Friday, February 10, 2017
How to Wait
My husband and I have been through a testing allowed by the Lord. I won’t go into the details of that but I will share with you some truths I have learned that I think are pretty much universal to all of us when we are at the end of ourselves with no resolution in sight.
- we tend to pray more frequently and with more fervency when undergoing hardship. This is a good thing. Go with that tendency.
- put yourself into a quiet, private place where you can take time to be completely honest with God. Admit your failures, poor choices, blind spots, overt disobedience — everything to Him. You may as well because He has seen it all in us. And even though He is already aware of our sins, we need to humble ourselves to admit to Him and to ourselves that we have messed up. this is important
- even if we can’t find anything we have done wrong to cause this problem, there will be mistakes in other areas of our lives that need to be addressed. If nothing more than to say you’ve covered all the bases, deal with all transgressions that have not been previously brought before the Lord. There is no need to dig up what has been taken care of before in His Presence, but be honest in looking to see if there is something, anything that needs to be confessed with sincere repentance.
- cry out for His forgiveness and mercy. He created us with the desire to be like Jesus, so when we have missed the mark, we have gone against His original design for us and the result will be disturbances in our spirit. this is important
- accept that He has forgiven you because He has. We don’t deserve that forgiveness but it’s there. Accept it. If we are too proud to accept His forgiveness then we will be stuck until we do.
- forgive yourself. Other people may never forgive us and we actually can live with that (it’s a matter between them and God), but we must forgive ourselves. If need be, say this to yourself, “I’ve missed the mark but I see that now and from here on out I’ll work to get it right.” I love the verse in Lamentations telling us God’s mercies are new every morning. They are new every moment! He gives us a fresh start!
- sit quietly and just listen in your spirit to see if God is telling you something, perhaps something new you had not considered before, or maybe something He’s been telling you many times in many ways that you may have disregarded. During that quiet time before Him, take out that repeating message to examine it for any possibility of truth it may hold. how often has this been true for me
- do what you are supposed to be doing, the next thing that needs to be done. Fold the laundry, empty the dishwasher, wash the car, take the kids to school, whatever is waiting for you to do, do it. Get your hands busy with something of value. Do it to the best of your ability. This is no time to be living near the edge of disobedience..
- understand that others are concerned for you and mean well even if their words grate on your nerves. It is the nature of love to try to be helpful, so give them credit for trying to be a comfort. Listen to what they say without arguing back or trying to defend yourself. Just listen and then thank them. Again in your private place, examine what they have said to see if there is any shred of truth that might be of help to you. as humbling as this is, this is often how God speaks to me
- be at peace with the sleepless nights. Those can be the best times to hear our Lord speaking to us. When everyone else is fast asleep and in your wakefulness you pad around the house in your slippers, trying not to wake them — those times are actually a blessed invitation from the Lord to sit quietly with Him. Maybe read scripture or just snuggle up with a blanket on the couch and ask Him to speak to you. He may say something quite revealing, or He may say nothing and you may just drift into sleep — isn’t that a confirmation He has heard you and has given you enough peace to be able to nod off into rest?
A few years ago I was injured in an accident. For months I had to depend on others to do for me some of the simplest things I always did for myself, and frankly, I preferred my independence. But with my injuries, I was forced to rely on others. I simply had no choice. Being angry about it did no good for anybody. I had to learn to lay quietly in my chair while my husband and friends did the best they could to carry out my chores.
That turned out to be an illustration to me of what trusting God looks like. There are circumstances where we are absolutely powerless to fix our problems. We have done all we know to do, sought all the counsel and instruction we know. We have hit a wall and have no choice but to slide down to the base of that wall and just wait to see what happens.
Do that. Wait. Wait in silence. Stop the complaining and even the muttering under the breath. Wait in trust that God is and always has been working on our behalf. He has divine, omnipotent reasons for this circumstance and the seeming endless delay in the answers we need. Just wait and know He’s got us exactly where He wants us. Be at peace with that.
The problem will not last forever. The answer will come. Wait it out in trust and quietness of spirit.