Sunday, March 31, 2013

“Just now…”

(Though written by just one, this speaks from the hearts of both of us.)

The Guyanese people often use a phrase which, though spoken in English, means something quite completely different to me.

The phrase?  “Just now…”

For example:

A teacher from the mission school is heading into town to make the weekly shopping trip.  The teacher pulls up in the vehicle and you ask if you can catch a ride. “Sure,” comes the reply, “I’m leaving just now.” Two hours later eight people, a propane tank, the jugs for gas and diesel, the empty market sacks, and the missionary who’s been waiting for an hour and forty minutes leave the school property.

Or, the babysitter tells the young child upon arrival in the morning, “Don’t cry, your mommy will be home from work just now, just now.”

Or, a friend says, “I’ll be over to see you just now,” and doesn’t stop by until several days later.

While living with the Guyanese (Amerindians, East Indians and African Americans alike), I’ve learned that they have a very clear meaning of “just now” and they like to take advantage of these two words in their fullest measure. At first, it bugged me to the extreme! Everything was SO unclear! How would I know when was I supposed to be ready to catch the boat or the tractor? And the company, would they be there by mealtime or not? I happen to be a planner by personality, and this was trying my patience!

As I spent more time in Guyana it quickly became evident to me that “just now” was culturally another way of saying “when it’s time” or “when I’m ready.” It quickly became the joke among the missionaries and students alike at the mission school in Bethany.

In the last few weeks I’ve been suffering from the “grass looks greener” disease. My heart, aching for my dear ones in Guyana; my brain, calculating the need there and reasoning that that’s where our abilities would be most useful; my hands, twisting in frustration, hoping that the time spent guiding the curtain material through my sewing machine won’t be for naught. When, God? I find myself asking time and time again. When will we go back to Guyana? …WILL we go back to Guyana?

Amidst my thoughts I find myself in my Tennessee hometown. Not where I thought I’d be the best “missionary.” But maybe being a missionary is only a small part of God’s plan for me. Could the bigger part of His plan be heart cultivation, with the volunteer mission field simply being a very fertile garden bed? When I test the soil, it is clear that Tennessee is where God has fertilized the most right now, enabling my heart grass to grow the greenest here. After all, it’s the only TEN He sees!

God’s answer to my repetitive questioning is, “Just now, Jodi. Just, now.” “When I’m ready,” He says, “When it’s My time.”

I want to learn to trust God more completely. But it doesn’t come naturally. When I asked my Gardener to help,  here's what He gave me:
"The Son of God was surrendered to the Father’s will, and dependent upon His power. So utterly was Christ emptied of self that He made no plans for Himself. He accepted God’s plans for Him, and day by day the Father unfolded His plans. So should we depend upon God, that our lives may be the simple outworking of His will.”  (EGW, Desire of Ages, pg. 208)
So each morning, I’ve been asking my Gardener if my garden needs sunshine or rain, weeding or fertilizing, to bear fruit or to grow the plants fuller. Through this daily growth, I’ve found peace. And when there’s peace, it’s easier to trust.

Day by day and with each passing moment,
Strength I find to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best.
Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.
      - (DAY BY DAY, Hymn no. 532, v.1) 

Please listen to this song by Josie Minikus (click here to listen).
I’ve included the words below for reference.

Peace (2:02)
words & music - Josie Minikus

every heart longs for peace
that elusive and priceless release
a place where the soul is finally resting
even in the testing

I find peace from learning to love You
I find peace when I’m letting You lead
I find peace when I praise You
when I’m following Your plans for me

and I find peace in Your acceptance
I find peace when I’m down on my knees
I find peace in the promises
that You are meeting my every need
Lord You are meeting my every need

If God can cultivate my heart garden, then He can certainly grow beautiful things in yours too. I promise, there is peace when you let God go first and follow where He leads.

Will you let God be your Gardener? "Just now" or right now?


Christy Joy said...

ah Jodi, I appreciate this! Thanks for sharing what Jesus is teaching you.

shama said...

I'm so thankful God is such a good gardener and that He helps us grow. I know I'll enjoy having you around until God's "just now" is "right now"