Waiting

Have you ever found yourself stuck waiting for something to happen.

It’s hard, isn’t it?

There is so much of our natural will and human instinct that provokes us to try to do something to enact the change we want to see. And I think that for the most part, that’s a God ordained desire. He expects us to participate in our blessings. He expects us to boldly reach for the things that He offers us.

HOWEVER … He also expects us to wait on Him – to wait for His timing and to follow His direction … and sometimes I think THAT is the hardest act of faith imaginable. Because when God promises us something, or when we ask Him for something, we normally have an expectation about how and WHEN that thing will happen. But of course, God doesn’t normally follow our timeline. He often has His own ways of doing things. And it can be so difficult to trust Him while we wait.

I was talking to someone about this earlier this afternoon – about why it can be so hard to wait for the things that God has promised us. And we came to a simple, honest conclusion. When we wait for something, especially when we’re waiting longer than we thought we would, it can feel a lot like being forgotten.

But we don’t serve a forgetful God. He doesn’t abandon us or change His mind. His blessings can’t be earned, and yet they are ours, because He has promised them to us. His timing is perfect, and we would be wise to stop trying to force His hand. Learning this – learning to TRUST that He will be faithful even when the situation looks bad, requires a true surrender – one that goes beyond words and actions, and transforms even the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts.

But those who wait on 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

Our walk in Christ is not a sprint. It is a life-long race. When you grow weary and your heart is faint looking for your breakthrough, take the time to reflect on how you wait upon the Lord. Waiting with a heart of faith will give you the strength to endure for the long-haul. It will cause you to soar.

When God Provides …

fishing-1362370-1279x858Just last night I was reading the last chapter in the book of John (Chapter 21). In this chapter, the disciples had witnessed Jesus’ death, but not his resurrection, and in light of all that had happened, Peter made a grand announcement – he was going fishing. He decided to go back to doing the things he’d done before Jesus came into his life. He was (essentially) giving up on his ministry and walk with God in order to return to the life he used to have before he found Christ.

The other disciples went with him, and they toiled all night, but didn’t catch a single thing. I’ve read this story many times, but this was the first time that it occurred to me what a blow that must have been for these men. They thought that Jesus was dead. The ministry that had consumed their lives for three years was suddenly gone. And even fishing (the one thing they used to be good at) wasn’t working for them any more! It was like they couldn’t catch a break!

But then something amazing happened. In the midst of that moment of total failure, Jesus came on the scene:

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”  “No,” they answered (John 21:4-5 NKJV).

Jesus then gave them instructions – he told them to cast their net on the right side of the boat. And even though they didn’t know it was him speaking, they obeyed. The result was a miracle catch so large that they could barely haul it to shore. That was when they realized what was happening – they realized that Jesus wasn’t dead! The biggest tragedy they’d ever faced wasn’t actually a tragedy any more!

Of course they rushed to the shore to meet with Jesus face to face. And when they arrived, the Bible gives us a detail that is small, almost to the point of insignificance, but so powerful that it overwhelms me:

When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it,and some bread (John 21:9 NKJV)

Jesus had just given his disciples a monumental miracle. He’d just revived their dreams, their faith, and even their careers in one single supernatural act. But that wasn’t all he did. He cared so much about these men that he also cooked them breakfast!

I can’t get over how beautiful that statement is, and how much meaning it has for our personal lives. We don’t serve a God who only cares about the big things. When He moves in our lives, he doesn’t pass over the “insignificant” details. He provides for the big and the small, the significant and the seemingly insignificant. He doesn’t just provide – he is MORE than enough.

Isn’t that amazing?

As we near the end of this year, there may be some of you who are wondering how everything went so wrong. You may feel just like the disciples did at the beginning of this chapter – facing a life that looks to be in shambles. Or maybe you’re not in dire straights, but there are certain areas of your life that just aren’t working out the way you’ve wanted them to.  I’m here to remind you that God is with you in all of this. He sees where you are. He knows your fears and your frustrations. He has not abandoned you. In fact, he can take everything that you thought was wrong and make it all right again – and he can do it in an instant!

So if you’re struggling, frustrated, or just unsure … cling to Jesus today. He is the one who will NEVER leave you (even when you feel alone). He will NEVER abandon you (even when everything looks terrible). He is NOT done with you (no matter how impossible your situation may seem). And best of all – he CARES. He cares about the little things and the big things. He cares that you have enough – and that you have more than enough. He will give you the testimonies that will stun and amaze your friends and family. AND he will also do the “little” things that hold a personal power and meaning for you that can’t be expressed in words.

The love of God is more – more than we expect, more than we imagine, more than we could ever understand. And his love never ever fails.