When will you be back?" was my inevitable question when my husband, Orm, was about to leave on "walkabout" into the wilds of Papua New Guinea.
"I really can't say," he replied. "I've no idea where Awoma is. They're calling for a teacher."
Kokoda was a week's very rugged hike from our mission. Orm had supplies for about two weeks. When the third week passed with no sign of him, I became concerned. (Is our faith sometimes deliberately tested?) By the fourth week I was more than concerned. My prayers became more persistent now.
Finally, with a surge of excitement and relief, I saw carriers bringing Orm's cargo down the hill toward our house one Sunday morning. But no husband followed! To my rather shrill questioning, the carriers simply shook their heads.
"He must be dead!" I concluded. Distressed, I rang the police.
"Mrs. Speck, if your husband is lost in that godforsaken jungle, who could find him? He's walked over that trail more than any other European. If you don't even know in which direction he's gone, where would we look?"
What should I do? What could I do? After much agonizing I dropped to my knees again that evening and asked God to show me what to do. I stayed there until I felt at peace.
That night I had a dream. In my dream it was Wednesday. I saw my husband walking down the hill, haggard and worn. When I ran up to greet him and embraced him with a big hug, he asked, "Is there any fruitcake in the cupboard?"
So I waited. Monday and Tuesday passed. Wednesday, as I was getting
into the Jeep to collect the children, suddenly I saw my "dream" coming down the hill, thin, haggard, and weary.
Occasionally God still needs to place me in circumstances that will not only test my faith but remind me that I must be continually in contact with Him. But He never lets go of my hand unless I let go of His.
- L. Winsome Speck
This devotional is also available as part of a yearly devotional
Alone With God, by Ardis Dick Stenbakken, Editor, published by Review nd Herald Publishing Association (www.rhpa.org).