Is there anything in the world worse than waiting? I know it can be annoying to have to stand in line while the woman in front of you counts out $67. 83 in quarters, or to be stuck in traffic beside the people, who just like you saw the construction signs miles away, and think that it's your obligation to hold up the cars behind you to allow them space, but I mean the waiting for those things that never seem like they are ever going to come. That is precisely the place I've found myself in for the last 110 days (but who's counting?).
I've found myself in every imaginable emotion for someone who feels like they've lost control of their carefully constructed little world. I've felt anger - at myself, and at times at others who I could blame for putting me in this situation, even at God for seeming to be so absent and relatively obtuse, sadness and loss, desperation, failure, anxiety, and fear - about just about anything, sometimes as simple as leaving the house, and other times fear that everything I said I believed, like God has a plan, was a lie. The one thing I have been truly blessed with, is people who care, and people who will sit with me for hours as we talk this through, full of encouragement and promise - but there were times when I would sit and listen and think - I'm not getting the good side of this. They don't really understand.
Just recently I started watching a DVD Bible Study Series that was purchased for me months ago. It's called It's Tough Being a Woman, and is a Bible Study with a woman named Beth Moore. The first session I watched, I had high hopes for the series, I wanted it to be all about a pity party for me, telling me lovely platitudes like, Oh honey, I know you have it so hard, but one day you're going to wake up and be famous, loved by all, and you'll never have to go through anything hard ever again - because God is very sorry that your life didn't turn out the way you wanted it, or something like that. Not surprisingly, this was not at all what it has been about, especially not for me. This series explores the book of Esther in the Bible, and goes into depth discussing this book. I can't go into it all, or this post would be way too long, but, it has been a blessing to me.
For a long time, I've felt like I can't talk to God, or hear from God, and the reason is, I don't want to hear what he has to say, afraid of what he has to say. Today, while listening to Beth Moore speak, I felt God speaking to me and he was talking about waiting. I don't like to wait, and frankly, I'm afraid of having to wait. Instead, when things are all in control, and in my own hands, then I don't have to wait for anything and life can carry on the way I like it. He brought up the fact that I don't like waiting so much, that I put it off, for YEARS, and stayed at a job because I was afraid to have to wait on him, and believe that he would provide me another job. I think I was always afraid, that if I waited for him, that he might never turn up. So, today in Bible Study, Beth Moore was talking about waiting, and she said something that so felt like God was talking to me, that I couldn't help but share it.
Isaiah 41: 30 says:
But those who hope (wait)in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.
To be totally honest, I've heard that verse a lot. I have had no clue at all what it actually means. It always seemed to me, that if I wait on the Lord, I might just be waiting a good long time, and the opportunities would all pass me by. But, Beth Moore said something so interesting, so profound that it shook me from the toes up. She said (paraphrasing), People don't wait on the Lord, they wait on an EVENT. We spend so much of our time putting faith into an event happening, like for example, getting a new job, that we end up depleting our strength. This hit me right between the eyes. I'm not waiting on the Lord, I'm waiting on a new job, as if that will be the answer to all of my issues, we'll have enough money again, I can be proud of the fact that I have a job, I can feel a purpose in life, whatever it is I believe in the event, instead of in my savior. It occurred to me, how much better waiting on the Lord is. This concept, is echoed so beautifully in another passage that my Mom sent to me just this week.
Psalm 37: 4-5 which says:
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord – roll and repose (each care of) your load on Him; trust (lean on, rely on and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
Again, I never really knew what this was about. I didn't understand how I could delight myself in the Lord, without him thinking I was just doing it to get something out of it. But, it makes so much sense, that if I can wait (hope) in the Lord, then he already knows that I need a new job, and he is already working to bring that about. As I wait on him, and put my hope in him, then I am refreshed, renewed and I can handle the challenges that await me when I do get a new job. If I am waiting on him, I don't have to stress over why a prospective employer hasn't called me. But, when I am waiting for the JOB, then I am already spent and drained by the time I get to the job. So, then what is waiting on the Lord? Delighting in the Lord? I think that it's sitting with him, talking to him and listening to what he has to say. Not being afraid of what he has to say - as I have been for so long. Changing my focus, means trusting God fully, and not just trusting him for a thing, but trusting him because he loves me.
I don't know, maybe this is like Christian 101 for everyone else, but knowing that I have been putting my trust in an event, rather than in God frees me to know that instead I can trust in God, that I can rest in him, and wait in him. It doesn't matter what job comes along, because one will, it only matters that I wait in the Lord, because he has what's best for me, for all of us. For the first time in 110 days, I know that I am free.