The Two-Year Wait, Day 6

Today’s reading is drawn from Acts 24:27 and Genesis 39:19-23.

Observation

Joseph had been falsely accused and thrown into prison, forgotten and discarded (see Genesis 39:19 – 23). But after this forgotten season, he emerged to be made second-in-command to Pharaoh.

There must have been some reason God did the same with Paul, factoring into the cadence of the apostle’s life a break, a rest, a long caesura of two years in prison.

I am sure that Paul, like Joseph, spent long evenings in the hollow prison cell thinking of all the things he could accomplish if he were free to do what he wanted to. I’ll bet he fought going stir-crazy. Paul was not a laid back or passive person. He was entrepreneurial and an initiator. I’m sure he struggled with the Divine Conductor’s timing of this song, which so affected his life. Yet Paul had to wait.

Application

There have been times when I have wondered why I was on “hold” — my prayers not answered and my desires left unfulfilled. Some things that I have prayed for never materialized. God doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to answer my frantic prayers. He doesn’t drop everything and rush to fulfill my desires.

I am realizing that I am not as mature as I thought. I am not as patient as I thought. I am not as wise, not as thoughtful, not as strong. Our Divine Conductor knows the timing of our growth. God is building things in me and knows how long it will take for me to develop the qualities necessary to survive my own prayers.

I, like Joseph and Paul, must learn to be patient. I cannot rush into the future. Neither can I hurry God’s timing for a certain score. If I do, the music turns sour and its beauty will be compromised. I wait for the proper timing.

Prayer

Dear Father, thank you for your timing. My willingness to be patient is a part of my trust and my faith — not in the music, but in the Conductor. I put my trust in you.

Bible Gateway

8 Places That Will Scare Even the Biggest Daredevil

Do you consider yourself a daredevil? A lover of heart-pumping adrenaline and out-of-this-world thrills? No matter how brave you think you are, we’ll bet at least one of these eight places will give you the chills. Take a look.

Coiling Dragon Cliff Skywalk, China

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Scared of heights? Stay far away from this glass walkway. The Coiling Dragon Cliff Skywalk (its name literally translates to “Avenue to the Sky”) hugs a cliff 4,600 feet in the air. Located on Tianmen Mountain, the glass skywalk is 110 yards long and is one of three similar walkways in the area. If you can get over the rush of adrenaline that comes with walking over glass, you might just be able to catch the best selfie of your life.

North Yungas Road, Bolivia

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Anything that’s called “Death Road” is sure to terrify. The North Yungas Road is known as the world’s most dangerous road and is responsible for hundreds of fatalities every year. The 10-foot-wide road runs from La Paz to Coroico and doesn’t have guardrails in many areas. The hairpin road winds up 15,260 feet and then drop back down to 3,900 feet as you arrive in Coroico. The North Yungas Road is a draw for adrenaline junkies and attracts cyclists who dodge buses and trucks to ride this thrilling road.

Mt. Huashan, China

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China sure loves its cliffside walkways. The path up Mt. Huashan is one of the world’s most dangerous hikes. Located in Huayin City, the mountain has five peaks that include such dizzying features as the Thousand-Foot Precipice, Hundred-Foot Crevice and Black Dragon Ridge. If the crags of the mountain are too scary for you, there’s a cable car you can ride to the top. But where’s the adventure in that?

Mt. Everest, Nepal/China

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As if climbing Mt. Everest wasn’t enough of an adventure, you can also skydive over the mountain. Jump from a helicopter, freefall in front of the jagged Himalayan peaks and join the international record books. Climbing Mt. Everest is a bucket list item for many daredevils, but skydiving over Mt. Everest might be even scarier.

Caminito del Rey, Spain

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Caminito del Rey, which stands for “the king’s little path,” is a walkway that stretches across a Malaga, Spain gorge. This royal pathway is over 100 years old and sits 350 feet in the air, hugging cliff walls and crossing the river below. If you’re brave enough to attempt the dizzying four-hour hike, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views of diverse landscapes and some serious bragging rights.

Kjerag Mountain, Norway

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Get stuck between a rock and a hard place at Kjerag Mountain. Located in Lysefjord, Norway, this enormous boulder sits 3,556 feet above sea level, stuck in a crevasse of the mountain. The spot is called Kjeragbolten and sees more hiking traffic than you might expect as visitors attempt to catch a stellar picture. BASE jumping, a sport so dangerous that it’s illegal in many places, is also popular at Kjerag if you haven’t had enough.

Grand Canyon Skywalk, United States

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The skywalk at the Grand Canyon juts out 70 feet from the west rim, offering spectacular views for those brave enough to cross the glass platform. It’s managed by the Hualapai Tribe and was first opened in 2007. As you walk on the glass platform, you’re looking down 4,000 feet to the canyon below.

Devil’s Eye Cave, United States

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The Devil’s Eye Cave system in Florida includes over 30,000 feet of mapped passageways for diving plus many other underwater areas that have yet to be explored. The main cave opens up into a large Junction Room and then branches off into many different tunnels. Where the Devil Spring meets the Santa Fe River, water surges out of the cave opening. If you’re looking for eerie, underwater adventures, this is one place you can’t miss.

Hailey Hudson is a full-time freelance writer from Atlanta, Georgia.

5 Most Useful Second Languages For Travelers

In addition to the world’s most influential and widely spoken language of English, understanding a second language is key to unlocking authentic experiences on your travels and making and maintaining global connections. It’s a way of displaying respect to the people of the country as a traveler, and it will allow you to feel more comfortable in foreign destinations and ease the process of adopting a new culture. Before taking off on your next journey, consider picking up one of these useful second languages to better engage with locals.

Russian

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Outside of tourist hotspots in Eurasia, navigating the public transportation systems and ordering food can pose a challenge. Though the official Russian speaking nations of Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus don’t regularly top bucket lists for many travelers, its Soviet Union legacy solidified Russian as a recognized second language in its 15 former countries, allowing Russian speaking travelers to move through Armenia, Estonia, Georgia and Uzbekistan with ease. Based on the 33 letters of the Cyrillic alphabet, a grasp of the Russian language is pertinent to Eurasian adventures of traveling on the Trans-Siberian and hiking the rugged paths of Lake Baikal.

Arabic

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As one of the United Nations’ six official languages, Arabic is a useful second language for exploring the Middle East and North Africa. Comprised of 30 modern types, Modern Standard Arabic is officially used in politics, books and news channels, while Classical Arabic is the language of the Quran and is used in Islamic literature dating between the 7th and 9th centuries. The squiggly lines of Arabic script written from right to left may seem intimidating and foreign to English speakers at first, but the biggest challenge of learning Arabic is deciding on which dialect to study, as these regional variations are the basis for daily interactions.

Mandarin

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Widely used in Asia and beyond, Mandarin is the world’s most spoken language, with over one billion native speakers. Because few residents speak a language other than Mandarin, navigating China and Taiwan can prove difficult for foreigners. The most challenging aspect of learning the language is mastering its tonal component, as the meaning of the word changes depending on which of its four tones you use. But grasping the language means being able to engage in daily interactions with locals in the markets of Malaysia, with street food vendors in Singapore, and can also prove useful in the sizable Chinese communities of Indonesia and Thailand.

French

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A native language of France, French is also one of Canada’s two official languages. It remains a popular second language across Europe and is also widely spoken on islands of the Caribbean and parts of Africa. France consistently tops surveys as the most visited country in the world and is one of few places where tourists outnumber locals. Immerse yourself in the French culture by ordering delectable crepes from street vendors in Nice and sailing the sparkling blue waters of Corsica in the Mediterranean, all in French. Travelers fluent in the language can also lay on the sugary white sand beaches of Martinique, explore Montreal’s Old Port, or navigate the souks of Morocco without a hitch.

Spanish

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America’s second most spoken language, Spanish, also dominates Central and South America, allowing Spanish speaking travelers to easily navigate their way through the region’s most popular destinations of Mexico, Guatemala and Peru. Aside from its high geographic coverage in the Americas, Spanish is also a native language of Spain, and its commonalities with Portuguese and Italian assist travelers in communicating across southern Europe and Brazil. Due to regional accents, Spanish is spoken differently in countries around the world, but Guatemala’s neutral accent has been recognized by travelers as a favorite place to learn, resulting in a high number of Spanish language schools in the nation’s colonial city of Antigua.