Wednesday, December 19, 2012


But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, not faint" (Isaiah 40:31).

I am currently trying to teach my daughter what the word "wait" means.  My husband and I are working with her, so that she grows up realizing that sometimes, it is required of us to wait, and although waiting is not always fun or desirable, it is an important life lesson that must be learned.

My daughter is always thinking.  She has a way of reflecting on events and/or discussions that really always surprises me.  Upon being asked to wait, she ALWAYS says, "Mommy, waiting is hard!", but recently she stated with reflection well beyond her years, "Waiting feels uncomfortable, mommy."  I could think of nothing, but, "Yes, it does."

Currently, I am in a bible study that explores the results of a time when people in the bible were unable to wait on God, and therefore suffered great consequence.  Abraham and Sarah wanted a baby so badly that they had Abraham commit adultery to get one, resulting in a pregnancy and birth of a man who would spawn a nation of a religion contrary to the Christian belief system.

There is another story about a man named Saul who lost his job because of impatience.

The Israelite people walked all over God's timing, and He continued to have mercy on them.  I can relate to their impatience, but poor Moses...sort of.  

God's timing is often confusing, frustrating and well, just hard to understand.  In my lifetime, I have been forced more times than I like to remember how it feels to wait for a silent God to give me the answers I WANT!  I have had to wait.....and wait...and wait some more.  I think the toughest truth for me is that sometimes, we are waiting for things that just aren't God's will.  Sometimes, we are waiting faithfully that God is going to do what we want, and not trusting that He is working all along to give us exactly what we need.  Aligning our desires with God's will is a mystery to me, but I can say with conviction that every time I have allowed God's timing to prevail over my life, it has worked out exactly the way it should.  

I found some great material to share.  Below are some great tidbits that I feel minister to me in times of "waiting", so hopefully you will glean some truth from them also.   

 Here are a few things God does for us when we wait for him:

1.  He humbles us

Waiting helps us realize that we are dependent creatures.  We’re not the captain of our souls or in charge of our own destiny.  We’re not self-sufficient, but we live by every mercy dispensed from God’s hand.

2.  He teaches us to seek him
Waiting on God is not passive.  As we wait, we seek.  We pray, we beseech God.  We cry out “How long, O Lord?”  We ask, and knock and submit our requests to God.  If we got what we wanted right away, we wouldn't draw near to God and we’d miss out on the joy of his presence.

3.  He teaches us to trust him
While we’re waiting for God to save our child or meet our needs we stretch our faith to the limit.  We trust, though all our circumstances tell us to despair.  As we wait, our trust grows.

4.  He builds patience and perseverance into us
The only way to get patience is to have to wait for something.  Perseverance only comes through enduring trials, failures and persecution.

5.  He reveals what is in our hearts
What comes out of your heart when you don’t get what you want?  Grumbling?  Hard thoughts of God?  Or praise and trust?  When you can wait with a quiet heart, you know God has done a work in you.

6.  He helps us to treasure him above the things we are waiting for
He teaches us to find our contentment in him.  He is our portion, not anything in this world.  Only Jesus can truly satisfy us.  No person or thing that we wait for can satisfy us like Christ. 

7.  He makes mercy sweeter when it finally arrives
We appreciate blessings more when we've prayed and trusted and waited for them.  We appreciate health more after sickness.  And how much more will we enjoy our eternal weight of glory after our temporary, light afflictions.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A baby changes everything...

That describes this Holiday season.  I am allergic to nuts.  I see them, and my throat just starts to get itchy.  So, I truly understand that silly sentiment that life times...nuts!

Last year, I had a newborn during the advent season.  Our Evan was born on November 30th, in all his infinite neediness, and life as parents of two children began, whether we were in the busiest season of a pastor's life or not.  I have to admit, leading up to the event, I was nervous.  I thought I would be drowning under the responsibilities of mothering two children, while my husband was away planning Christmas Eve services and telling the masses about the baby in the manger.  I worried (Yes, Christians worry) that I would not be able to care for them.  I even worried that I wouldn't be able to figure out how to put them both to bed!  

However, it felt surprisingly peaceful.  I didn't need to be anywhere or off solving anyone else's problems.  I was taking care of my family and myself as I recuperated from having a baby.  People brought us food and took care of small needs.  Our church family respected the fact that we just a had a baby, and allowed us the space needed to get through the transition.  In a season where I thought chaos would ensue, the meaning of the manger was magnified as I held our son and enjoyed Christmas.  I cried a lot.  I cried when I thought of Mary, and what it must have been like for her.  I cried when I heard about caring for a baby in a stable.  I cried when anyone sang about it.  I cried, thinking of Joseph, and how confused he must have been.  I cried when I realized the magnitude of the shepherds getting to meet the savior before anyone else and what a gift that must have been.  I just....cried.  Giving due credit to hormones, I am realistic that some of the actual crying may have been related to post pregnancy emotions, but I believe, because I was able to focus on Jesus and what really happened that night in Bethlehem, I was able to enjoy what we mean when we say,  "The reason for the season".  

So, what am I getting at???  I shouldn't have to have a brand new baby to be able to reflect on a specific baby.  I don't want to be worried about anything else but a baby.  A baby who was born into a world that hated him and eventually killed him.  A baby that had a mommy who loved him so much, but had to let him go.  I want to be slowed to a stop by a baby who was born to die for the sins of mankind, my sins.  A baby who grew to be a savior for me and for you.  I want to have this focus all of the time, but now, at Christmas time, I want to worship, with my whole heart, the truth that the love I have for that baby that was born just to die, should resonate with me more than plans, presents, or obligations.

What are YOU doing to focus on that baby??