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Archive for the tag “Waiting”

Expectantly Waiting

A few months ago, I thought a flower bed had not survived the cold winter. I was encouraged the other day when I began to clean up my yard and noticed what I thought was dead was in fact a new beginning. When I looked closer at my flower bed, it was only dormant. The green was just beginning to peak through at the bottom of the plant. I thought I was going to have to start over. The plant was just waiting for the sun to shine and the temperature to increase. Growth happens after a dormant period. When everything is still and the plant is hunkered down for the long winter months, the growth is waiting on the right circumstances to pop out and become the beautiful landscape that it was designed to be.

My pastor had spoken the previous Sunday on Elijah. I was greatly encouraged by his message that God had inspired him to preach. I had been feeling a little down about my circumstances. The pastor spoke of the time when Elijah was just starting on the road to becoming the great prophet. Elijah had just spoken to Ahab, the King of Israel, about a drought that God was going to send upon the land. Once the word was given, God told Elijah to go to the Kerith Ravine. Elijah went underground (so to speak). While Elijah was waiting, God told him that the brook would be there for water and the ravens would feed him. Elijah waited for a long time. Scripture doesn’t give exact details except “some time later” the brook dried up. We know the drought was supposed to happen for three years. How long it took for the brook to dry up, I don’t know for sure.

I imagine the brook was like the stream that ran at the back of my parent’s property when they lived in the mountains. It didn’t carry much water most of the time except after a heavy rain. When I envision brook at Kerith, I think it was enough to meet Elijah’s need for that time. While Elijah waited, I wonder if he ever got discouraged. I mean really. Waiting by a small brook, having birds feed him day in and day out. No contact with others. Just him, the birds and the stream. It had to have been lonely, right? My pastor said this was the time of Elijah’s preparation. God had some work to do in Elijah before God could use him. Scripture is silent about Elijah’s conversations with God during those times. Being human, he had to have been having some conversations, don’t you think? When God when? Why God why? How God how? Elijah had to learn trust. Elijah had to learn patience. Yuck.

God had given me an opportunity to leave my job three years ago. My brook has been running for the last three years. I have had everything I have needed for that time. I left my job with the expectation that something else was right around the corner. That’s not what happened though. I have been in the midst of conversations with God for the last few weeks. I was reminded this is my season of preparation – this is the season of winter when I am still and wait for God’s timing. I was reminded when the brook dries up there was another provision for Elijah. As I wait, I am encouraged that new growth happens when everything looks dead on the outside, but the inside is transforming. It was the right message for the right time. Thank you Jesus for the reminder, you always have a plan even when it looks like nothing is happening.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalms 27:13-14

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The Sheet

I was reading Acts 11 on this particular morning. God used this passage in my life to move me from High Point, NC to Raleigh, NC. When I was reading it on this morning, I was brought right back to the reason I am here in this city. About fifteen years ago, I was all settled in my new little house enjoying my life. One of my friends had recently moved to Durham, NC. She knew I was getting to a point in my job that I wanted to start searching for another one. She called me with a new job offer for Raleigh. I was not about to move. I was getting everything in order in my new house, and I liked my life there (just not my job). However, I told her thanks for the information and went about the day. I had my quiet time in the evenings before bedtime back in those days. And read the passage about Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10 (Acts 11 recounts the story). Peter and Cornelius both had visions from God. I thought that was pretty interesting. I was still relatively new to Bible reading so this story was pretty new to me.

God opened Peter’s eyes to a new perspective. He opened the door to new opportunities to preach the Word to the Gentiles. Peter pondered the revelation. Then Peter recognized the opportunity, and he had the courage to go where he was once forbidden to go. I love this passage. God used this passage to get me to my current city. I didn’t know it at the time, but He was going to open my eyes to a new perspective as well. And He was going to give me courage to step into something new. God used this passage to direct my path. I wasn’t planning to move. I had just started to put out “feelers” for a new job. But God wanted me here for a purpose that has yet to be revealed. I think He’s in the process of revealing bits and pieces but the picture isn’t as clear as the sheet was for Peter.

In my past, I have heard a direct word from God on occasion. This is one of those cases where I knew what I was hearing was from Him. In my prayer time after reading the passage, I halfheartedly prayed about the job opportunity in Raleigh. I tucked myself in bed and went to sleep. During the night, I had a dream. I don’t remember much except the word from the Lord. The word for me was “Denise, I have a job for you to do in Raleigh.” That’s all I remember. When I woke up the next morning, I said I guess I need to call about this job. I did. I got the job. I sold my house and got resettled in about a six weeks time frame. It was pretty quick. But when God says go, look out, it will happen quickly!

Just like Peter, I had the confidence to go to somewhere new to do something else new. I am still waiting for the rest of the story. I don’t know exactly why Raleigh. But in the meantime, I am learning all I can learn. I am faithful with what God has given me. And I will be confident when God has the job ready, I’ll be ready!

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14

Waiting Patiently

One morning I was feeling a bit impatient. I was struggling in my waiting time. I asked God in my quiet time, “Why am I waiting?” “What am I waiting on?” I have been waiting for two years to find my purpose. Well, longer than that. I have been waiting for the last two years for the next step. I left my job two years ago in February. I thought the plan was set, and I was moving out in faith. But it didn’t go as planned. The leads fizzled out. The income stream dried up. I was questioning did I hear correctly? In the meantime, my body has done some great healing. My spirit has grown significantly. I am listening more intently than ever before. I have enjoyed the opportunity to write. I had made a comment to my Aunt one night as we were having dinner long before I quit my job. I said, “I just want to quit and write.” Well, that’s what I have been doing. The lesson – be careful what you say (or pray for)!

This year, I decided to get out an old classic to read during my quiet time. I had been given “Streams in the Desert” by my Mom for Christmas in 1981. I probably hadn’t read a word of it in at least twenty years or more. This year, I felt pulled toward it. I opened up the cover on January 1st and saw my Mom’s handwriting. She wrote “Denise, I hope this devotional book will mean as much to you through the years, as it has to me.”  How special is that? Well, this is the year that it comes to fruition. This is the year when God has placed the need to read it before me.

So how did God answer my quiet time rant on my impatience? “I do not believe that we have begun to understand the marvelous power there is in stillness. We are in such a hurry – we must be doing – so that we are in danger of not giving God a chance to work. You may depend upon it, God never says to us “Stand still,” or “Sit still,” or “Be still,” unless He is going to do something.” (February 5th devotional) Can this actually be the answer to my impatience? Reading further, “Sit still, my daughter! Just sit calmly still! Nor deem these days – these waiting days – as ill! The One who loves thee best, who plans thy way, hath not forgotten thy great need today! And, if He waits, ‘tis sure He waits to prove to thee, His tender child, His heart’s deep love.” Okay, I will wait patiently, and let God do the work in me that needs to be done. God’s got this under control.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:13-14

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