Waiting for the Fall
By Heather Allen –
As we prep our fall schedule I am reminded that life is swift as a current. I relish the last scents of summer as they float on the cooling breeze. New seasons somehow hold all the possibility for change and growth. This is an opportunity to glance over my shoulder, pausing to bless His name for all He has done. And although busy I will indulge the urge to sit longer recounting His ways.
Tonight I balanced the story of Jonah on my knee while scratching a small itchy back. My son, like many a child, is drawn to this story. And as I read I find myself hanging on each word. I close the book, remembering a time when the end of Jonah’s story was my story. God is enduring, if there is a truth He wants me to learn, He will teach me in multiple ways.
Years ago my hubby and I were part of a ministry that ended in a sad, hard way. I was disillusioned. I had intently worked to come out of the mess clean, and I was angry that things were ending the way they were. I believed there should be some consequences for the bad things that had gone down. Somebody needed a good hard spanking and I wanted to watch the smack down.
I looked for justice but ran head long into conviction. It started with the book of Jonah. I get Jonah. The people of Nineveh were evil and he thought there should be consequences. God wanted to offer forgiveness instead and Jonah was pretty mad about it. So he sat waiting and watching and hoping that Nineveh would still pay.
God laid that example in front of me. But I was too focused on how we might be blessed for doing right and really did not want to face my pride. So one evening, He led me to Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV). This is a pretty scary passage: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity”.
I dropped down on my face, a holy fear coursed through my body. I laid there for what felt like hours, and in the stillness that lingered, I knew. I was to long for salvation for those who had wounded me the way I longed for my own. It was time to pray for grace and mercy for someone else. No more sitting in the hot wind above Nineveh watching eagerly for destruction.
The years have sped along, and I still pray for those involved. The anger and hurt are gone. God alone knows tomorrow, but I will endeavor to live it free from bitterness. I breathe easier knowing my assignment here does not involve being my own defense. I step in time with Him, knowing my back and my heart are covered.