“Waiting is not resignation; waiting is an active trust in God to provide fulfillment in His perfect timing, according to His ultimate purpose of glorifying His Son.”
C.J. Mahaney. p. 145 Humility – True Greatness
Waiting and Trusting – two words within Christianity we as believers, specifically in the US, loudly affirm, but generally do not understand. Why do I say this? Our affirmations usually are in times of good, abundance, peace. You’ve done it. I’ve done it. We all have done it. It’s not sinful, just shortsighted. However, as every facade of control is being removed, we truly see how powerless we are, and it is here that we begin to grasp the weight of those words. We are being forced to wait and trust.
Several months before the current chaos was unleashed, God began to hammer home how little I understood waiting and trusting. I was not purposefully looking for these crucial components of discipleship, but it seemed every morning the Holy Spirit was placing them in front of me like divine speed bumps to slow me down and cause me to pay attention. Way before this pandemic, I found God pumping the brakes on my life, and it confused me, even pained me. But as I submitted, I began to see my spiritual vision clearing – like a snow globe of sorts. Things had been swirling around, good things, positive things, but things nonetheless, and my ability to see and hear what God was saying was limited. This was proven out on March 3 when I hit Psalm 23. Here is a portion of what I wrote in my prayer journal. (I’m quoting from it, so forgive any grammar mistakes; my journal is a personal note to my Father, not a formal letter to some stranger.)
I read Ps. 23 today. There is no telling how many times I have done this, yet it is powerful and fresh because it is not just words on a page. It is truth about you. I have marked it up in my Bible. Thank you for giving it to David who gave it to me. You are my Shepherd. I have no other. It’s just you. Because of that, I lack nothing. Forgive me when I think that I do. My soul becomes restless. I am not contented. Sin, rebellion – I repent of my attitude.
You make me lay down in green pastures. You make me…there are times when you have had to do this. I like to move and be engaged in something, anything. I feel you are forcing me to lay down right now. I’m in a season of silence. Not much seems to be happening. You have brought this on and though I’m struggling with it, it is good. Why? Because you lead me by still waters, and you restore my soul.
The past seven years have been war, all-out war. Family decimated; work destroyed; faith ravaged. At times even my sanity seemed tenuous. I thought the few years at (named place) were still waters, but they were not. I’m looking at this time now as one of restoration. You restore my soul. I may not see all that is going on, but you are working. Heal my heart. Rip out rejection and bitterness and fear…Lead me in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake.
Lord, at (named places), I believed what people said, “Joel you’re a great blah, blah, blah.” I lost focus. Thank you for the quiet season. Death has come, but you have protected and led. Death of dreams, hopes, relationships, work – a lot has been killed, yet you have sustained. You have led me and provided for me. Your goodness and mercy run me down. I see a picture in my mind of a little kid laughing as his dad chases him, running him down. You are good. You are merciful. What do I have that has not come from you? Lord, it’s all grace. Thank you. And not just for now, but grace will lead me home.