Behind a frowning Providence

1 Mar

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It’s such a wonderful thing to go out in #faith on #God’smission and witness first hand the ways in which he provides for you. Previous to my calling I have read numerous books by #Missionaries of how they did nothing but pray and God provided for all their needs. Naturally this was exactly what I presumed would happen to me so I spent hours praying for help, did nothing in particular to promote the service except through word of mouth, and people came in their numbers.

After realising that God was calling me to care for the #lonely, the #depressed and #isolated it was then that the need for premises  arose. With no idea of how to go about starting an organisation God sent along people who had the skills and knowledge to direct me in the right way to go. After securing Charity status the Organisation was set up and we were on our way.

After experiencing blessings upon blessings our situation then changed dramatically. People got well and moved on, others emigrated to their countries of origin. Funds ceased from coming our way, bills pilled up as our situation worsened with less people in attendance.

According to what I’ve been told this should not be happening  unless I have strayed from God. I Knew that I was #praying, seeking #God’sguidance, and #servinghim as much as I could. I sought God for advice on how to continue meet the needs of those individuals in our care.

Waiting on God can be quite exhausting physically. We prayed and fasted – nothing happened. Every avenue we tried failed. and it seemed that God himsely had abandon us. We were waiting on God to answer our  prayers and  remove barriers, obstacles, and mountains so that we could see answers to our prayers.

For us waiting meant crying out for strength to cope in the struggles faced, for the help and support needed to carry out the task  and for financial support. At this time we were left with only six people meeting on a daily basis and not enough funds to pay our way. Yet, in all this struggle I clearly heard God saying: “keep the door open if it’s only one person attending”. I replied: “God that person will be very expensive to keep.”

I never expected to wait on God and in so doing have to experience #suffering, feeling broken, #abandoned, isolated, ashamed, loss and #unlovedbyGod. However amid the feelings of #abandonment and #brokenness I always  knew that God was near and close at hand.

In obedience we decided to organise a jumble sale event. We publicised the event as much as we could even in other areas outside our district. We felt certain that people would turn up, but on the evening to our utter dismay only two people came. I was disappointed and #heartbroken. I could not understand what was happening to us. I felt very much ashamed as I had re-assured everyone that we would raise a substantial amount of funds on the day.

The outcome made me very emotional. I was broken and wept openly before the volunteers that evening. I did not care who was there. As far as I was concerned I was speaking to my heavenly father and if any one wanted to listen in on the conversation that was okay with me. So I wept and poured out my heart to God openly and  unashamedly. I told him of the frustrations, the hardships, the workload, the time and effort it took to organise the event and then failing to make it a success. I told him how disappointed I was and wondered whether he cared or even had compassion for me. I wept so much that at times I gasped for breath and thought I’d suffocate in so doing.

We had tried everything, now we’d come to a dead end. We could do no more, and then in that time of utter #lossness and #hopelessness God turned up. Suddenly I felt his presence as he comforted me. I became overwhelmed in his love as he wrapped me tenderly to his heart. The experience  made me  rejoice as I’ve never done before. I was singing, dancing, and laughing all at one. It was as though God has taken away my pain and #reassuring me of #hispromises and filling me with #joy. I heard him saying:

I do understand. I too feel your pain but all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8: 28)

The overwhelming love that I felt was also poured out on the other sisters who joined me in singing and  rejoicing. All at once we found ourselves going up the stairs to the little Chapel where Thomas was heard playing the keyboard and we all joined in praise and worship to God.

In that moment of frustration I was reassured that all is not lost that God was very present in our situation. That suffering hardships brings us closer to understanding the ways of God. It enables us to trust him in the darkness of our lives and to keep a quiet heart.  It gives us a new concept of who is in charge of all our situations, and that he is able to get us through in his time, and he did so miraculously for us.

The Hymn writer William Cowper wrote: Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust him for his grace: behind a frowning providence he hides a smiling face.

We may not always understand why things happen as they do, nevertheless I’ve learnt that nothing can stop God’s constant presence with us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (Rom 8: 35,37).

Yes we have gone through much trials and tribulations but my mission has  survived  I  will tell my story truthfully of a loving Father who cares, sustains and provides for his Children. He does so in ways they may not always understand. All we need to do is trust him for his grace and favour. Blessed be his holy name.

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