the waiting game

For parents, the weeks leading up to birth are stressful.  If you don’t agree, read my post from yesterday.  It will stress you out.  But it’s not only because of the fear of complications, lack of money, and the unknowns associated with birth.  It’s also the WAITING.

In all reality, Emily could pop at any moment now.  True, her due date is not for another 2 1/2 weeks, but we’re officially full-term, so our little guy could decide he’s ready 2 1/2 minutes from now and make his way into the world.  This puts a whole new dimension of feelings into the mix — thoughts of WAITING.

In my perfect world, God would tell me (audibly, of course, because it’s my perfect world) the exact time and day James will arrive, insuring that I have packed the bags properly, planned time off work accordingly, and escaped the need to continuously ask Emily about her recent contractions.  Was that a big one?  How many have you had in the last hour?  I would have no need for WAITING.

waiting

But what if waiting has some special purpose?  What if God has designed, in some strange only-God-knows way, waiting to be part of His plan?

Isaiah tells us that when we wait, we will be given strength.

David cries out, Wait on the Lord!

James instructs to be patient and wait for the return of Jesus.

Paul tells the Romans, “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5, NIV).

In my eyes, waiting and suffering are synonymous.  To wait is to suffer.  And when we wait, leaning on God’s understanding, we can know that our waiting will lead perseverance, which leads to character, which points to hope.  And our hope is found in God’s love.  AND we don’t have to wait alone.  We have the Holy Spirit, “who has been given to us” on our side.

So when we wait, we continue to develop our faith and trust in our Savior.  When we wait, we acknowledge we are not in control, and we have to look to Jesus.  When we wait, God is glorified.

What are you waiting for?

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a new adventure

It was a nine month process of searching for the right job and right place to live.  Knowing the job I had was going to end in June, I began the search for a new job in December.  As the end of graduate school and our wedding approached, so did my job’s end.  And as time passed more quickly (as it has a tendency to do) our anxiety levels began to rise at the same rate.

Shortly before our wedding, I received a call from the basket we had put all of our eggs in to.  That church felt like the other candidate was a better fit.  The wedding was in thirteen short days, and we had no place to live and no source of sustainable income.  Our blissful married-life-to-be was quickly turning out to be full of unknowns and anxiety.

After receiving the bad news, we quickly turned to the Psalms, which we had been in the habit of doing.  Thirteen days before our wedding… Psalm 13.

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

The words of David had never rang so clear in our hearts.  How long must we sit in wait for the right place?  Will we never have a place to belong?  This Psalm speaks right to the heart of how we were feeling: sitting in a puddle of despair and uncertainty.  And I am so glad that David didn’t stop there.  He goes on in the very next verse, saying:

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.

We worship a good God, and despite our circumstances and uncertainty, we trust in His unfailing love and goodness.  With this sense of trust and what I call “faithful waiting,” we marched forth in spite of rejection and the unknown.  As the summer progressed, the pay for my job was extended through August, we lived rent free for three months, and after a series of events that only God could have seen coming, we landed in Idaho on September 8th.

I cannot look back on this summer and not see the goodness of God working in and through us as we learned to be faithful in our waiting.  Philippians 4:7 (“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus“) rings ever true.  I cannot begin to fathom how the peace of our Father in heaven works, but it does.  Both Emily and I are able to say that we experienced the peace and love that comes from a life with God, despite our circumstances.

It has been a summer of tears, as we left family and friends in California.

It has been a summer of learning to trust, as we began to let go of control and followed God in the uncertainty.

It has been a summer of reviving faith, as we have learned (and are continually learning!) how to place faith in our loving Father.

Welcome to Reviving Faith… where everyday is a new adventure in God’s grace.