Be Still and Wait

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him, fret no yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices. Psalm 37:7 ESV

For the first time in five years, I don’t have a mission trip scheduled on the calendar. I’m waiting and praying for guidance, which is the first step to planning any mission trip. There are so many in Africa who have never heard the name of Jesus, and this burdens me. But plans have not worked out (yet) for me to return to the dark continent this year.

Cedar Street, Franklin, KY. Used with permission of Barry Freas.

Maybe I’m supposed to stay home for a change. On any given Sunday, there are about 14,000 in my community, who stay home on Sunday mornings. There are empty pews in my home church every week. But my goal isn’t to fill a pew. It’s to point people to Jesus, so lives and hearts will be changed.

It’s not necessary to go to Africa to discover the lost. Every day people who don’t know Jesus cross my path. But it’s so much more difficult to share the gospel in America (a Christian nation) than in Niger (a Muslim nation). In Niger and Kenya, I’m treated as an honored guest because the people know I’ve traveled far so I must have something significant to tell them.  In America, I’m afraid to knock on a stranger’s door.

Perhaps I’m to spend my spare time working on my writing instead of planning a mission trip. While attending a conference last year, one of the guest speakers said that she feels the Christian novel is the most effective evangelical tool to reach the lost.

In the meantime. I’m going to attempt to do something that’s difficult for me. I’m going to wait on the Lord to direct me and try to be as bold a witness in my hometown as I am in Africa.

It seems to me the world is spiraling out of control and I feel helpless. But I’m not, because I have Jesus, who is always with me. He is the one with the power to change lives, and He blesses me by allowing me to be a part of His plan.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog posts. You’ll never know how much your encouragement lifts me and keep me rising early each morning to write. Please let me know if you have a special prayer request for 2017. Happy New Year!


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Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

6 thoughts on “Be Still and Wait

  1. Kay Drake

    It is hard to ” be still and know”! I keep trying to tell our Father what to do. I will pray that both of us will “wait on The Lord.”

  2. Mary Link

    Shelia, one of the hardest lessons in life is to wait on the Lord!! Praying the Lord give you clear direction as you continue to serve Him whether that be in Africa or here.

  3. Susan Saleeby

    Perhaps you could minister to local Africans. They come with their Muslim beliefs. Maybe you coule lead them to Christ.
    Just a thought.
    Wait upon the Lord! He will renew your strength. Believe me ae know how hard it is to wait. Love you!❤ Hope to see you soon here in S. C.


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