A strong person is probably rarely afraid of anyone. His stregnth gives him courage in the face of adversity.
I have not been a strong person. In a weak moment, God showered his mercy in my life. Since then he has always been gracious to me. His kindness has taken me in the direction of his will. It has always been a strange thing. When I least expect it, God would open a door for me to enter into. I would enter it. As I go through the door, I would always be led by God in ways that would bring him glory.
But on the flop side of that story, there have been plans that I have made, that I have prayed for and worked hard for. And when I approach the door to knock, I find it bolted shut. My plans have not been successful in any way.
I read Proverbs 16:9 many years ago: “A person’s heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps.” This verse has proven true through out my life. I make plans and God determines how they are accomplished and if they are accomplished.
Last September, through various small but significant events, an opportunity arose where I could apply for a pastoral internship program and for a seminary program. The internship program was to begin in September 2020. Matriculation for the seminary is in September 2021. That was the plan in 2019. I had finished my applications for both by February 2020.
We have been praying for God to open both these doors since September 2019. March 2020 was midway and the world went on a tailspin. It is still seeming to plunge downward rapidly.
By June end it was clear that I could not possibly do the pastoral internship as funding was a concern. But even if there were funds for the program, international travel is not yet open in our country and therefore those plans ended abruptly. I was not much concerned. I have been here before. Make a plan to go through a door only to find it bolted. God has other plans.
Last night was my admission interview for the seminary program next year. 9 months of praying and waiting finally had come to the point of the interview. The interview went as well as it could possibly go for me. But here is the situation. I have applied for a special scholarship. Interestingly, the fund depleted. An appeal for funds was made. I had mentioned in the application that without the scholarship, my application is meaningless as I do not have the resources to pay my way nor do I possess the abilty to mobilize such a massive amount of money. I was informed that by the end of next week, the admissions committee will make their decision on who will be admitted and which candidate will be chosen to receive the scholarship. However, the scholarship will not be guaranteed until the end of September when they have received sufficient funds to be able to provide the scholarship.
What this means is that by the end of next week I will know if the wait has ended and I am not going to be able to go study the Bible under solid teachers (possibly ever) and this door is bolted shut too. Or that I have to wait and pray till the end of September where another door will be tested. In the meanwhile if I am selected (that would be a miracle), I have to begin my Greek classes in September for which I have to pay a fully refundable fee of $1200 approximately. That is another door.
So when the call ended, I was just in a state that I cannot describe. It was a strange feeling – should I feel excited, should I feel dejected. I was unable to tell. I just knew that I had to keep praying and waiting. God will do his will in his time and I will be a witness. I am neither anxious nor confident. It is truly a strange feeling.
I am reminded of the song ‘While I’m waiting’ by John Waller.