One would think after following Jesus for almost twenty years that I would be the most patient and trusting of the Lord. I would be used to the Lord’s amazing grace, abundant love, and mercy. Well, spoiler alert, I am still learning and growing in patience, trust, and my overall walk every single day. Whether you have been walking with the Lord a year or fifty years, it is is a marathon, not a sprint. I am encouraged by the disciples, specifically Peter and Andrew. They both demonstrated moments of their humanity and imperfections while also growing in trust and patience. I have recently been learning about how to be patient and wait on the Lord.
My husband and I are currently missionaries at Colorado State University with Chi Alpha. After living for the past three years in an 800 square foot two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment, we decided not to renew our lease. We have tried to use the space to the best of our ability welcoming in friends, family, students, and neighbors, but for a variety of reasons, it was becoming difficult to live there anymore. The housing market in Fort Collins, like many places, is rough. Most properties are getting over twenty applications in one day and are quickly filled. Despite everything in our flesh telling us to start hunting for a place to live, Craig (my husband), and I decided to wait. We waited and prayed for almost three weeks before we felt the Lord giving us peace about going forward with looking for a property.
At that point I reached out to the women’s ministry page at my local church asking if anyone had a property they were looking to rent out. Sure enough, three ladies responded with rentals! One was too far from campus and at the top of our budget. Another house was a multi-level house, again further from campus than we desired, and just not exactly what we were looking for for our family. The last option was a perfect three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom house close enough to campus. We decided to contact the woman with the third option. After contacting her, we didn’t hear anything for three weeks.
We weren’t sure if she was going to respond so we went ahead and just searched for properties on Zillow. When we searched on our own, doors kept closing. At multiple points we battled despair, thinking we would never to find a place or that nobody would respond. One day, after I had given up hope, Craig said we should pray about it. We stopped before we were supposed to meet some friends for lunch and prayed. Seriously, five minutes after we prayed, the family that had not responded for weeks finally called! They apologized for not responding and explained that this is not their normal character, and they just kept forgetting.
Friends, the house is better than we could imagine! They are renovating the entire place so the house will be like new when we move-in. The family also supports missionaries and is excited to have us utilize the house for ministry. This situation has left me humbled and in awe of our God. How often do we do things in our own strength when the Lord is so patiently asking us to wait on Him? How often do we forget our God is the same God in Ephesians 3:20 who is described as able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. I pray for abundant faith wherever you are and for whatever you are hoping for. May God continue to blow us away, not just in the circumstantial, but also in the spiritual. May we continue to believe for bigger and greater things not just for this life but for eternity.
Written by Andrea Wheeler, alumna of the University of Arizona