Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Waiting on God

Now that I'm a little older I'm realizing that we are always in a time of waiting - always! Whether it is waiting for high school graduation, a college acceptance letter, the end of a semester, meeting Mr. Right, college graduation, finding the right job, getting married, going on vacation, having kids...retirement, etc! We're on a journey toward heaven with milestones all along the way! I'm still working on finding contentment right where I am. It's easy to long for the next phase of life and miss the blessings that are happening NOW. We live in a culture that always wants more, we look out for number one and as a people we can be very dissatisfied even though the poorest of our poor are rich when compared with other parts of the world. We are quick to complain and slow to be thankful. I cringe lately every time I say or think "I wish, I want, I need...". I keep trying to stop and count my blessings and be thankful for where I'm at in life right now. God has been so good! No one that I've met enjoys waiting and God knows this about us, but He causes us to wait anyway. I've learned so much during my times of waiting and I've found that Isaiah 40:31 is very true:

"But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired."

Another conclusion I've come to is that during these trying times of waiting we can either draw near to God and "go with the flow" of His plan, or we can be like a two year old throwing a tantrum because it isn't working out like we want it to. Many people grow bitter and stop serving God because of the tests and trials of life. Ultimately I've learned that God's plan is better than anything I can ever dream up or plan for myself! We see the here and now, but He sees the whole span of our lives, start to finish. I'd rather let Him have His way than try to buck the system! I love Psalm 40 too!

Recently I was telling a friend about how I was waiting on direction from the Lord, but He seems silent. She shared this story with me and I found it so encouraging (thanks Dawn!):

"When you said that you didn't have a direct word on what you should do it reminded me of a story T.D. Jakes told one time. He said that God kind of worked like a navigation system in your car. He doesn't always speak until it's time to turn. You keep going straight in the direction you feel like you need to go and if it is not what He wants you to do He will tell you to turn left or right. I know many times in our lives we haven't known what the Lord wanted us to do. All we knew to do was to do what was in front of us. And every time He has been ready to move us in a different direction we heard "Turn left here." Then silence again until He was ready for another turn in our life."

So what do you do while you're waiting?

  • Keep the faith and don't lose hope. It's easy to lose faith, but so much better when you chose to trust in God's plan.
  • Remember God sees the big picture! There are reasons that we have to wait that are beyond what we can see.
  • Surrender your complete will to God's
  • Offer each day to Him and be committed to following His leading
  • Be thankful in the place you find yourself right now
  • Read what the Bible says about trusting God, God's plan, God's timing, waiting, etc!

During the most recent (and lengthy) time of waiting I've been in I've grown closer to God and my faith is stronger than ever before. I've found this next scripture to be very true:

Psalm 33:22 - Let Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for you.

He is GOOD! Keep trusting Him, especially while you're waiting!
Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Beauty for Ashes

Today I was reading the Bible and I started thinking about the times it talks about God taking the undesirable parts of our lives and making something beautiful of them. It seems like there is always something in us that God needs to work on. We're not perfect after all! I know there are parts of me that are not beautiful because of some flaw in me, but there are also parts of my life that seem out of my control. The one constant in my life, no matter what is going on, is that God is faithful. He is truly a refuge in times of trouble! If I get out of line, He gently nudges me back to where I should be.

Right now, maybe you're feeling poor in spirit, brokenhearted, bound by some worry or fear. Maybe you're mourning a loss. Maybe you've done some things you're not proud of and feel like you're sitting in a mess you've created. Jesus himself quoted some of this passage from Isaiah 61, read it and then give whatever situation you're dealing with over to God. Listen to the compassion that God has for YOU!

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:1-3

When I got to the end of this verse it really stood out to me because last time I wrote I talked about spring and planting time! To me this verse just reiterates how when we surrender before God and allow Him to work and take the junk out of us, He makes us something beautiful, "for the display of His splendor". I don't know about you, but I want Him to do that in me!

Have a great week!

- Dina
I'm still trusting Him! Psalm 113:9