Have you ever been in sight of someone that you loved, someone that you hadn’t seen for a very long time, so close, and yet not close enough to reach out and touch them? Not close enough to put your arms around them and hold them. Perhaps in an airport, or at some crowded gathering where you had to greet every person between you and them before you could at last greet them wholeheartedly with a smile and hug and an “I love you, I’m so glad to finally see you”. Do you remember the anticipation? The frustration? That burning desire to run through the crowd until you reached them?
That is how I feel tonight. Within view is not just someone I love, but 143,000,000 someones. On the other side of the crowded room is Nepal and its need for trained house-parents and teachers, Kenya and its need for teachers, Central Asia and a much needed girls’ dorm, Burkina Faso and the buildings needed for a school, Uganda, Russia, Fatherless children hidden in American towns by a society that pretends they do not exist, that throws them into a system and forgets about them. I see them all, with burdens in their hearts and tears upon their cheeks, waiting for the gospel, waiting for laborers. My heart cries, “Here am I, send me!” But in between is the crowded room.
“Patience is a virtue.”, Dennis Kutsov always used to tell me on late nights in the office in Moscow when things were topsy-turvy all around. It used to drive me nuts, because I KNEW he was right. But God has something more to say about patience than even that. God says that it has a work and that it is a perfect work, in fact it is a work of perfecting. We must LET her have her perfect work. How often I feel like saying, “Alright, Patience, I will let you have your perfect work, but could you please hurry up!” But to do so is to forget that the result of her work is that we might be “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”
On the other side of the crowded room are a 143,000,000 souls, souls whose live are in danger of being cut short by the very nature of their fatherless state, souls that may never reach adulthood – but I must wade through the crowd to reach them. May I remember that each thing that crowds the path is part of Patience’s work. In it will be some wisdom, some insight to guide to the next point. But may the passion, the anticipation, even the frustration, of reaching the other side never be lost!
Please pray with me! Pray that the Lord will raise up laborers!, that materials would be prepared when the time comes to train them, and for all the aspects of this ministry, the needs, that are part of the crowd between here and the other side. Please pray that Patience would have her perfect work.