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3 Things I Learned in the Wait + A Prayer for Those Who Wait

Waiting. In line. In the waiting room. For the results. On the pain to pass. To hear God answer our prayers. To see our prodigal come home. To be in love. For Fall, or for vacation, or retirement.

 

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”  Joyce Meyer

 

Notice the title of this post is written in the present tense. I don’t have this waiting thing licked. I write with bare-skinned knees from flat-faced falls and carry band-aids in my pocket for future ones. But as a daughter of the King I’m confident there will be no lasting scars. Still, the process of waiting remains, and I have much to learn. Here are a few things I’ve picked up so far:

 

1. Misguided Expectations Eat Your Lunch and Devour Your Dessert Too.

 

In recent months, four friends sold their homes within 24-48 hours. When ours recently hit the market, I expected no less. So when no one called within the first several hours I was convinced something was wrong with the phone. I didn’t realize how much I’d allowed my expectations to get out of whack until I found myself in quite the funk…for days.

I confess my unbelief because, well, that’s exactly what it was⏤not believing what God has for us was His absolute best, regardless of the wait. And then I came across this post, {Above all, Trust in the Slow Work of God}, by Shawn Smucker, featured on Emily P. Freeman’s site. To me, it was a simple nod of acknowledgment from my Heavenly Father saying He is with us in the waiting room. We wait, God works.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

    so are my ways higher than your ways and
my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8,9

 

2. There’s a temptation to devour anything more than the Word.



Do you spot a pattern here? First, there’s talk of devouring desserts and now this. I wish this was a good thing, but it’s not, at least for me. There was no longer any doubt that I was an emotional eater during our wait. Stress must weigh in around 500 calories per bite. Sigh.

My indulgences⏤my dependency⏤are to be in the Word and I failed miserably. Truth finally gained traction as I clung to grace and mercy around every bend of my wayward ways.

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16

3. God isn’t a game player. He is a game-changer.

He doesn’t toy with our lives or with His time. Every breath is heavy with purpose. Being confident of this in the wait ushers in inexpressible peace. Everything God does in the lives of His children is motivated, spurred on, and poured out from a heart of love. Even His discipline is motivated by love. There’s no escaping it! He isn’t a God of love. He is love. In this, we can trust…and rest.

Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love. 1 John 4:8

 

No doubt there will be other lessons to learn in this waiting room of life. But I pray I’ll be found faithful, not consumed by circumstances but by the One who is sovereignly at work behind every word, spoken or unspoken, and deed.

Heavenly Father,
You are the designer of the waiting rooms we find ourselves in today.
The walls seem high, but You are higher.
The floor shifts at times, but You are our Rock.

The chairs, they confine us when all we want to do is run
but instead, we trust.

You alone know the precise moment in which to open the door and call our name.
It’s not a moment too late or too soon.

It is perfect timing
because Your love is perfect.
Help us to awaken every morning with a whisper of gratefulness on our lips,
and a heart bursting with anticipation,
confident that You are at work
while we wait.
Amen.

 

Are you in a time of waiting? If so, do any of the above observations resonate? Or do you have a different observation to share? 

 

Photo by Glen Noble on Unsplash

One Way to Live More Intentionally in 2014

Has anyone asked what your one WORD is for the year?

I met with someone last Friday who shared how her one word is PEACE, pointing to Isaiah 55:

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace…
Last year, my word was SEEK. And this year, my word is SEEK, based on Matthew 6:33:
Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, 
and all these things will be given to you as well.
Quite frankly, I was ready for a new word but based on recent convictions from the Holy Spirit, scripture, and other divine inklings, it was clear I needed to stay put in 2014. 
One of those inklings came while reading Mark Batterson’s The Circle Maker. This line stood out as I sought the Lord for an answer to a very important decision:
If you seek answers you won’t find them, but if you seek God, the answers will find you.
Every desire, request, answer—everything—kneels before God’s kingdom and his righteousness. 
I realize choosing a particular word may seem gimmicky to some but for me, it has to do with intentionality. That’s how I want to live, and not just for the here and now but for the future generations to come because the decisions we make today will impact others — even those we may never meet on this side of heaven. 
So I choose my word (or maybe the Word chose me) and I will keep it before me as a reminder of my priorities. Of my first Love. 
Yet I hold this against you: 
You have forsaken the love you had at first. 
Revelation 2:4 
Have you chosen one word for 2014? Please share! 
 
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