A Time to Wait: God prepares for his work - Word&Way

A Time to Wait: God prepares for his work

Today's Scripture: Genesis 12:1-4; 21:1-7 (read Scripture)

Ruth Ann ShortThe headline in the Baptist & Reflector caught my attention: “Dentist to Nigeria retires.” As I read the article, I learned that a dental hygienist was needed to work with the recently graduated national dentist who would replace the retiring missionary.

After having taught school for several years, I had become very disillusioned with the profession. Thinking I had mistaken God’s plan for my life, I resigned and began training to become a dental hygienist. It was while searching for a place to work that I read the article. God spoke to my heart. I wrote the Foreign (now International) Mission Board. They telephoned in response and set up a time for interviews.

Following appointment in 1967, I attended a 16-week orientation, and then flew to Nigeria to begin serving in dental ministry. Upon arrival I learned that because of civil unrest in the area, the dental centre had been closed. I would be teaching at a boarding school instead!

Looking back, I could see God preparing me for a work to do. In my 23 years of service, I taught school, practiced dental hygiene and met the man of my dreams who became my husband. It was worth the wait!

I wrote “Anticipation” after being assigned to teach in Nigeria, a positive experience:

I’m watching, longing every day
For things that are to be,
For He has promised greater joys
Than those I now can see.

O how can I contain the thought
Of what He’s going to do;
The things He’s promised in His Word
I know are coming true.

The blessings which I now receive,
Abundant though they be,
Cannot compare to those great gifts
Which He’s prepared for me.

I’ll die to self, confess my sins,
And let Him have His way,
And use the gifts He gives to me
To honour Him each day.  

Ruth Ann Short is a retired International Mission Board missionary to Nigeria. 

This 2011 Advent devotion originally appeared in the November 17 issue of Word&Way.

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