From the Archives
Exactly four years ago today, I published this short piece. Today, I remember it with such intense fondness. Each women played such a strategic part in making this event happen. I am forever grateful for their friendship and loving support. The special times we had are a treasure-house I return to often.
The Gathering Delegation
A small gathering of women, who I lovingly called, “The Gathering Delegation,” joined me in hosting “The Gathering 2010,” an event designed to increase awareness and raise funds for two key organizations fighting the scourge of sex trafficking in Thailand: Step Ahead Med and Night Light International. The entire event was a stellar example of the power of women gathering to empower other women. I thought it would become my life’s work…yet there have been obstacles and hindrances along the way. There always are when God is orchestrating a movement. As recorded over and over again in Biblical history, God’s timing is not ours. So often after a great event, he takes his children into the waiting room. Why? Because he has more work to do. With God, it’s all about timing and character preparation and strategic movement.
In light of this, may the words of this archived piece be relevant for you today. If you find yourself in that waiting room we’ve been talking about, take heart. God’s timing is perfect. Join me as I wait. I know it’s hard. Believe me, I know. BUT, when we wait together and encourage one another, it is so much easier. Women of faith….will you share your encouragement today? We are all waiting for it!
Women of Faith
After a particularly challenging day, I went to bed with a heavy heart. Waking up restless, the next morning, I turned to the annals of Oswald Chambers for a word. Once again, he didn’t fail. He writes, “At critical moments it is necessary to ask guidance, but it ought to be unnecessary to be saying always, ‘O Lord, direct me here, and there.’ Of course He will! If our common sense decisions are NOT His order, He will press through them and check; then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.”
Ahhh, the direction of His presence. Savor those words for a few seconds. Taste and see that these words are good (Psalm 34:8 ESV). If there is one thing I have learned through the years it is that I don’t want to be anywhere without HIS PRESENCE. Paul affirms this truth, over and over, in his writings. Last night, before I went to bed, Candace came downstairs with a beautiful portion of scripture that she wanted to read to me:
“I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you,if the Lord permits. But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. Solet no one despise him.Help him on his way in peace, that he may return to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers” (1 Corinthians 16:5-11, ESV).
At first this portion of Paul’s writing peaked Candace’s interest because of the header, “Plans for Travel.” Her wanderlust spirit rises anytime the word “travel” comes up (smile), but as she read it aloud to me, we both were in awe of the layers of meaning. For today, I just want to draw attention to verse 9, “for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.” So often, we pray for opportunities. Opportunity defined, meaning, “a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something.” I know I have prayed this a thousand, if not a million, times. What I love about Paul’s words, though, is that he doesn’t see just an opportunity—just a set of circumstances where it will be possible for him to “do something”— he sees a wide door FOR effective work. Wow. This is one of those moments where my prayer life will change. My perspective will change. My schedule will change. I don’t know how, but I know it will. I want more than opportunities to do something. I want effective work.
In 11 days, men and women from all over Hampton Roads and beyond, will be gathering to learn more about the plight of human trafficking, with specific attention being given to how this scourge is effecting women and children in Thailand. After months of planning, praying, and preparing, the day is finally on the horizon. In my life, this is a wide door FOR effective work.
Perhaps you find yourself at a critical moment where you need guidance. Maybe you are crying out for a wide door FOR effective work. A year ago, I was doing that exact thing. Hungry for more of God and more of His Spirit, I cried out. Day by day, I waited. Little by little, His plan unfolded. In the words of Oswald, “We must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.”
“Help us, Lord, to be quiet.
Help us to wait for the direction of your presence.
For, in your presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).
In Jesus’ name, amen.”