I’m dusting off my keyboard and realizing how much I’ve neglected this page. It’s not that I’ve forgotten it was here, it’s that I’ve been staring at it in the corner of the room for a few months now wondering what there is to say. I’ve found it hard to string some sentences together because I feel I’m out of thread and the only fabric I have to offer is colorless and thin.
This season of life, though it has included a few small victories, has been so hard.
But tomorrow, I’m leaving on a three-week, three-destination pilgrimage. It’s not really about where I’m going, but the act of going that seems to have put some color back in my cheeks. I don’t know why it is that I seem to find so much energy from the act of peregrination and sometimes I hate that about myself – that I’ve always got my eye on the door. But I just can’t help it, at least at this point in my life. I guess I find God most easily on the road rather than in the pew.
Tomorrow I’m flying to Haiti and I can’t help but think about where I was four and a half years ago when the 7.0 earthquake happened. I remember, very vividly, sitting alone at a table in the dining hall watching CNN endlessly replay the same clips of the chaos in Port-Au-Prince. I put my sandwich down and watched, stunned, at the horrifying devastation. I felt so sick. I didn’t have the appetite to finish the food on my plate but I didn’t have the heart not to after watching that footage. Catch-22 I guess.
Later that night, my shock had evolved into a desperate desire to do something. I stared out the window from my desk and felt an overwhelming urge to pack a bag and go. I swear if someone handed me a plane ticket I would have left without hesitation. I wrote in my journal the next day, “I desire so badly to drop everything and go. Lord if you provided the chance, I would leave right now. Please Lord, let me do something.” But I felt so trapped because all I heard from God was silence.
For four years, the Lord never offered a chance to go to Haiti. And to be totally honest, I sort of forgot about it. I assumed that it just wasn’t something I’d get to do, that it was one of those prayers that just sort of floats out in space and never lands any where.
There’s no such thing as floating prayers though.
Tomorrow, I’m boarding a flight to Port-Au-Prince, almost exactly four and a half years after that journal entry. And here’s what I’ve learned:
The word “yes”, when said from us to God, is an infinitely expansive word. The first time we say it, it’s like this little formula is programmed into our souls and over time, that formula generates and multiplies infinitely. We continue to utter more and more “yes’s” in submission to God and eventually, the first “yes” has turned into a thousand, and like Moore’s Law or Pi or the length of the universe, there’s no calculable end.
One act of obedience, if genuine, is never just one act of obedience.
Thinking about the way God has answered four-year-old prayers gives me hope about the prayers I’m praying now. Though this season has challenges of its own, I know that God does not let our prayers drift out to space to be lost in abyss. He grabs them and logs them and responds to them at the appropriate time.
So with just one step at a time, I will keep saying “yes” to God in this season, on this pilgrimage, knowing that my yes to God will eventually become God’s yes to me.*
That’s not to say that God says “yes” to all our prayers, because often he says no (and PTL for that). But our faithful obedience to God will produce good fruit in our lives, which is God’s yes to us.
(top two photos from Pinterest)