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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 21, 2011

Detours

Finished The Land Between, by Jeff Manion today. I recommend it highly. I got the book for Christmas but just "happened" to get it out a few weeks ago and finally start reading it. God's timing is perfect (which is another fact more easily seen in hindsight). The author was talking about detours in our lives, when the road that we thought we were going to follow or the road that we thought we were on suddenly changes. His example is my good buddy Joseph. Over and over in Joseph's experience in Egypt (including while he was in prison), the Bible states that God was with Joseph (Genesis 39:2), and that Joseph prospered. Here are some of Jeff Manion's thoughts (p. 182):
"The reality here can be unsettling. Often God chooses to meet us with his blessing in a place we do not choose to be. He will bless us on the detour. He will bless us in the Land Between. Often the place of blessing is not our place of preference."

I'm single. I've always been single. I never wanted to be single. My vision of my life when I was younger was probably a lot like most people's: Finish college, get married, have children. I remember walking through my college town and seeing the families in their houses and thinking "Someday that will be me." Someday still isn't here. Singleness has been an unplanned and very long detour. Yet, reflecting today, I have been blessed in so many ways: Opportunity, travel, some of the world's best friends. The blessings are deeper than that, however. On page 185, Manion writes:
"What if God desires to be present and faithful on your detour? What if he chooses to make his presence powerfully available when you are in the space you least desire to be--the Land Between?. . .Our longing [to prosper in the place of OUR choosing], however deep, may not change the reality. Sometimes we don't get to choose. But will we open our hearts to God? Will we open our lives to his work and his blessing while we are not where we want to be?"

Joseph never got to go home. God was with him, he prospered, and his family eventually was returned to him, but he never got to return to Canaan. The Israelites took his bones there, but that's the closest he came. I don't control very much of my life at all. I cannot conjure a husband and children out of the dust (I have tried. Doesn't work). It is a painful thing to know that some detours may be permanent. Yet, even with that pain, I can see that the Lord has used this season of singleness to deepen His relationship with me and to grow (slowly) my faith and trust in Him. The biggest blessing that I have in my life is my relationship with Jesus, and much of that was born from the seeking, crying, and wrestling which came about because of the trial of singleness. There are days when my flesh isn't sure that the trade off is worth it. I STILL don't want to be here. However, my choice remains: Will I work with God? Will I open my heart to receive blessings in a place that I never wanted to be? Will I relinquish my dreams and accept the ones the Lord has for me? Some days I choose the right choice, and others I don't. I am thankful that the Lord is patient with me, and that His will is perfect, even when I see it as a detour.

3 comments:

  1. Excellent thoughts! "The Land Between" is a very real challenge for all of us; whether we experience it sooner or later, we will ALL be here at some point in our journey. Thank you for sharing your heart!

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  2. Thanks, Bill. I think we will all be here someday, and I want to have a heart that will be transformed and not a hard heart like those first Israelites who never got to see the Promised Land.

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  3. Edna, this is beautiful and profound... and a needed reminder - thank you.

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