Lessons from Disappointment

So I thought that I would be holding my third child in my hands by now. I’m not. I get on a plane to leave for South Africa in six hours.

I wanted to have this child on Sunday. 10-10-10, what a great birthday! We had a wonderful day, climaxing with a young adult house warming…but no child.

Eunsil had strong contractions on Tuesday night, so I was sure that we’d have the baby on Wednesday.  Her back ached.  Her contractions were regular.  The doctor told us we could come in to the hospital if we wanted.  We went to prayer meeting instead.  The contractions subsided.

Same thing on Wednesday night.  Contractions at night.   They came and went.  She had a scheduled check up with the doctor the following morning, on Thursday.  She got checked, and the doctor said that she was not having the baby anytime soon.

Disappointment.  Deep disappointment.  We had been praying for months now that the baby would be out before I went to South Africa.  It didn’t.  The flood of emotions from months of waiting, praying, watching, hoping for this baby climaxed in this frustration.

I brought my frustrations before the Lord.  I cried out to Him.  He reminded me of these verses:

Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

The disciples in this passage were impatient.  They wanted Jesus to restore the kingdom to Israel “at this time.”  However Jesus wisely responded, “It is not for you know the times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.”  Times and seasons are in His hands.  He knows what He is doing, and His timing is perfect.

As I reflected on this, the Lord gently reminded me that He holds my times and seasons also.  The Lord drew me into His presence, a place of rest, a place of joy.  I cast all my cares on Him, because He cared for me.  And slowly the peace that passes all understanding began to flood into my heart again.  I realized and repented that I had been overly focused upon the timing and birth of this child.  My prayers had been seeking His hand, not His face.  I prayed with my wife, and the Lord drew us both in that sweet presence and gave us peace.

“But you will receive power…and you will be my witnesses.”  Instead of an obsession with the times and seasons, the disciples were to witness in the power of the Holy Spirit.  As I reflected on the past week, I am so grateful for the opportunities that the Lord has granted me to witness in the power of the Holy Spirit.  As I taught my class on Acts on Tuesday evening, I sensed a special release of His power and joy.  I had met with a new Christian on Wednesday morning for follow-up and my heart rejoiced at the healing the Lord had begun in his heart and in his family.  I did not think that I could go to Wednesday prayer meeting because of Eunsil’s contractions, but I did and was overwhelmed with the love and support from those who attended on that evening.

I still do not know when this baby will come, and I depart to South Africa with somewhat of a heavy heart.  Nevertheless our hearts are at peace, because the Father has appointed the times and seasons.  I will be faithful to be His witness;  He will be faithful for His purposes.  My cell phone will be on;  now my prayer is that the Lord would bring this child upon my return on October 26!!

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One Response to Lessons from Disappointment

  1. Martha says:

    Mitch! I am so encouraged by your (and Eunsil’s) wisdom in facing what is an uncertain, exciting, and disappointing outcome into a great lesson in faith and seeking the Lord’s faith. I’m reading a book called Plan B about this exactly. I was reminded that God is in EVERYTHING and when things seem out of our control, HE is in control… I’ll be praying for your family in these coming days!

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