Call to Prayer: Cherishing What God Speaks
Posted on July 21, 2020 by VMMissions Staff
Ruthy Hershey is in process for a new assignment with VMMissions. She and her family live in Millersville, Pa., where her husband Michael serves in a VMMissions assignment with Immerse International.
By Ruthy Hershey
“I see a picture of a strong tree… You have deep roots, but I sense that in this next season that your roots are going to go even deeper; they are about to hit an underground water table, and you will see growth like never before!”
My husband, four children and I had just finished up serving in India for nearly nine years. We were headed back to the States for a one-year sabbatical. On the journey back, we stopped for an annual prayer conference for workers from all over the Muslim world. A woman was praying for me who had never met me before. I recorded her words and cherished them in my heart.
Truly, the next season proved to be a season of much growth. We spent time reflecting and asking God how and where he wanted to take us deeper. He was faithful in pointing out and leading us through areas that were ready for growth and increased fruitfulness. There was a point where I sensed him speaking to my heart: “You’ve done it! Your roots have reached the underground water table! This water is my deep love for you. Just soak it in. Let it fill you up until it is overflowing out of you.” I saw a picture of a vast ocean, with me floating on top of the water, resting in his love. The view zoomed out. I became a speck and the view of the ocean became more and more vast. I was amazed to think about how he has an ocean of never-ending love like this for each one of us!
I researched a bit about the water table and discovered a map of the world with different shades of blue showing the underground water of different depths all over the world. Suddenly it dawned on me that, as we are filled with his love, we can move from place to place with his living water overflowing in every place that he takes us. As strong, rooted trees, we can move, as Jesus described, “like the wind,” wherever the Spirit leads us.
As our sabbatical ended, it turned out that God led us to stay in the States for this season.
Every time we asked about returning to India, he gently spoke, “I’m not asking you to go. I’m asking you to stay. There are things that I have for you to experience and release here.” We also sensed that it was an important season for our children—our first disciples—to settle in and build long-lasting relationships.
Currently, we are in the process of moving into a new home that the Lord has provided for us. As I reflected on another move, I realized that in our 14 years of our marriage we have moved 14 times, not to mention all the transitions each time we came back to the States for home ministry assignments! I wondered sorrowfully how that reality has impacted our children.
Then God brought me comfort by reminding me that we have not only survived all of this transition but have been able to thrive. He showed me how our children have felt secure because their roots are in us, their parents. Now, as our oldest child turns 13 and begins the journey from child to adult, she must form her own roots in the Lord.
My prayer for her and for all of our children is that they will be rooted and grounded in the never-ending ocean of God’s love for them. Through all the transitions, I pray that they feel the gentle, yet very strong arms of God, comforting them, protecting them, and creating a greenhouse of space around them for their roots to grow deep and strong. I pray that as they are filled up with his love and find their identity and security in him, they will also have the freedom to be all that God has created them to be, with rivers of living water flowing out of each of them every place that he leads them.
Tree image courtesy of Vecteezy.com