“Therefore they are before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple;
and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore;
the sun shall not strike them,
nor any scorching heat.
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
I did a Google search today. Looked for quotes about “holy frustration” or “frustration of hope”. I figured I had to turn up something because I know that the emotions I’ve felt this week have been felt by others. Certainly I’m not alone in this. I found a Christian page about not being angry. Well, I thought, frustration and anger are definitely not the same thing. I was thinking more along the lines of, I want to do something and I can’t find the right avenue to get there.
More specifically, I want to find a way to begin fundraising to set us up to do one of two things. ONE: Start a summer program for young Arabs to join us in Colorado for a real American Summer Vacation. And we would call it precisely that. But… We feel like we need some more experience facilitating groups like this. Either in a non-profit setting or in an overseas setting. TWO: This brings me to the second thing that we would like to do, either for experience or for life in general, which is live overseas and gain more cultural experience. There are a few ways we are looking into this. One option is still for Nicholas to get his CELTA and then we could go live as working expats. The other idea is to raise support and seek mentorship from people already living and working among Arabs.
I think we’re partial to the last part of that. We really want mentorship and training in our calling and we know its out there. The frustration sets in when I am continually having to get up and serve coffee when what I want to do is quit and just jump into non-profit life. I know that nothing really happens like that in life. I want to pay my student loans which means I need an income while trying to fundraise at the same time. However, when I don’t have time to fundraise because I need to work, I battle against feeling defeated. When I start feeling defeated, I get frustrated that we would get this vision and gift from God but not be able to use it yet.
And that is what I mean by “holy frustration”. I know that many others that have come before me feel it, and I know that many more will still feel it. I believe this “frustration” echoes the feeling Christians have about the coming of the Kingdom of God. We sit and wait because we have tasted and seen how beautiful and good the it is. And yet… we still must wait. And keep waiting. While we may work here for a little while to achieve some small good, we are frustrated because our hope is in the goodness of God bringing his Kingdom here. We wait in anguish for what we read in Revelation 7.
We wait for the Shepherd who will quench all thirst and wipe our tears away for all time. The work we see in our vision for the Arabs is like our picture of the Kingdom of God. We desperately want to achieve it, for it to come “true”, but until it is time, we will be frustrated in our striving. God, in his perfect timing knows when to unleash dreams into reality. And so I wait in frustration for it all to begin. I keep striving toward the goal.