How Long?

29 Aug

I can see the storm descending on the hill tonight
Tall trees are bending to Your will tonight
Oh, let the mighty bow down
At the thundering sound of Your voice

Just yesterday it seems I was walking those streets for the first time, everything shockingly foreign. Today I walked them for the last time, everything heart wrenchingly familiar. Each hand holding a little tighter, each hug lasting a little longer, each face memorized a little clearer. Oh these souls.

I can hear the howling wind and feel the rain tonight
Every drop a prophet in Your name tonight
Oh, and the song that they sing
It is washing me clean but
How long?
How long?
How long until this curtain is lifted?
How long is this the song that we sing?
How long until the reckoning?

It’s been a summer of feeling the darkness even in broad daylight, of need stretching out pleading hands into my face, of burdens settling heavy, of children precious in His sight becoming precious in ours. We who have Bread had the privilege of being among a people who hunger for it. And even through the communication barrier, this Jesus-food, it’s a universal language.

And I know You hear the cries of every soul tonight
You see the teardrops as they roll tonight
Down the faces of the saints
Who grow weary and faint in Your fields

I don’t know how to leave it behind, all that I’ve seen. I don’t think it can be left behind. I think I’ll carry with me forever the deep seated lessons and soul strengthening experiences and heart imprints of a Cambodian expansion of the heart of God. And the joy that comes out of that expansion? Ridiculous. He’s met me and humbled me and stretched me and brought me to new places of prayer and love and intercession.

And the wicked roam the cities and the streets tonight
But when the God of love and thunder speaks tonight
Oh, I believe You will come
Your justice be done, but how long?

The enemy isn’t quick to raise white flags over his territory. The war of the unseen doesn’t escape the atmosphere of the visible. I weep with the evil that preys on innocence and the lives who think hope is someone else’s future, not their own. But I also weep with the beauty that is redemption and the God Who gives it.

And I am standing in the stillness of the reckoning
The storm is past and rest is beckoning
Mighty God, how I fear You
And I long to be near You, O Lord

I know His redemption is for them. I believe His heart is for their salvation. I know hope can be gloriously worn in even the poorest of this growing up generation. I can’t make it happen and as much as I want it for them, I can’t force the change. But if I leave anything behind in Cambodia, I want to leave behind a ground that’s been trampled down by wrestling prayer and take with me a pair of calloused knees. I ache to see God be made huge in this community, with or without me. I ache to see it be done soon. Not because these people deserve a better life, but because He deserves greater glory.

How long?
How long?
How long until this curtain is lifted?
How long is this the song that we sing?
How long until the reckoning?

(“The Reckoning” by Andrew Peterson)

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6 Responses to “How Long?”

  1. Chelsea Anne August 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Bless you both.

  2. Carla Barkman August 29, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    I love that last picture….so precious! Praying for you as say goodbye to these precious souls that have entered your heart and as you come back home. Love you guys!

  3. Tiffany Gingerich August 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    What a gripping heart-cry! As I walk away from this screen, I want to take with me what you are leaving behind– ground trampled by wrestling prayer. Thanks again for blessing the world with your words!

  4. Christy August 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    I can’t imagine what it must feel like to be in you guys’ shoes.
    to have poured EVERYTHING into those kids.
    your love, your hearts, your time, your energy, your patience, your words, your God, EVERYTHING.
    And now to come home, after being with them for SO long.
    But someday i want to feel that too, and know that it wasn’t in vain.

    May God grow the seeds that He planted through you, may He grow those sweet adorable children into men and women who KNOW and SEEK Him.
    I’ll pray for you.
    And Them.
    I love you, and can’t wait to talk.

  5. Abby August 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    Beautiful pictures… thank you.
    Can’t wait to talk in person!

  6. cherieclarae September 7, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    I have a strange fear that you won’t update this blog anymore since you’re home.
    An absurd fear, I know, but will you put it to rest for me?

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