¡Wait?!

Traffic in Brazil

Waiting in traffic in Brazil.

There is no four letter word I  dislike more than the word “WAIT”. Now before you think me a little crazy, my issue isn’t with the word itself but rather the verb, the action of “waiting”. I dislike waiting on lines at stores, I particularly loathe waiting in traffic ( I think EVERY HUMAN DOES). I don’t like waiting at drive thru’s  I mean come on, it’s a drive thru, there should be no waiting involved!. And I really, really don’t enjoy being told to “wait”.

Yet the last couple of weeks all I keep hearing is “WAIT”.

“… but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!” – Psalm 27:14

As a college and now seminary student, one of my biggest struggles has been waiting. Waiting on God to fulfill His promises. Waiting on Him to complete His work in me. Waiting on Him on to bring the right person into my life. Waiting on Him to open up the right doors for ministry.

Waiting is not something I do well. Mostly because we’re told to hustle and make things happen. Yet sometimes all God wants us to do is WAIT, on HIM.
He can make things happen A LOT better than you and I, ever could.

I have recently realized that waiting means letting go of all control, truly surrendering and trusting that God will piece it all together in the end, just like He said He would. My issues with waiting go beyond, waiting. It is an issue of trust. It is much harder to wait, when you don’t trust that the one you are waiting on will actually come through.

And that’s just it. I will either choose to believe that God is absolutely good and has good things in store for me as His daughter ( as one of my amazing ATS friends/co-workers reminded me). Or I will continue to buy into the costly lies that He won’t come through for me as He says He would. Both time and testing has proven, even over the course of the last two months, that HE ALWAYS comes through for His children. I have no reason to fear, no reason to doubt, no reason to think that if I wait, it will not end well for me.

So I have chosen as I start my second year at the Alliance Theological Seminary to practice the discipline of waiting. To genuinely STOP trying to figure things out. Or stop trying to make things happen and TRUST that my Daddy, will DO everything He said He would for me.  Even if the picture isn’t painted with the colors I’d like them to be. Or the brush strokes don’t happen as fast as I would like them to. Or the picture as a whole is completely different from what I hoped for, I choose to wait, I choose to trust.

Because it’s in the waiting, it’s in the trusting that I am coming to truly believe that His WILL is perfect. It’s not just something that sounds pretty in scripture. This is absolute truth. HIS WILL IS PERFECT. SO if HIS will is perfect, then when I wait on HIM, and He is in control, the outcome of my life will be EXACTLY what it’s suppose to be. And it will be perfect for me.

I know a lot of you reading this have perhaps struggled with this very same issue, or are struggling with it now. I encourage you, find comfort, as I have, in knowing that really, He is a good father, who gives GOOD gifts to His children. He has not forgotten you, you have not been overlooked. He sees, He knows, He hears your prayers. And in due time every single word, every single promise He’s ever made to you, will unfold in your life.

I am a witness that those who wait upon the Lord, renew their strength and WILL rise up on wings like eagles…

In the clouds
…Or a plane… My view as I arrived at Rio de Janeiro.

” No one who waits for you will ever be put to shame, no one who waits for you will ever regret it!”

 

In the Center

Dr. Widbin from ATS, lecturing in Gennesaret.

Dr. Widbin from ATS, lecturing in Gennesaret. Where will the “center”lead you?

In the words of a good friend of mine, I am a “go-getter”.  The moment I set my heart on something, I pursue it. Whether or not it’s meant to be, is not my concern, my desire for that particular thing, drives me.  This is a great quality to posses, with a huge downfall.

 Like all of you, I have made plans, paved my own path and often times dictated to God what my life will look like. The idea that I can make my own choices and carve my destiny is a juicy one, after all, we have free-will don’t we? While I won’t attempt to argue the issue of free-will, I am making one point and that is that the best thing we could do  is find ourselves

“In the Center”.

In the Center of what? God’s perfect will for our lives.

This was a lesson I learned a couple of months ago, while standing under an umbrella in the Biblical Town of Gennesaret in Israel, as Dr. Widbin an ATS professor and guide for the ATS Israel trip, shared the story of the demoniac. For those of you who might not know the story it goes something like this: Jesus arrives to this town by boat. Immediately upon leaving the boat, he encounters a severely oppressed man. This madman lived in the tombs with uncontrollable strength, and spent day and night crying out and cutting himself. After a brief encounter, Jesus commands “legions” to depart from him and into a herd of pigs nearby.  The pigs then run off a cliff and drown. People from all throughout the region come to see what had taken place. It was duly noted that the once madman who lived in the tombs was no longer in severe bondage, this scared them, so they asked Jesus to leave. Mark 5:1-17

BUT this is not the part of the story that moved me. It’s what comes next:  “As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’ And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.” Mark 5:18- 20

Here was this man truly set free, with a good intention to follow Jesus and yet Jesus denies him and tells him to stay in the place he knew only through a lens of bondage. All throughout his journey, Christ asked others to “follow him” but on this occasion, when a man asked to follow him, he told him to stay. And although it was NOT what the man originally wanted, he obeyed and though not noted in the gospel of Mark,  that entire town eventually became Christian.

Often times we want to pursue things, we make plans, we have goals, and we ask the Lord to bless them, especially as seminary or college students (whether in Nyack and ATS or elsewhere). We try to figure things out, rather than simply seek God in the waiting.  Instead of saying “God, here is my will, do it.” We should be asking: “God, what is your will?”

The center of God’s will isn’t always going to take us where we want to go. I mean let’s be real, the center of God’s will took Jesus to a cross, but then an empty tomb three days later.

So the question isn’t : “God, will you bless my plans?” But rather; “What plans must I let go of? What ideas should I stop pursuing, in order to position myself in the center?”

Today as I remember what I learned on my trip to Israel with Dr. Widbin and ATS I have finally learned to ask:  “In what ways do I need to be obedient?” So that I can be in the Center of God’s perfect will for me.

Walking the streams of Dan; ATS Israel trip 2013

Walking the streams of Dan; ATS Israel trip 2013. Where will HE take you?

 

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