As we went around and shared our prayer requests in my weekly Bible Study group I realized something: each and every one of us was waiting on something. A husband’s job offer…a baby to be born…a financial break-through…a house to be sold…a relationship to start…healing to come…and the list goes on.
What are you waiting for?
Whether we like it or not, waiting is a major part of the Christian journey and it always has been. When we look to the Bible, it seems almost every major figure was forced to wait long periods of time before God brought to pass His promises in their lives:
- Abraham? Waiting time: 20+ years before his wife Sarah gave birth to their first child.
- Joseph? Waiting time: 13 years before assuming the leadership of Egypt.
- Moses? Waiting time: 40 years tending sheep before God called him to deliver His people.
- David? Waiting time: 14 years before the throne of Israel was given to him.
- Jesus? Waiting time: 30 years until his ministry began.
Sheesh! I don’t know about you, but this sure puts some perspective on waiting. And it reminds us that we can’t get so caught up in the thing we are waiting for that we allow it to rob us of our joy and miss out on what God is doing right in front of our noses.
I want to share an excerpt from an email my pastor in Singapore sent me as an encouragement for my waiting soul and I hope it can be for yours too:
“I remember a period of my life when I felt frustrated for a prolonged period of time. Though I was in love with Jesus and actively serving in church, I kept feeling like I was not living in God’s perfect will yet, that I was not hearing Him like I should, not experiencing Him more like I wished… Then one day God told me, ‘Enjoy the moment, treasure each encounter, savor the whole journey. You don’t have to get there to be happy, but happily get there!’ So capture every moment and ENJOY the journey that is working out for His glory and purpose!”
We don’t have to get there to be happy. We happily get there by realizing that our joy IS Jesus with us here and now and not the destination or a desired outcome in the future. So whatever you are waiting for my friend, trust God IS faithful and will bring it to pass in His perfect timing. In the meantime, choose to live happily in the moment and savor the journey with Him each day!
*Leave a comment and join the conversation: What are some ways you have learned to endure seasons of waiting? What does capturing every moment mean to you?
Read: Romans 5:1-5
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit…” (Romans 5:4-5)
I went on a roller coaster for the first time in a long time. Though exhilarating, I had forgotten how rough the experience can be! With every up and down, twist, loop and turn, my neck and head were thrashed from side to side like a rag doll. I had to hold on for dear life if I wanted to survive. However, when I got off, all I could say was, “Wow, that rocked!” Despite the temporary aches and pains it caused, the whole experience had been worth it.
This roller coaster experience reminded me of life. As much as there are moments of thrill and excitement, there are also times of steep decline, sharp turns and winding loops that can often leave us feeling beaten up, bruised, disheartened and discouraged. But God tells us to “Hold on!” through it all. The loops and turns on the roller coaster of life might cause some aches and pains, but it will not last. His Spirit of love and hope will help us persevere to the end, so when we finally get off the ride we’ll say, “Wow, that rocked!”
A friend going through some trials recently said, “It truly sucks at times, but the thought of becoming even a little more Christlike as a result keeps me smiling.” Whatever you are facing, hold on tight and know that God is working through it all.
Dear Lord, thank you for this roller coaster of life that you have me on. Help me to hold on tight to Your Word when I experience the thrashing effect of any twist or turn. Root and establish me in Your love, so that I may grasp how wide and long and high and deep your love is, regardless of what my situation looks like. Amen.
*Take-away Treasure: What part of the roller coaster are you on right now? What kind of loops or turns have you faced lately? What are some ways you can “hold on”?
I want to live life to the fullest, single or married, and I am exploring possibilities of things I can do to make this a reality. Can you provide some insights into how you live life to the fullest regardless of your relationship ‘status’?
First of all, I think its great that you have a desire to live your life to the fullest, regardless of your relationship status. I have no doubt God will honor that request! I would love to share with you some insights into how I have and continue to go about living life to the fullest each day…
Time with God and in the Word. The world is constantly telling us what we are not and what we need to be more of – skinnier, richer, more successful…and the list goes on. And it’s easy to believe these things when we don’t have any other basis of Truth. I have noticed a tremendous difference in my mood, attitude and outlook when I am spending time alone with God each day and when I am not. I have realized that in order to live life to the fullest each day means giving the first hour of my day to God, to allow His thoughts, His perspectives, His love be the standard for everything else that comes along each day. The power of God’s Word is real!
Pursuing things I am passionate about. I used to think that ‘waiting’ on God was some sort of passive state, twiddling my thumbs until God dropped Mr. Right into my lap. But then I read something by Henri Nouwen about ‘Active Waiting’ and it totally changed my perspective. Waiting on God means pursuing after the things that are right in front of us. Whether it be a job, a ministry, a church community, hobbies or friendships…dive in! Get involved. Engage. Live. Love. And pursue your passions as if you won’t be living tomorrow. During these years of being single, I can truly say I LOVE life! I am pursuing my passion of serving and helping underprivileged kids in the Philippines…writing…traveling… running…and much more. What a shame if we allow our ‘single’ status to hold us back from living. We are called to be God’s children first and foremost, growing in His likeness. We can always put our hearts and minds to this, with or without a spouse!
Form Deep Friendships. I am no fool. Life is not a bed of roses. There are times that are challenging and difficult and uncomfortable. This is where the gift of friendship comes in. Friends–with whom we can share truly and deeply what’s going on–remind us that we are not alone. I am constantly having to tell myself this! The friendships in which I have invested the past few years are true blessings from above, allowing me to be vulnerable and ask for encouragement and prayer when I need it. So my advice is this: pray and ask God in whom he wants you to invest this year. Maybe its one or two friends, but make a commitment to go deeper with them. Get real. Be honest, courageous and consistent. And see the fruits of God’s love grow abundantly in and through your friendship. There’s is no better secret to living out the single years with joy and fulfillment!
One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is re-read the story of Jesus’ birth. Every year without fail, I am struck anew with awe and wonder. This year, as I was reading the gospel of Luke, what stood out to me was the virgin Mary’s response to the unbelievable news that she would bear a son:
“The Holy Spirit will come on you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy one to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
I was imagining myself in Mary’s shoes. She could not see what was being arranged in the courts of heaven. She could not see the legions of angels standing guard just waiting to protect and provide for her and her baby. She had no idea how this seemingly impossible event of conceiving a baby through supernatural means would take place. And yet, check out her response:
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).
She simply believed. She knew that God had spoken to her and that was enough. She didn’t have a clue how her future was going to pan out (as the chosen mother of the Son of God!) but she knew who held her future–her Father in heaven. And she knew that whatever He spoke to her would come to pass even if she didn’t have all the pieces to the puzzle yet – like the how, when or where. She simply believed.
There is so much to glean from the incredibly obedient response of Mary. When God speaks to us, He already has everything ready to make it happen. We might not be able to see it yet, but Mary shows us that’s not our responsibility. Our job is not to have all the details, the plans or the means. Our job is to believe–that HE will do it.
When we choose to put our absolute trust in Him and His words spoken to us, we will experience great blessing and provision beyond our wildest imagination. Believing is the one pre-requisite to receiving His abundant supply of love, wisdom, protection and provision in all things.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
Mary probably never could have dreamed what would later result from her childlike faith in believing what she could not see. Jesus our Savior was born!
What is God speaking to you today? As we celebrate the birth of Jesus, set aside some time to open your ears to listen. And when God’s words come and they seem too unbelievable to believe, remember Mary’s response and say, “May it be to me Lord, according to your word.”
Wishing you a blessed Christmas and faith-filled New Year!