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.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Trusting the Timing

When I get to heaven, I am hoping there will be a chance to see behind the scenes of some of the accounts in the Bible. I have been reading in Genesis, about Joseph, and I really, really wish that I could ask him about those years in prison. We know that he was sent there unjustly, and that "The keeper of the prison paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph's charge, because the LORD was with him. And whatever he did, the LORD made it succeed." (Genesis 39:23). We know that the cupbearer of the Pharaoh was also imprisoned, that Joseph interpreted his dream, and that Joseph said this to the cupbearer: "Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house." (Genesis 40:15) We also are privy to the fact that the cupbearer forgot Joseph and didn't remember for two years.

What did Joseph think right after he spoke to the cupbearer?  If he were like me (which he probably wasn't, since he had much more faith than I do, but surely he had his weak moments?), he would have been thinking, "Wow, God, so cool that you sent this cupbearer here, and that I could help him, and that he's going to tell Pharaoh about me, and I'm going to get out of here soon.  Yep, any day now, I'll be free."  And then he waits for two more years.

What's difficult about circumstances like that, at least for me, is to not just rely on the hopeful part of the situation:  "Look at this circumstance.  Surely God heard me and will answer me soon.", but to rely on God's grace for the unspoken (and unthinkable) part:  "Okay, Lord, I think this looks good, but I am going to trust that IF IT DOESN'T WORK OUT WHEN OR HOW I THINK, then that is also the answer from you and it is the better choice."  It's the choice we have after the sixteenth job interview:  "I trust you that if this is your plan, I'll get the job, but if it's NOT, then that is your good work in my life as well."  It's the attitude we choose after another month goes by with no pregnancy, or another date ends with no relationship, or another year passes of estrangement from a loved one.

If I were Joseph, I would think that of course the Lord wants me out of here now.  However, the timing wasn't right yet.  Pharaoh had no need of him.  The circumstances had not yet fallen into place to bring Joseph to a place of leadership so that he could save many lives:  "And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors."  (Genesis 45:7)

It can be so hard to trust in God's timing, because when we are in the middle of the story, it can feel lonely and sad and pointless.  I so want to know how Joseph handled the two years of waiting in prison.  How long did it take him to rest in God's goodness and trust Him that He would work all circumstances together for good?  How was he able to choose a peaceful and calm attitude, walking in the truth that God was at work even if He was silent?  The irony is that Joseph knew far less of God than I do, and yet came through his circumstances knowing that God had purposefully orchestrated his life.  May I learn to trust as well in the God that I KNOW is at work on my behalf:  
"The Lord will accomplish what concerns me.  The Lord's lovingkindness is everlasting.  Do not forsake the works of your hands."  (Psalm 138:8, NAS)

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