49- Still Agonizing Over Going to Another Planet!
History: Although I had spent six months of my first pregnancy in a foreign country, I had been somewhat familiar with western Europe, having spent most of two summers there. Yet the looming challenge of the lengthy flight with an 11-month old baby, being five months pregnant, and going into a country completely alien to me seemed like we were heading for another planet.
In the meantime, we continued to be an adventuresome family, we were not strict homebodies: we had taken 4-month old Timmy camping for a weekend with friends, and had flown with him to Oxnard when he was 6-months old for my sister Connie’s wedding.
Summarized from February 22 in journal: Even though we had purchased our tickets and were scheduled to leave for Japan in one month (on March 23), I was still praying for the basics which had not lined up: 1) for a place to live for six weeks that would have reasonable rent, be furnished, and be in a good location for what we wanted to accomplish; 2) for edible and healthy food; and 3) for fellowship with the Lord and with English-speaking people. I was reminding the Lord that we would need: 4) a stroller for Timmy, toys, a crib. And 5) I was asking for confirmation or denial of our ‘calling’ to Japan. My prayers were answered amazingly. But first, more of my thinking, more of my interaction with Jesus as a six-year old Christian who was Much-Afraid* and always taking my anxieties to Him.
February 26- I heard a spot on KNIS: I care for you. See the scars on My hands if you need proof.
I said, “BUT LORD, just tell me PRACTICALLY that this is a good idea—maybe from someone who has taken a toddler to Japan…”
Moments later I heard on KNIS: God required Abraham’s only son…Abraham believed, gave the sacrifice God asked. And God spared His son.
I made a transaction with God and gave Him our son in faith, like Abraham had given Isaac. I put him on the altar with trust that Timmy was beloved of God and in His capable hands. And I received PEACE from God.
March 6, 1980 Paraphrased scriptures from my journal: Hebrews 3:12 Unbelief is the only thing that can keep us from God’s love and from all He has for us. Hebrews 3:18-19 Disobedient people cannot enter into His rest. Unbelief is disobedience. Hebrews 4:11 Be diligent to enter that rest.
Lord, what do You mean by REST?
The next day….
March 7 – ANSWER TO MY QUESTION ABOUT REST!
Ps 112:1,6,7,8a Praise the LORD! How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in His commandments. For he will never be shaken; the righteous will be remembered forever. He will not fear evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is upheld, he will not fear…. This verse helps me to this day, reminding me not to fear but to steadfastly trust the Lord. And trusting Him would bring my REST!!!
The E-Free missionaries were thrilled to hear that a prospective missionary candidate and his family were scheduled to come to visit. The families in Tokyo, one family in particular, prepared an apartment for us in the Christian Academy in Japan, CAJ, and we were humbled by kitchen hand towels, dish soap, an alarm clock, furniture, sheets & towels, scripture plaques on the walls, a crib and a stroller and many toys for Timmy, as well as food in the refrigerator!
*Reference to Hannah Hurnard’s character in Hinds’ Feet on High Places, which I had read as a new Christian. It’s a classic and gives perspective on the ways of God’s leading in the Christian life, with the central character being a girl named ‘Much Afraid.’ I highly recommend it.