Friday, February 26, 2010

Lessons in the Waiting

How patient are you? What do you do while you are waiting?

Overall, I'm not very good at waiting. I'm patient in some areas. For instance, I'll take a slow cooked homemade recipe any day over a fast food variety. But in other ways, I'm terrible. I think that's why I've always treasured the words of Isaiah 40:31. God knows I'm not good at waiting on Him, but He's so good to work on me in this area and encourage me with His Word.

So recently I've been waiting. And it's obvious that I'm terrible at it. I hate how I deal with this time. My first response is to get frustrated. Then I try to figure out ways to work through the waiting. Then I begin to take it out on others. Of course, somewhere in there I probably shed some tears, too. Much of what I do though is focused on my own strengths and reveal my weaknesses.

So how are we supposed to respond to waiting? God's Word gives us instruction to turn our hearts toward God at this time. Psalm 27:14 encourages to be strong and wait on the Lord. I believe His Word also encourages us to be strong for a reason. Waiting isn't twiddling our thumbs. Instead it's digging hard into the disciplines we may not feel like doing as we wait. We are to continue praying, reading His Word, spending time with Him, serving others in love. These are things, I know, but still find hard to apply.

Recently God slowed me down to examine my heart as I wait. I actually find this time around I am thankful for this time of waiting. I'm thankful, because first, the answer to my prayer has been wait and not no. I guess it's selfish, but it's dear to me that the door isn't slammed shut on my hopes. Then as I thought on this more, God helped lead to me to be thankful for the lessons I might learn while I wait, because you see, the answer could still be no. And if the answer is no, I may gain far more than the if the answer is yes and I don't learn some lessons in the waiting. So, I'm rejoicing that God knows best and is going to do a good work through this time. May I come through this time of waiting being more in the image of my Lord!

And may you also rejoice in what God is teaching you whether through the yeses, nos, or waits of life!

I wait for you, O Lord; you will answer, O Lord my God. Psalm 38:15

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Mighty Whisper

This morning as I was reading through my devotions, I was drawn to these words in Job 26:14 (CEV). "We only hear a whisper of him." Job was recounting to his three friends how mighty and awesome God is. Job recognized that God was God. He is the only one who can do things like, "stretch the northern sky over empty space" and "hang the earth on nothing". He is the one "draws the horizon like a circle on the water at the place where light and darkness meet" and makes the "heaven's foundations shake when he thunders at them." And yet at the end of this description of tremendous power Job shares that this is only a small part of God's works. That we only hear a whisper of him. We can't truly comprehend his great power.

We only hear a whisper. God is so vast. So mighty. It just doesn't sink in. Recently I've studied the account of creation and been brought to my knees by the awesomeness of our God. He spoke and things came into being. He created from nothing. He ordered and designed in intricate detail and yet stretched his creation over great heights and distances. Here when I read Job I'm challenged to remember that all this is just a whisper of God. What mighty Holiness is in His depths! Do you want to know this God more? I do. I want to tune in to the whisper and then hear even more. That's quite a challenge when the noise of the world is loud. I think that's another reason why I'm called to be still and know God. It's only in being still that we can hear the whisper and what is beyond the whisper. Come and be still with me today. Listen and worship!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn. Romans 11:29

As I was studying yesterday, I came across this verse. I thought hmm...I want to ponder that one some more and made a mental sticky note to come back to this. Now, sometimes when I make mental sticky notes they get lost far easer than the real Post-it variety, but this time, I remembered and took some time to look at the verse again.

Wow. Let those words sink in. In the NCV it reads, "God never changes his mind about the poopole he calls and the things he gives them."

The context of the verse is Paul reminding Gentile Roman Christians that God has chosen the Jewish people and still has a special plan for them even though Christ made a way for ALL people to be saved. It's an important thing to remember. As I've been reading through Genesis again I've been struck by how much these people are like me. God says do this. It's good. I don't do it. God says don't do this. It's bad. I do it. I make things and want people to look at me and not God. God gives a promise and I try to have it happen in my own way and in my time. God says don't go there, and I try to negotiate with Him, but end up needing to flee and go where he told me to anyway. These are just a few of the simliarities. But as I review the lives of these people and their relationship with God, I'm so grateful for their scenes in God' story. Because when I read Romans 11:29 and remember these lives, I'm reminded again that God knows what he's doing. He's not surprised by my failings and He will use me if I will turn to Him and allow Him. He has chosen me. He has gifted me.

The same is true with you if you have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. You have been chosen. You have been gifted. You will stumble, but neither of those things will be taken from you. God will still chose you. God has still given you tasks that require the gifts He has given you. So, if you've tripped up recently, dust yourself off, remind yourself of God's truth and keep doing what He's told you to do!