For the moment (or the past two years, however you want to view it) I have been in a waiting period. I know…(at least I think I know) that it is nearing its end. It is frustrating. I know good things are to come from waiting and it’s supposed to build my faith, but WOW, it is not easy. Not at all.
So, to find encouragement and comfort during this waiting period, I’ve researched verses that discuss waiting on God, and how awesome it is supposed to be.
Here’s what I found, and my responses to those verses:
Isaiah 40:31 ESV
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.
This one is pretty encouraging. However, I am having a tough time feeling any of these things right now. I’m pretty worn out. And when I do have strength, it’s more Hulk- like because I feel all kinds of frustrated right now. And (checks back)… I don’t see any eagles wings. I know this is just me wanting what I want when I want it. I’m trying to view the outcome of my waiting period in a positive light, with all the things listed in this verse, but right now…just not there yet.
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
When reading this one, my first response was:
“God is not slow to fulfill his promises, REALLY!?”
but then I remembered God’s idea of slow and my idea of slow are completely different. I know that God is taking his time for a reason, and things are not ready just yet. If I got what I wanted right now, it might get all screwed up. This one also reminded me to work on patience, which is not my strong suit AT ALL. God is so patient with me, he’s heard my doubts and the same
begging prayer OVER AND OVER again, yet he still puts up with me. Feeling a little better now…moving on to the next one.
James 5:11 ESV
Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
I really like James, it’s a great book. For the longest time, I referred to James 1:2-4 when I felt discouraged:
2Count it all joy, my brothers when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
I need to start referring to it again. I know in the end that I will come out better than I started. This is the biggest test of my faith that I have ever experienced (well, maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but it sure feels like it!). I know that in the end all the waiting will make sense.
So back to James 5:11…
If you have read the book of Job, you know he went through some horrid stuff. He basically lost everything. Job’s trial is something I hope to never go through. EVER.
The cool thing about Job though is that he stayed true to God through all of it. He lost his family, possessions and his friends were bringing him down and he remained true to God. It’s amazing. I’m not sure I’d have that strength, I want to have it, but I am not sure that I would have behaved as Job in his situation. God blessed him big time in the end because he held on to his faith.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful. He’s not going to give me more than I can handle. When I feel like I am running out of strength, when I feel weary, by coming to him, he’ll give me renewed strength and hope. I just have to trust him and know that he will fulfill his promises. The reward will be awesome in the end. AWESOME.
Side note: You know, this blog started out as a way to vent my frustrations, and now I am actually feeling better looking up all these verses and writing on them. I think I tricked myself, HA! I should have done this sooner. Duh! Let’s see what else there is about waiting…
Romans 5:3-4 ESV
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.
This is a cool one. It’s hard to be thankful for a trial. Really hard. I don’t know about you, but when I am upset, being thankful for it is really hard to do. Usually I focus on how to stop those feelings, so I can feel better and not get all stabby, stabby.
When I look back at this verse, suffering and trials produce a lot of good things.
I decided to look up the formal definition of endurance to truly understand what it means. Endurance (also called Sufferance, Stamina, Resilience) is the ability of an organism to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time, as well as its ability to resist, withstand, recover from, and have immunity to trauma, wounds, or fatigue.
I want to be able to withstand uncomfortable situations for a long period of time, (heck, I am kinda doing that now). When you are able to endure, you can withstand anything. Look at all the cool things you get when you can endure. (See above definition). From what I read, you basically become superman. Or Iron Man. Or Captain America. Or whichever superhero you want to be…
In all seriousness though, it’s not good to cut and run once things get tough. I have to admit, that is my approach to a lot of things.
“This hurts…I’m done.”
“Things aren’t going my way…time for something new.”
“You hurt me…we’re over”
“Why is this taking so long? Time to take control!”
These aren’t exactly good qualities to have, not to mention a serious character flaw. But if I learn to endure I can change these negative character traits into patience, humility, grace and submission.
With those traits, it builds hope. Hope is such a great thing to have, and right now I feel it waning because I am giving into doubt. I need to remember: Hope hulk-smashes doubt.
Psalm 130:5-6 ESV
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
I love this verse because it deals with hope. Someone described hope to me as this:
“Hope is waiting for the sun to rise.”
You know its going to happen because it happens everyday. It’s something you can count on. It won’t let you down.
And when the sun rises…it’s so beautiful.
It’s a reminded of a new day, a new start. Darkness flees, yesterday is gone. Our past sins and failures leave us behind. With each day there is renewed hope, an answer to a promise.
Soon the sun will rise on my promises and the things that I desire in my heart. All the waiting will be worth it, because the outcome will be amazing and a testimony of how much God loves me.