Over the past several months I have experienced what feels like abundant loss. Many of our friends have left this amazing country (Afghanistan), some on their own volition and some killed by terrorists. Our international school closed, separating our kids from many of their friends and separating Teresa from her students and her ministry. Security has continually declined. A previously stable government is gone. Our flight permissions were not renewed last month, so I am unable to serve others with the technical gifts that God has given me. “My” ministry is being stolen by the evil one. Our kids are growing up and leaving. Winter is now in the U.S. working at headquarters and will begin college in the fall. David will be in at boarding school in Germany this fall. So in a span of a few months Teresa and I will be empty nesters.
Yet even after all of the “pruning” in my life, I feel an unnatural sense of the Lord’s peace. Instead of a weekly or even daily reminder that I need Him, I am reminded on an hourly and sometimes even every minute basis. He has given me a heightened sensitivity and compassion for the needs of people around me. I have experienced in a very small portion the pain that He experiences on universal scale because of His great love for this fallen world. I feel an intimacy with the Lord that I had never thought possible. I have not wanted for anything. He has met my every need and proven time and time again His faithfulness. What a Savior!
I share these thoughts with you not to gain pity or compassion. Rather, I would encourage you, reminding you that while you have one foot on the road of pain and one on the road of peace – “God is still with us.” He prunes our lives of self reliance, pride, and busyness so that we might bear much fruit. I do not like pain and suffering, but I like very much who God makes me to be after walking through it. – Noel