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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

Dee Dee Parker: A Glimpse Into Her Quiet Time

Many of you may already know my dear friend and author, Dee Dee Parker. She and I have been friends for several years. In fact, we’ve come to realize that we’re two peas in one strange little pod.

Dee Dee is one of the most talented writers I know and we always have a blast when we’re together (especially at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference!), but when all is said and done, it’s her heart, her walk with Christ, and her vibrant prayer life that I most respect.

Thank you, Dee Dee, for allowing us to take a glimpse into your time with the Lord.

If we were to join you during your one-on-one times with God, what might we observe?

I love meeting with God in the morning, most times in the
wee hours. I tiptoe to the kitchen, not wanting to wake my hubby, and pour a cup
of coffee or tea into a lovely, antique china cup. The dainty cup was a gift
from my daughter, Brooke, who now resides in glory. As the morning unfolds I already
feel close to God knowing precious Brooke sits at His feet. I return to my bed
and open the blinds directly behind me to enjoy the stars for a few minutes.
Star gazing always draw me closer to heaven.

Sitting quietly, I enter my one-on-one time, listening for
the Lord’s voice. I wait with great expectation with what He might have for me
to ponder, learn, or pray about. It is a privilege to enter His courts, isn’t it? 

Other than the Bible, what is your one go-to tool you use during your time with the Lord?

My prayer notebook. In my notebook are the names of people I pray for, broken down in sections such as family,
friends, events and so forth. Writing down their requests engraves them on my
heart. I also use The Secret Power of Speaking God’s Word by Joyce Meyer.

I cherish starting my
day knowing that I’ve prayed for each name in my prayer notebook, and other
people the Lord lovingly brings to mind. I picture them with a prayer covering
over them as they move through their day. Such a joy!

Sometimes I
also incorporate other books, such as commentaries, always keeping a spiral notebook on hand. 

What’s one of the most unique experiences you’ve had during
your one-on-one times with God?

I have a rather unusual prayer spot; it is a prayer
bush in my yard. Let me explain. I live in a farmhouse that is over one hundred
years old. Tucked away in the back is a very old, very tall, forsythia bush
with a large, river-rock beneath its limbs is a perfect place for sitting and
praying in all seasons but winter. I tie a different color ribbon for each
person on the prayer bush as a touch point to aide me in remembering to pray
for individuals and events. The ribbons themselves hold no power except to help
me focus. I’ve done this for years and friends often bring me ribbons for this
ministry. Some days the prayer requests are plentiful and the bush looks like
an earthbound rainbow. I rejoice when prayers are answered and I give thanks as
I untie the ribbon’s knot and release the request. (Many of you that follow
Cathy’s blog have ribbons on the bush.)

Once, when at the prayer bush, a ribbon became untied and
fell to the ground. While tying the ribbon back onto its limb, I felt I was being
led to spend extra time for the person the ribbon represented. The next day I
received word that the person was involved in a serious car accident while
traveling out of state. 

What word of encouragement would you like to share with the
readers in regard to spending time with the Lord?

I am in my late sixties now and have had the privilege to
spend many precious hours in prayer with my heavenly Father. I can say that
those hours have been some of the sweetest of my life. I would encourage
readers to set aside time to snuggle up close with the Father. Listen for His
voice. Pray for others. Please get in touch with me if you would like to be
added to my prayer list. There is a ribbon waiting for you and together we will
pray it through!

Dee Dee, thank you for sharing your heart with us today. What a blessing.  

Is there some way Dee Dee can pray for you today? Please share in the comment section, if so. She would count it a privilege.

Award-winning Appalachian writer Dee Dee Parker infuses wisps of Southern grace throughout her writing. Recent First Place winner in Southern Writers Magazine’s Short Story Contest, she has also contributed articles to Chicken Soup for the Soul, Christian Devotions US, Almost An Author, Inspire a Fire, and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse Jr. magazine. Proceeds from her children’s book, Josie Jo’s Got to Know, benefit breast cancer research. Visit Dee Dee at http://comegohomewithme.blogspot.com

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