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So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Glimpses

STILL here, STILL feeling distant from the Lord, STILL not liking it. But, as I've said about one billion times now, all I can do is to keep doing what I know I should: reading the Bible, praying, seeking to obey.

I have had some glimmers of hope lately. Small, small glimmers. I am trying to be very aware of how the Lord is working in my life, even if I can't feel it. James 1:17 says:

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Good things are happening in the midst of this silence, and I have been brought to tears by knowing that, even though I can't perceive Him right now, the Lord is still at work in my life and blessing me. So, I will continue to search for these glimpses of the Lord's hand, and trust that His presence will become more evident with time.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Complete Obedience

Today's passage was in 1 Samuel 15, the episode where Saul, king of Israel, prepares to battle the Amalekites. Samuel, the prophet, tells Saul this (1 Samuel 15:3):

Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.


Pretty clear: Kill them all. Leave nothing. The Amalekites were enemies of the Lord and He wanted them completely destroyed. However, Saul failed to obey (1 Samuel 15: 9):

But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep and of the oxen and of the fattened calves and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them. All that was despised and worthless they devoted to destruction.

Saul decided that surely God couldn't mean for him to destroy all of those fat sheep and cows? There was nothing wrong with them, right? The Israelites needed them for their spoil. They would be useful. They were good. Maybe he thought that if he just destroyed the bad things, that would be sufficient.

I think that we can do the same thing in our lives. All of us have sin in our life that is obviously "despised and worthless"--from drug addiction to harsh speech. If someone points them out, we have no defense. Our only answer is "Yes, that's sin, yes, God wants me to get rid of it." However, I think we also have idols or areas in our lives where the thing itself is not bad, but maybe the value or time we attach to it is. Some examples include Facebook, chocolate, or relationships. Sometimes, for our sanctification or to remove idols from our lives, the Lord will tell us to get rid of something, maybe for a season, maybe forever. It can be very difficult to abandon something that is "good" in our eyes.

Obedience to the Lord is sometimes a very individual matter. For Saul, there were other battles in which Israel was allowed to keep the spoils. With the Amalekites, they were specifically told to devote the city to destruction. Saul's disobedience resulted in him losing the kingship.

I need to be listening to the Lord and simply obey what He says, even when I think that "Hey, these 'sheep' are perfectly fine and beneficial, surely You don't want me to get rid of them?" Surely He does if that's what He said.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Waiting Without Sinning

Ah, the irony of my blog title as I am now waiting longer than it seems that I ever have to hear from the Lord. . .

Read in 1 Samuel 13 today about another person who was waiting, Saul. He has just won a battle and is hanging out at Gilgal, waiting for Samuel to come and perform the required sacrifices. Apparently Saul had been told at some point to wait for Samuel to come. Apparently Saul becomes impatient when Samuel doesn't come within the seven-day time span, and he offers the sacrifices himself. Bad idea. The consequence (1 Samuel 13:13-14):

And Samuel said to Saul, "You have done foolishly. You have not kept the command of the LORD your God, with which he commanded you. For then the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought out a man after his own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be prince over his people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.

While I am waiting, I need to purpose not to "do foolishly" by trusting in idols (my works, someone else, knowledge, etc) or by hardening my heart or by ignoring what I know is true in God's word. Saul lost the kingdom because of his disobedience and lack of trust. I need to keep waiting patiently and trusting the Lord to work, and pray to become a woman after His own heart.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stuck

Again, I'm still here, still reading, praying, seeking, still feeling stuck. Today I was in John 5: 39-40:

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

Am I trying to use the Bible as the "supernatural key" to the Lord (as I also read in 1 Samuel 4 a similar situation where the Israelites try to use the Ark of the Covenant as a magical battle charm) instead of simply "coming to Jesus"? And just what does it look like to come to Jesus? I did spend some time praying, and I'm still not sure what the Lord is doing with me right now, or what I need to be doing or not doing. . . All I can do is to keep reading, praying and seeking.
One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes is from The Screwtape Letters. The book is written from the point of view of a demon trying to mentor another demon as they try to discourage a Christian:

Sooner or later He [God] withdraws, if not in fact, at least from their conscious experience, all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature [us] to stand up on its own legs--to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than the peak periods, that it is growing into the sort of creature He wants it to be. Hence the prayers offered in the state of dryness are those which please Him best. . . . He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. . . . Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys. (p. 39, Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis)