2013 has been a year of uncertainty and unknowns for our family. We have been seeking God’s will regarding full-time ministry, believing God is calling Kris (the dad/husband of our clan) into church work of some nature. For over a year now, we have been waiting for God’s direction to be made plain to us. We sometimes feel like we’re getting indicators of which way He is leading, but moments later we find ourselves back to “Start” without passing “Go” and without collecting two hundred dollars. We feel like God has started our sentence (the written kind, not the prison kind), but He hasn’t placed the period. In fact, He keeps adding lessons and truths for us to learn—parentheses within the sentence, if you will. It’s living in the parenthesis (waiting for the period) that is so humbling and exhausting.
And yet, we have seen God’s faithfulness and graciousness in amazing ways. Unexpected gift cards, random extra checks, more hours at work, unusual savings on items we need, and occasional orders are all evidence s of God’s care for us. We have experienced the peace of God as we have never before known. We are blessed by so many people stating they are praying for us, and knowing the effectual and fervent prayers of these righteous people will be answered (James 5:16b). It has been an incredible parenthesis in which to live.
Psalm 86:11, 12 keep coming to my mind: “Teach me Your way, O LORD: I will walk in Your truth. Unite my heart to fear Your name. I will praise You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and I will glorify Your name forevermore.” The NIV translates “Unite my heart to fear Your name” as “Give me an undivided heart that I may fear Your name.” Perhaps God has placed us in this parenthesis so we will have undivided hearts. We have been so intentional about determining His will and so reliant on His grace that we are not as easily distracted by other matters. According to this passage, the actions of walking in truth, uniting our hearts to God, and glorifying His name flow from our willingness to be taught God’s ways and fear His name.
If a parenthesis is what God must use to make my heart undivided in its reverence of Him and to keep me in His way, then I’ll live without a period until my last breath. As the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:7), I can be confident that my Savior knows exactly where to end this sentence. He will place the period in His perfect time. I “just” need to stay in His truth and fear Him. That sounds like a wise life sentence for all believers.