: Isaiah 30:18

Journal: How does it make you feel that God waits (rises or longs) to be gracious to you?

Reflection: There are a lot of places in Scripture, I am learning, that encourage us to wait for the Lord. Thank you Andrew Murray. And I am trying to discover exactly what that means and what it looks like in the life of a very ordinary man. One thing I am coming to see more and more is that I have always thought of waiting for God as something to do, when, in fact, waiting for God is a way to be. "This blessed waiting," writes Andrew Murray, "must and can be the very breath of our life - a continuous resting in God's presence and his love, an unceasing yielding of ourselves for him to perfect his work in us."

But here, in Isaiah 30, the idea of waiting takes a delightful turn. Here, instead of us waiting for God, we have a beautiful picture of God waiting for us. A picture of God waiting, even longing (as the NIV translates it), to be gracious to us. A picture of a God that is so ready to pour out his grace and his love and his compassion on us, that he can hardly contain himself - if only we would turn to him and receive it. A God who is waiting for us to wait for him.

O my children, if only you would turn your gaze and your heart to me. If only you would lay the head of your soul on the heart of Love and wait for all that Love yearns to bestow. Then you would know me the way I long to be known. And then you would know yourselves as I know you. O my Beloved, wait for me.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Leoma Gilley works for Wycliffe Bible Translators and is responsible for developing university-level, accredited training in linguistics, literacy, Bible translation, Scripture use, anthropology and language assessment (survey) to people across Africa. She is serving as the Anglophone / Lusophone Regional Training Director. Pray today for Leoma as she works towards handing her job over to a new staff person later this year.

Bridges International serves the needs of international students adjusting to living and studying at the University of Tennessee. Pray today for the international students on campus that they may understand the love of Jesus wherever they are located during these summer months.

Closing Prayer: We wait for you, O Lord, and in you we put our hope.