The other day I was thinking back to the year 2000 and I commented to my husband, "Do you remember how ten years ago I used to lie in the hammock all summer and read books?" He chuckled and nodded, sharing the memory.
Life in the summer was lazy back then. Of course, in the year 2000 I also packed only 300 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child. So I guess that's what you get when you spend the summer reading in the backyard.
Now, ten years later, our goal is to pack 12,000 boxes and I spend my days very differently. I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss those lazy days but on the other hand there's a lot more meaning to even the mundane sorting and hauling I do now.
I'm amazed at how quickly my emotions can cycle in the midst of these days from high to low, from absolute trust in God's provision to feeling that I'm all alone in all of this.
When I think of the victories of the past, I'm confident that our faithful God will provide all our needs and that I'll come to the worship service on Sunday, September 26th--the day after our giant Operation Christmas Child packing party--with shouts of praise.
But in the meantime I struggle with loneliness in making decisions. Today I've been trying to write up some copy for radio advertising for the packing party and I'm filled with doubts. I don't even know what hours to set for the day of the event. Grace Church is hosting the party but I don't really have a committee to help me there--at least not yet. I know that I'm supposed to be the one who establishes that (insert big sigh here).
But my Operation Christmas Child Northwestern PA Area Team isn't really in charge of the packing party either. I don't feel like I have anyone to come alongside me and help with the organization. I approached two people but neither of them were willing and/or able.
So yesterday my regular Bible reading led me to I Kings 19 where I read the story of God's provision for Elijah when he was depressed following his great victory. An angel tended to Elijah and made sure he was fed and rested. And then God showed Himself to Elijah in a gentle whisper so Elijah would understand that God was with him even when it wasn't so evident.
God was there WITH Elijah in the cave. And then comes my favorite part. In I Kings 19:15-21 God gave Elijah very specific directions of exactly where to go and exactly who to anoint to give him help and protection. God had a plan in place and He made it so, so clear. And then Elisha stepped up to be an amazing apprentice for Elijah. Elisha was so committed he burned all his tools so he couldn't go back to his past occupation. I want that person on my team.
Oh, man, do I want God to give me a plan like that. I'm going to keep listening for His whispers and waiting on His plan and trusting that He'll provide the help I need.
And I'm waiting expectantly to see what 2020 will be like for me if, as we used to say, "the Lord tarries".