Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Struggle to Wait, and What to Do in the Meantime?

I sat at our kitchen table earlier this week, with my head in my hands....tears rolled down my face and I didn't understand why.  The guest on the radio program spoke directly to my heart as she prayed....she didn't know it of course.  And though I busied myself later in the day, I still wondered what had happened to bring on those tears.

It wasn't until after a conversation with a friend, that I started to understand.  I felt silly bringing up the same issues in conversation, as I had in the past, but she patiently listened.  I was having trouble making sense of my feelings.  They were all tied up inside of me, and the words came with difficulty as I tried to express myself.  I left feeling just as confused.  But as I sat down to do my Bible study for the week, the verses all spoke to me of the same thing:  waiting.

It can be a dreaded word to many, whether it's waiting for something big, like marriage, or a child, or something like a test result or paycheck.  A call from a friend or a response from your spouse can cause waiting as well.  Even more, we all know the agony of waiting for God to change us or someone else in our lives.  But as I sat around the table with some very lovely ladies today, and listened to their wisdom, the words of this passage comforted me:

Isaiah 40:29-31 (NKJV)

 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
 Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall,
 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

In the HCSB, wait is translated as 'trust' and in the NIV it is 'hope'....I like the word wait, as it applies to our conversation here, but 'trust' and 'hope' give us clues about what we can do while in our holy waiting rooms.  :)  Here are some things that stick out to me as I look at this passage.

~We are called to wait 'on the Lord'....waiting is hard, but when we lose sight of who we are waiting on, ie. get our eyes off of God, it becomes harder to wait with a godly attitude.  I find this so hard to do....the perseverance required to wait with a joyful heart is pretty intense sometimes!  But when I put my confidence in God's perfect character, and remember that He is at work behind the scenes, I am comforted.

~We are called to trust....oh how often we forfeit the peace that is offered us because we don't trust in the Lord.  I am guilty in this regard as well!  This passage encourages me that I will experience great peace, perfect peace, if I keep my mind fixed on my Savior.  He is trustworthy in all things!  When I think of what it means to trust, I think of individuals that I trust, like my husband.  I have full confidence in him and his abilities, so it is easy to share all of my life with him.  How much more so, to share everything in prayer with our Creator, Friend, and the Lover of our Souls?  We can lay down our burdens and leave them at the altar.

~We are called to hope....The topic of hope is such a big one, and in this day and age, very few people have a deep understanding of this word.  We use it in our everyday language, hoping for trivial things as we come and go, when the hope we all crave is only found in Christ.  What a great hope we have!  I am challenged as I write this, to place my hope more fully in Jesus, and to allow Him to reveal areas where I am hoping in lesser gods.  I pray you might open yourself up to that process as well, as there is so much joy there!

Be encouraged as you wait, my friend, and know that our daily redemption, and eternal redemption, is being worked out as we wait {even if impatiently!}  When we are with Jesus for eternity in heaven, these days of waiting will be a drop in the bucket.


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