By Alison McLennan
On October 31, 2009, I stepped into our local FedEx office and handed the clerk five and a half months of eagerness, determination, and hope wrapped up in a two-inch-thick folder. Six weeks later, when my computer screen confirmed that folder’s arrival in Kigali, Rwanda, I wanted to climb up on the roof and scream to the world that the McLennans were finally DTR.
That was a mountaintop moment. “Gotcha Day” will be another. But in between these mountains lies a deep valley known as Waiting, and you can’t move from one peak to another without passing that way.
Waiting is a place of diverse terrain, sometimes dark and despairing, other times beautiful and serene. From a distance the valley appears calm, even stagnant. But all who travel there will tell you that Waiting is a battleground, and the enemy’s name is Deceit.
Deceit whispers many lies in the ears of travelers, some of which are cleverly disguised to sound like wisdom, hope, or noble conviction. The key to a successful journey is recognizing those lies for what they are, and listening for Truth’s response.
Following is a partial transcript of this traveler’s ongoing battle with Deceit in the Valley of Waiting:
1. “Harmless Distraction,” a.k.a. Wasting Time
Deceit whispers: Waiting doesn’t have to be so hard. Distract yourself—watch more television, keep your calendar full, make lots of plans. Time will pass more quickly if you’re too busy to think.
Truth responds: “…suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope…” (Romans 5:3b-4). There is pain in Waiting, but also great reward. Instead of burying yourself in distraction, choose to be still. Allow hours of stillness to open your eyes to hidden stains of pride in your thought life, your fear of surrender, lack of faith, and desire for praise from others. Choose stillness, and you will be better able to discern the voice of Him who leads you.