A friend posted a wonderful photo on my Facebook page yesterday and it reminded me of some important things that I seem to have forgotten. My husband and I have been in a long season of waiting.. it has been mysterious and discouraging and I have wondered why God allowed it to continue. Waiting is a topic I always come back to on this blog..because we don’t like doing it and the world often seems to say there is no reason for it. Yet.. in the kingdom of God waiting is normal and even something we should desire.
The Lord is not in a hurry and He does not forget us.. but He does allow us to wait and sometimes the wait is very very long. In my life, I have waited for so many things and sometimes the wait has been years and years. There are things that I waited for that literally took decades of my life. The beauty of this is that each of those things was worth the wait.. Yes I said worth the wait!
During the time we are waiting and wondering.. He may be protecting us ..shielding us from the things we think we want or need because they would not be good for us. He is also at work changing us so we are able to trust Him when there is no light..when He seems absent. Waiting causes us to cling to Him and challenges us to go to Him even when we feel lost or abandoned.. so our faith is actually strengthened during these times. Waiting teaches us that God’s kingdom is not like the world.. this world where patience is not a virtue and instant gratification is considered normal and desirable. His ways are not the same as ours and He is not subject to the whims of this world.
We can live securely even while we wait if we remember His sovereignty and trust that His plan for us is for our good.. that He will come through in His time and that we are not alone..a tall order when we are discouraged or defeated. But what is the alternative? I don’t know about you, but I choose to put my faith in the living God who is sovereign over the universe and created all things!
If you are waiting for something.. I pray that this post encourages you and reminds you that God is with you.. that He loves you and that you are not forgotten.
Jeremiah 29:11 says ” For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.“
It is already December 3rd and Thanksgiving is behind us. Isn’t it amazing how fast time goes as the year comes to an end? It happens every year, but each time I am taken by surprise. We are definitely in the last stretch. This year was full of challenges and surprises..some wonderful, some painful.
I have to laugh as I look at the title of this post..the last stretch. I was thinking about how we are on that last part of the road.. finishing the year and looking ahead to another new beginning. Looking again it seems to mean that it is God’s last chance to really stretch me beyond my comfort zone for 2013.
Yes..2013 was the year that stretched me way beyond anything I might have imagined. What I mean is God has been at work in the deepest part of my character..teaching me to trust Him in some pretty dark moments. Asking me to believe when His presence was impossible to find. Continuing to assure me of His love when my feelings were not in agreement. At the same time He has given me so much more than I could have ever asked or imagined.
I hope that you have time to revisit this year before it is over and take some type of inventory.. remembering all that has happened and how He has been with you through every bit of it.
The journey continues and we put our hands in His..trusting that He has great things in store for us as we commit our way to Him.
He has promised us so many things and here is one of my favorite passages from the Message.. Jeremiah 29:11
“This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for”
As we approach the end of the year it is a wonderful time to remember that our God has great plans and purposes for this next season. His bigger story is unfolding one day at a time..our part is to take each step that He gives us. Each new morning is an opportunity to ask God for the plan for that day..to seek His face and His purposes.. to discover the work He is doing around us.
The peace comes when we stop looking toward the future. The picture I get is this..God has given us our life and we are to live it fully. It is as though we are standing in a beautiful garden with flowers of every color all around us and instead of soaking in the beauty we are gazing over the fence wondering what lies on the other side.
We are missing the present moment..longing for something we cannot see. All we really need to know is that He is already there. God is here with us and He is there waiting in that future place..ready and waiting for us when we arrive. He holds out His hands to us..eager to embrace us when we run to Him.. promising to catch us if we fall.
There are no words that capture the heart of God.. it is mystery, beauty, love, acceptance, and grace..plus so much more.
My prayer is that you will commit your way to Him..dedicate your life to Him..live daily with Him..seek Him and remember His amazing love for you!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
today..I was widowed after living in a very difficult relationship for 25 years. I lived in a prison that I did not deserve..with an addict who never tasted the freedom that God wanted to give him. I thought my life was over when this happened..I thought I was too old to start over. I could not see a future for myself..God had a different plan.
My life now is unbelievable..I have an amazing husband , wonderful grandchildren, a beautiful place to live, lots of free time for the things I love. God has been so good to me. He has given me more than I could ever ask for or even dream about. He continues to surprise me. He has replaced my small sad story by placing me in His larger story..a great adventure..the abundant life that I was longing for.
Now..this does not mean there are no problems..or that my life is a bowl of cherries. There are struggles and challenges..loss and disappointment. The good and the hard..they go hand in hand. He is the redeemer and the one who takes all of it and uses it for good. His plan is perfect and He is to be trusted.
I am celebrating His goodness today..recognizing His faithfulness and encouraging you to do the same. Take a little time to stand back from your life..look for the thin places where His goodness breaks through and your are overwhelmed by His love.
” Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.”
Yes..God will come through. He will meet you in this season. Our life with Him brings many challenges. He promises to be with us in each one..He is true to His word and His heart is for us. So many people are hurting and longing for relief. The news around the world is devastating these days. So much tragedy and so many lives lost..so much war..so many disasters. We feel the weight of our desperate world everyday.
Things are not perfect in our country either. Life is changing here and we feel it..old ways of doing things are not working. Our materialist culture is deteriorating..the truth that was hidden is being revealed. All of this is challenging and can be frightening. It is also an opportunity..to trust God in a deeper way. Things are shifting and we can either cling to the old or embrace the new. If our foundation was in the American dream than it was built on sand. Jesus is our only hope..He is our solid rock.
We can take refuge in His faithfulness no matter how difficult it gets. He is teaching His people to live by faith..not by sight. He is calling us to a deeper walk..a life where He is our God every moment of every day. We need His direction for every step we take..every move we make. He is sweeping away our self-reliance and our dependence on others..calling us to move closer to Him..to listen to His voice.
His heart is for you and He is with you. He will keep you..protect you..provide for you and rescue you. Keep your eyes on Him..His eyes are on you.
” For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord..they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.. if you look for me wholeheartedly.. you will find me.”