Do you ever have those moments where you see exactly what God’s doing and you’re still afraid of it? I’m walking through a season where God has made it ABUNDANTLY evident that He’s going to teach me patience and trust – whether I like it or not!
10 days ago, I was sitting in my bedroom trying to make sense of a situation in my life. I kept feeling that the Lord was asking me to be patient, but I couldn’t see why. I couldn’t see how I would benefit from waiting patiently, couldn’t make sense of why He was timing things the way He was. As I sat at my desk, I flipped open the book (Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot) that I’ve been [slowly] reading for 4 months. Right there, at the beginning of my next chapter were the words: “I began to learn to wait. Patient waiting does not come naturally to most of us, but a great deal is said about it in the Bible. It is an important discipline for anyone who wants to learn to trust.”
My heart slammed in my chest. Since moving home in March, I’ve been on a journey of uncovering my deepest wounds in an attempt to learn to trust the Lord. I knew the chapter was for me, so I kept reading. The book went on to talk about how God often asks us how to give Him the things we hold most precious. Like Abraham offering Isaac up to God, sometimes we need to put what we hold near and dear on the altar before the Lord and ask for His will to be done.
I prayed over this verse for the next few hours, offering God up the thing I hold the most tightly, asking Him to take control and telling Him I wanted to trust His plan, that I wanted to do things His way. In my prayer, I found myself confessing that I was afraid. “God”, I wrote in my journal, “I want to give you this situation so badly. But I’m only human, I’m made of only dust. I’m so worried that I’m going to hand this to you now and then I’m going to try to take back control. What if I do that, Lord? What if I try to take control? Will you punish me for not trusting you? This is a God-sized challenge and I have only human strength of my own so God, please be my strength.”
The next day I opened the Devotional App I use on my phone and read the daily devotion – it was the story of Sarah trusting God to fulfill His promise to her. Although Sarah knows God has promised He will bless her and give her the thing she most longs for (a son), Sarah, who is made only of dust, tries to make God’s will come about on her own terms. She interferes, telling Abraham to sleep with her slave, Hagar. But God, who is good, does not punish Sarah for her lack of faith. He still blesses her with a son because the fulfillment of His promise is not dependent on her ability to perform.
Later in the week, I received an email from my church which noted that the sermon to be taught on Sunday was titled “Waiting and Trusting.” At the end of the sermon, the pastor left us with a verse to cling to when we are in “waiting room seasons”. The verse he gave us just happened to be the “verse of the day” on my Bible App the day before: Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
On Sunday afternoon, I saw a rainbow in the sky and knew that God was reminding me that He is good. On Monday evening, I opened Passion and Purity again and read the words “There was a tiny scrap of rainbow – just an end of ribbon in the clouds – and I knew that it was for me. It was a promise of good things.”
Every day I have been gifted with a reminder that God sees my heart; a promise that God is there and that He loves me. Every morning I pray and ask that I would see God reveal himself in the small moments, that I could rest in peace and find joy and hope in the day; and every day, a new mercy has been revealed.
Does this make the waiting season of my life any easier? Does it make patience and trust any easier to learn? I wish I could say that it does. Every day I still battle to take control, only to pray “God, not my will but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Every day I struggle to see that God’s plan is better than my own, only to pray “…my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8) Every day I try to fight on my own only to quiet my heart and remind myself “The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.” (Exodus 14:14).
I know that God is good. I know that His plans are immeasurably better than my dreams. So although I am walking through this season blind, unsure of where I am going, I am holding onto hope as an anchor for my soul. (Hebrews 6:19) Hope that is born out of knowledge of what God has done for me and out of knowing that He has promised to work all things together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) So, with a tired heart, I am learning to “be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:7)
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. – Romans 12:12