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Mission Devotional - December 9, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Opening Prayer: I call to you, Lord, from my quiet darkness. Show me your mercy and love. Let me see your face, hear your voice, touch the hem of your cloak. I want to love you, be with you, speak to you and simply stand in your presence. But I cannot make that happen. Pressing my eyes against my hands is not praying, and reading about your presence is not living in it.

But there is that moment in which you will come to me, as you did to your fearful disciples, and say, "Do not be afraid; it is I." Let that moment come soon, O Lord. And if you want to delay it, then make me patient. Amen. (A Cry for Mercy by Henri J. M. Nouwen)

Scripture: Psalm 37:7, James 5:7-8

Journal: What is the place of waiting in your own personal life with God? Where are you having to wait for the Lord? Where is he asking you to wait for him?

Reflection: Be still and wait patiently for the Lord… (Psalm 37:7)

God comes like the sun in the morning - when it is time.

We must assume an attitude of waiting, accepting the fact that we are creatures and not creator.

We must do this because it is not our right to do anything else: the initiative is God's, not ours. We are able to initiate nothing; we are able only to accept.

If God does not call, no calling takes place. If God does not come, there is no history! History is the coming of God to us, and the way in which we reply.

Only God created the heavens and the earth; only God can create history. We carry it out through our response, but the inspiration, the design, and the strength to carry it out come from him.

In short, he is what creates, and we creatures are in an act of becoming. (The God Who Comes by Carlo Carretto)

See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. (James 5:7-8)

Apparently waiting plays a significant role in our lives with God. Unfortunately, we are not good at it. We like to charge ahead. We like to make things happen. The problem is that the things that we can make happen are probably not the things God wants to have happen. So even when it is our desire to help God (as if he needed it), we, all too often, actually get in his way if we are not waiting patiently for him to tell us and to show us what he desires. Waiting, it seems, must always precede acting. Otherwise we are merely acting on our own behalf, rather than God's.

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Heath and Angela Many have been serving at Tenwek Hospital, a Christian mission hospital in rural Kenya, as medical missionaries in their respective fields (surgery and obstetrics/gynecology). Pray today for Heath who has taken on the role of program director for the PAACS Surgery Residency Program at Tenwek since returning in September. He is excited and honored to be able to play an integral role in the training program.

Hope Resource Center is a multi-faceted Christian ministry addressing such matters as sexual purity and health, unplanned pregnancy, post-abortion stress and abstinence education. Pray today for all the young women who will come to this ministry this month.

Closing Prayer: O Lord our God, be the initiator this day, and give us the grace and the courage to respond. Amen.