Director of Missions

“Wait for me”

Psalm 37:7 Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him

My sons Matthew, Isaac, and I set out to conquer a section of the Appalachian Trail. It was March and the bite of winter was still strong in the air. Our backpacks were carefully packed to see us through several days of intense hiking in mountainous weather. On this trip, I was feeling my age. I was 49 and no longer a spring chicken. I once was able to bound over these mountains almost breathlessly. We started off from the trail-head, and both my boys were gone in a flash. It seemed that gravity had no pull on them, and they ascended the mountain like Billy-goats. Whenever we stopped for a breather, I was the only one that was breathing hard. Before I could catch my breath, they were off again almost running up the mountain. Their forty-plus pound packs didn’t slow them in the least. The trail was icy and treacherous in places, and the creeks we forded were frozen solid. Our first day was only eight miles, the next thirteen miles, and the last day was a breeze at only five miles. Yet, after only a few minutes of following my sons, I realized we needed to have a talk. I stopped them, and we had a pow-wow. I was directing most of the conversation to Isaac because it was his first trip, and I had already had the talk with Matthew on a previous trip. Taking a break on some rocks, I told him that when he came to a trail junction to stop and wait for me. It was his first time on the trail, and exuberance can get you in trouble if you don’t know what you are doing. I told him the reason I wanted him to wait at all trail junctions was that I had the map and knew the direction we were going. If he didn’t wait at the trail junctions and chose the wrong direction to go I wouldn’t know it. By the time I would have gotten to the trail junction, he would be way ahead on the wrong trail and this would have spilt us up. I reiterated this to Matthew as well. It’s easier to get lost even on a well-marked trail if you don’t play by the rules of the trail. The rule here was Dad knows the way and you don’t, so wait for me so we don’t get separated. In the frigid temperatures of the North Carolina Mountains, it can get dangerous if you get lost. So, I would make it to each trail junction huffing and puffing, and Isaac and Matthew would be staring at me with an expression like, “what took you so long?” But wait they did. The second-day fog set in, and the winds began to howl and distort sound on the mountain. If you were any distance apart, it was hard to hear each other. This could have complicated things if they didn’t abide by the rule to wait for me. But wait they did. Each night we sat on our warm sleeping bags eating steaming hot rehydrated food with large grins on our faces. No one got lost because they waited. Even when they grew cold from standing still in the wind, they waited. Even when the call of the climb bid them press forward, they  waited. They waited for their Dad who knew the way back to the car and the way home. They waited.

LESSON: One of the most difficult things in life is to wait. The Lord tells us to wait on Him. This can be very difficult at times. We often want to run ahead of God because we think we know the way. We often run ahead because we think things will be fine, and there is no danger. We fail to wait because it is boring and no fun or it is just hard to stand still and think we are making any progress. How many times have we wandered off in the wrong direction because we didn’t wait on the Father’s leading? He knows the way, and His timing is perfect. Wait on the Lord. If you wait, you will be glad you did. 

Serving the King together, 

Eric