Years ago I was living in Madagascar and feeling the loneliness of being 11,000 miles from home in a place where I didn't really speak the language and was learning how to live bi-culturally. This time was a time that pre-dated cell phones, and email, and the internet. One day I received a letter from a friend from South Africa who was serving as a missionary in another country and in it she said,
"Tonight more than ever I longed to have my own car my own friends and a place to go to. I have so
much energy inside me right now I am capable of exploding...It's Sunday evening, the time is 10:30
p.m. and it is as light as it would be 3:00 p.m....This makes it impossible for me to sleep. I would
love to go out somewhere but I have no friends and no transport so - can you imagine how I am feeling?
Just give me a moment to pull myself together..."
As I read her words I understood her frustration. It is hard to not understand, to feel isolated, and sometimes we don't even have to go far away from home to feel that way. I shared her words and my concurrent frustrations via letter with a friend back in the states and a few weeks later I got a response from her that read:
I pray that you're not discouraged. Hold fast to Jesus Christ and His call for you. You have obeyed
with a willingness to go. You have taken the first step that many never take. Savor all that He has
in store, however small or simple it may seem at the time. After all, you're certainly not missing much
here at home -- it's still the Kingdom of God here, too. Many of the same struggles and victories. I
don't want to sound preachy; I want to offer you encouragement. Isn't it wonderful to know that our
God can be at your house and my house at the same time??! He is that big and He has the
sovereign plan. I miss you, but I know that I will get to see you soon. For right now you have a job to do.
Go for it!
She nailed! God is the God of ALL PEOPLE and ALL NATIONS and is in ALL PLACES. As I prepare for next Sunday's message from Acts 2:1-13 the followers of Christ are in a position where they will soon be done waiting and going out into the world. The will go to strange lands and strange places and speak languages they can't imagine, and before they leave something incredible happens to remind them that God is in control.
People from around the world are gathered in Jerusalem and just as Jesus promised the Holy Spirit comes on them and they begin to speak and people begin to hear in every language imaginable. God says, "Watch this. I am the God of all people and all tongues."
That reminder echoes for us today. No matter our circumstance of location, God is here or there! God calls to us. God reminds us.
Still the Kingdom
Night time brings the moments
when I long to run away
back to arms to hold me like a child,
far from all these struggles
and endless probing eyes,
back where lullabies sound soft and mild.
How I miss those moments,
feelings that I belonged,
times spent with family and friends.
If I could have one hour
of simple peace with them
I think that I could find my heart again.
But I hear stronger whispers
the urgent, marching call
to follow Him who has the sovereign plan,
and to leave far behind
the comfort I once knew
and rest all of my life within his hand,
So in each silent struggle
and through nights of loneliness
wanting quiet whispers for my ears
I will hold to truth,
the promise he has made
No matter where I am, He is here.
June 14, 1994
David A. Baillie