I began to learn to wait. Patient waiting does not come naturally to most of us, but a great deal is said about it in the Bible. It is an important discipline for anyone who wants to learn to trust….
[Journal entry from] June 9, 1948–….To wait on the Lord is to stand perfectly still….can [Jim and I] trust His words, “Is not the Lord your God with you? and hath he not given you rest on every side?…” (1 Chronicles 22:18)
….It was on the evening of the same day, June 9, that Jim and I walked out to a cemetery and sat down on a stone slab. I told him I did not think it would help us much in discerning God’s direction if we started right in on a heavy correspondence. Wouldn’t it make more sense to “cool it”? Not that we used that expression in those days, but it says what I meant. To allow for the perspective that both distance and silence could give might help us to see the whole thing with cool reason.
Jim thought that over for a few minutes. Then he spoke of the story he had read in his Bible study that morning–the story of Abraham’s offering up of the most precious thing in his life: his son Isaac. “So I put you on the altar,” he said.
Slowly we became aware that the moon, which had risen behind us, was casting the shadow of a stone cross on the slab between us.
We were silent for a very long time, pondering this undeniable sign. What Abraham did was the ancient prelude to the full revelation of the love of God. The readiness to give up his son and the rewards promised because of it–again, the central truth of the Cross was brought to us in a strange and mysterious manner. When the silence became heavy, Jim said, “And what is to be done with the ashes?” Time would show.