In it for the long haul?

Just back from an unexpected house visit at the end of a 3rd hot sunny day in Nantes (I can sense you feel my pain!).

We were just finishing our evening meal with our host missionary couple, when the phone went – a separated, middle-aged, French lady was on the other end of the line: she needed a male hand lifting a washing-machine out of her apartment and putting into her car boot (trunk).

This lady turned out to be a long-term, 25 year, contact – she hadn’t been seen or heard of for quite some time. However, even though we were a little skeptical as to the value of accepting the challenge, off the three of us went, to help her bear the weight.

Once the fuse had been replaced (she hadn’t mentioned that in the call, and none of us are electrically minded), the power turned on, and the washing-machine transferred as required, suddenly, and surprisingly, we began to get into a conversation about the Jeremiah, Israel, Christ and the Bible. For almost thirty minutes we talked in-depth about spiritual matters.

What was the verdict of the missionary? Well he was genuinely, pleasantly, delighted: “The best conversation we’ve had with her in years!” Something seemed to have happened in her life. The last time they met she had not wanted to read the bible: but now she seems to had some sort of epiphany, and appears to be reading the Scriptures quite a lot!

We drove back home, with a renewed spring in our step (or on the accelerator pedal in the missionary’s case, who whisked us back home at breakneck speed through the streets of Nantes – don’t worry, I’m a nervous backseat driver at the best of times)!

We reflected for a few moments before heading up to bed – it was just a little, bold, comment from one of us, that had opened the conversation up. The missionary couldn’t have gone round on his own had we not be there to help her lift the machine. As providence had it tonight – as far as we can tell – all three of us were present to respond to the request. Why do we not remember more clearly that all things work for good?

Of course we don’t know how things will finally turn out – but the lesson to learn I think is this – I put it in question form: are you in this Gospel work for instant success without hard graft, or will you sow the seed in faith, and water it with prayerful tears, that in God’s time and way, His Word may bring a yield? Do the angels rejoice over a sinner who repents? In this life or the next it is surely worth the wait! Sleep sweetly faithful sowers!

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