Waiting, Trusting, Hoping

The only way to learn how to be patient is to wait. I don’t remember who said that to me but it continues to run through my mind. I did pray specifically for patience last year and here I am, still waiting.

My last post was three months ago and to be perfectly honest, I thought I would’ve had an answer by now but there isn’t still. I’ve had multiple thoughts running through my head; the what-if’s and possibilities that lie ahead of me. But the Lord has taught me so, so much during this season and continues to draw me closer to Himself. I’ll try to be as coherent as possible but there is no guarantee.

Lesson 1: Waiting is not the worst. I’ve had a few people say that waiting is the worst (if you’ve said it before, this isn’t personal) and I think it’s largely to do with the culture we live in that demands instant gratification. We can’t even wait 5 minutes. We get restless and start complaining when the person in front of us in a line at Starbucks can’t decide what he wants and we secretly wish they would make up their minds. We’re always going places be it physically or in our minds. We’re constantly rushing ahead of ourselves.

And we’ve brought this into our relationships, even with God. We want things to happen right when we ask for them. But that’s not how it works.

God really does work in His own time and way and it’s not up to us. To believe that His ways and thoughts are higher is to allow Him to just be God. He knows, we don’t. And that’s perfectly okay.

Lesson 2: Waiting is an opportunity to grow and trust. It’s about perspective. No season is without purpose and sometimes the seasons in which we despise and wouldn’t wish for are the very ones that God uses to grow us in our knowledge of His character: His love, goodness and faithfulness. It’s where what we believe about who God is is tested. I thought this season would last for three months but it’s been almost 4. I know God is sovereign. I know He is in control. And as much as I want answers, I rest.

Isaiah 30:15, 18 – For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not. And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship!]

The verses above are packed with truth! It’s something the Lord has used to encourage me in this season. This is where I’m supposed to be. The Lord waits to be gracious to us, to show loving-kindness to us. Just think about it!

It’s not just waiting, it’s a waiting with expectation. A waiting that causes us to fix our eyes not on the outcome/what’s going to happen but on God Himself. And maybe, just maybe the answer will come. And when it does, you might just find that it wasn’t really what you were looking for after all.

Lesson 3: ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ It’s a conversation I have within my soul; reminding myself to be still: God is God. And I can’t describe the peace it brings.

Wait, just wait.

This is a poem that speaks on waiting and speaks to what I’ve been experiencing. God bless!

Wait
by Russell Kelfer

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.”

“Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.

“My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.

“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.”

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?”

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

“You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.

“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”

 

Gracious Uncertainty

If you think of about it, most of our worries are related to the future. We get anxious about what’s going to happen or if something we hope for will or will not happen. Even our thoughts and worries about what people think of us or how something is going to play out is related to uncertainty – we just don’t know.

We worry so much that we’ve made it okay to do so, it’s almost as if worry is and should be part of life because, who doesn’t worry?

But worry really reflects a larger issue and I love how Francis Chan defines it in Crazy Love:

WORRY implies that we don’t quite trust that God is big enough, powerful enough, or loving enough to take care of what’s happening in our lives.
STRESS says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace towards others, or our tight grip of control.

Basically, these two behaviors communicate that it’s okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional.

If worry stems from a lack of trust, then trusting God would be the way to live worry-free. I can think of many instances where I start to worry and get worked up but almost immediately the Lord gently asks me “Do you trust Me?” I wish my answer was always yes but it hasn’t always been.

I’m in an interesting season of life right now where I honestly don’t know what my future holds. I’m in a season of waiting for God to reveal His specific will and purposes for me as I continue to pursue what He’s already given me and I love it. I’ve heard this so much especially since senior year in college, “what are you going to do after graduation?”. There are days I wish He would show me what lies ahead. There are moments I cry out to Him for an answer to pressing questions. But what I hear is, “Trust Me, my daughter, trust Me.” And I’ve learnt to appreciate it. If we knew exactly how things were going to unfold, if we knew exactly what the future holds, where we’ll be, what we’ll be doing, who we’ll be with, life wouldn’t be as exciting. No, seriously, think about it. What will be the point if everything came true exactly how we wanted it to be? It’s like knowing everything about a movie before watching it. We hate spoilers but apply it to real life and we are dying to know.

But I’ve been in this season before and I look back and see how it all turned out. Me being in Boston is a result of waiting, seeking, trusting and taking God at His word. I had my worries but He took care of them. I had my questions but He answered them. I had my needs and He met them. I have not gone to a place where He has not met me and He is here with me, still. He continues to teach me that, just as Corrie Ten Boom says, “I don’t need to know the way, I just need to trust my Guide.”

Now I am hidden
In the safety of your love
I trust your heart and your intentions
Trust you completely
I’m listening intently
You’ll guide me through these many shadows (Hidden by United Pursuit)

Know His heart for you. And as you do, you will find that your worries will disappear. That as you bring your concerns to Him, He will be faithful to take it upon Himself, His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Would you join me of appreciating the gracious uncertainty but one thing is certain: He is good and will never fail. May that be enough, always!