Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A TIME... for every purpose...

And the time for going back home to the United States had come. Changes in my husband’s job…would have us to leave this land that had become so much a part of our hearts and lives.

When we were first making preparations to leave the U.S. I remember looking around the town I lived in and thinking…

I’ll never see this place again…my home church…the familiar scenery…and the faces I loved.

When we made our decision to go to Switzerland, it was for a permanent life there in our desire to serve the LORD. Little did we know, that in his will… it may be for just a TIME.

I have learned from this to take each day with the LORD. Take each day in service to him. Yielding to his will and his timing and his place.

There is nothing more peaceful to a Christian than to be in the PLACE that God’s wants you to be, doing what GOD desires of you and at the right TIME.

As Paul states in the book of Philippians an exhortation to be content..

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

I Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

With patience in well doing…God can work in you and through you to perform a fruitful work that you can find contentment in ...no matter where you are. It is a matter of yielding your will to His.

It might be in very small areas of your life as well. He might be working in your own life…to perfect a growth you need spiritually. Dear Christian take it and let Him have his way with you. TIME is His and we benefit from the purpose he sets forth in our lives to accomplish a good work.

Many hearts had touched our lives living in Switzerland. Oh that some of those would trust the LORD Jesus as their Saviour. We could only pray now that our life had some impact on them and that seed had been sown and fruition come forth.

I called Kathryn to tell her the news. She was devastated that our family was leaving. She would try to visit as much as possible before our departure.

Now saved, she was seeing the hand of the LORD in timing… and confirmation again that a blessed work had been accomplished. The salvation of her own precious soul.

In my journal I have written:

"We will soon leave Switzerland. I’m looking forward to being with our brethren back home…our Christian family. I pray that during this past two years the LORD has been able to prefect that which he desired of me. I will leave behind two years of my life that will be more memorable to me than any in my life. I will also leave lost souls for whom my heart desires salvation. The Lord did indeed purpose a work here and now our time to depart has arrived.

I hold dear the life of my precious son Stephen and the memories. One never forgets the loss, but Stephen gave me a closeness to my LORD that I now cherish. I pray to always walk daily by my Saviours side."

We went to visit many of the acquaintances we had met in the two years to say our good byes. Jack and Anne Marie had us over for dinner one last time. We cried, we rejoiced and we thanked the Lord in prayer together.

People from the village came by our home to hug us and leave gifts for the children. It was so very emotional and how grateful to know that we had touched their hearts. I knew seeds must have been planted, by the tenderness of their good byes.

As we loaded up our van with suitcases, Claudine’s husband and family stood by helping…tears in everyone’s eyes. Claudine could not understand why we were leaving. My heart ached…I didn’t know how to explain GOD’s will over ours.

“It was just time, Claudine”

It was difficult to express our thankfulness for all she had done for us. I don’t think she could comprehend the impact she had on our lives…and how we hoped our lives had just the same on hers.

She promised to keep flowers on Stephen's gravesite.

It was just as hard waving good bye to them as it was leaving our friends in the U.S.
Strange…the tightness of those heartstrings. People that mean so much to us.
Memories that give such joy…and impressions that remain all through our lives.

If this has happened to us….it surely has happened to them.

Our hearts knit by a common bond… friendship.

Oh how the friendship means so much more in Christ. Kathryn met us at the airport and truly both of us knew…we were sisters now…we had a bond that would last forever…truly forever in our eternal bond with Christ Jesus ..by faith.

How hard it was to say goodbye…

It was like seeing a small bud of a rose plant…hoping it would one day bloom into it’s full beauty.

We encouraged her to be faithful, to trust and to wait patiently on the work of the LORD in her life and her boyfriend’s.

We prayed together, hugged and parted with hope of a continued work in all our lives to God’s glory and praise.

And as if then a hymn had been sung:

Meet Me There

On that happy golden shore, Where the faithful part no more,

When the storms of life are o’er, Meet me there,

Where the night dissolves away into pure and perfect day,

I am going home to stay- Meet me there.

Meet me there, Meet me there,

Where the tree of life is blooming, meet me there;

When the storms of life are o’er, On that happy golden shore,

Where the faithful part no more…Meet me there.

Where the harps of angels sing, And the blest forever sing,

In the palace of the King, Meet me there.

Where in sweet communion blend, Heart with heart and friend with friend...

In a world that ne’er shall end…

Meet me there.

Henrietta E. Blair 19th century William J. Kirkpatrick 1838-1921


Pam--in Jerusalem said...

Once again, an excellent post!
I love where you remind us to "take each day with the LORD". That's such a good lesson. We (and I mean ME) tend to worry about the future or even, on the positive side, make elaborate plans... when what we need to do is take each day as it comes and see what the LORD has for us.

I certainly know how you felt when it came time to leave. Bittersweet. You know the Lord has you moving on for a reason, and you can rest, satisfied in his perfect will... but you will miss these people that have become such a part of your life. The song you chose is perfect for this!!

HOPE said...

Thanks Pam.... each day we should say..If the LORD wills we will do this or that! amen...

I've always liked this Hymn...you notice our OLD Hymns are the ones that always have so much meaning behind them.

Nina Andrzejewski said...

"Hope", Thank you for your sweet, thought provoking words of wisdom. After having spent entirely too much time reading through your blog posts, I had to tear myself away and come back to the "here and now". I had 5 kids waiting for breakfast and school work....but I thought about you throughout the day as I went about my daily chores. I wanted to have time to write and say thank you for taking this time to be a help and encouragement to others. May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you.
Nina Andrzejewski
Missionary Family in Portugal

Song_of_Joy said...

Hope, this post was meant for me. I know the truths...but need the reminders often. I pray that I, too, will pass the tests that God gives...and glorify Him. What a blessing you have been, and such an encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Dear Hope,
Your post is so moving. I can't imagine how torn your were with wanting to go home to Switzerland and stay in the USA. I pray the Lord will/has lifted your heart and filled you with much joy - despite the agonies and pain of leaving precious loved ones behind. You write from the heart Hope, and it is uplifting and encouraging. May the Lord continue the good work He has started in your life for you are blessed.
hugs dear sister from Sandra in NZ

Joy said...

Hope, I know you know that Stephen is in Heaven, but did you grieve to leave his grave and move back to the U.S.? We are reminded of Pioneer women who had to bury their children along the trail and keep on moving. How difficult that must have been!

HOPE said...

How sweet to read your comment and re-reading my blog post.

There is that perfect peace with Christ, that says the GRAVE is just that. HE is no longer there. His body yes...and a memorial of who he is...a testimony for others to see. But, for us, the BELIEVER of the promised future..the grave isn't our comfort. The peace of GOD and the joy of seeing Stephen again are with us anywhere..and everywhere we are. We cannot let a grave..dictate where we will be.
Just like a funeral..it is for the memory and reflection of the deceased..and for the living..hoping for words of comfort. The flowers put on year after year..a token of how special they were to us.
Yes, many Pioneers..missionaries had to go on. We are not devasted...people buried at sea..what can their loved ones do?
They surely have to carry the comfort of the memory with them.
Hope this answered your question!