Feb 21

Moving and Removing

We are about to begin the final leg of our furlough itinerary. We are nearly done with packing our household and our suitcases; we depart Michigan early Friday morning to travel to Greenville, SC. We will be participating in a mission conference at our sending church, Morningside Baptist Church, over the weekend and then flying to Taiwan on Tuesday, February 26th.

I am still working to complete the class papers due for my recent course on The Theology and Practice of Prayer. The course has proven to be both strengthening to my intellectual understanding of Scriptural truth on this topic and spiritually reviving to me during our busy furlough schedule. For whatever reason, this ten-month furlough has been the busiest and most stressful ever. The biblical principles which I have been applying in my prayer and devotional life have been a major factor in keeping me sane!

One of the changes that I have implemented is beginning to use a prayer journal to record my spiritual experiences and walk with the Lord. Since I have such a short memory and attention span, this provides me with a permanent reminder of God’s dealings with me, to which I can refer back for encouragement and as a goad to keep me pressing forward in my spiritual life. I am enclosing below a recent prayer from my prayer journal:

A Missionary’s Furlough Prayer

O God of Abraham,
    Who led him safely through great changes of place, of time, and of circumstance,
    I praise You for your faithfulness to him and to us.
Our pilgrimage, like his, is also long and the way difficult;
    we grow weary
        in continual packing and unpacking of suitcases, automobiles, and houses,
        in long, monotonous trips and brief ministry encounters,
        in the relentless stress and strain of travel and moving and ministry
            that comes round like the endless surge of waves upon the seashore.
    Our only changeless constant is constant change.
But You, O Lord, are
    the Compass and Guide of our journeys,
    the Friend and Companion of our travels,
    the moving Rock,
        which follows us through this altering landscape.
Renew our strength;
Refresh our spirits;
Lead us to that heavenly city with foundations,
    which lies at the end of our road.
And teach us to find our rest, our home, our hope, and our help in You.

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