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, August 19, 2012

Even If. . .

Today I read one of my favorite passages in the Old Testament, in Esther.  The exiled Jews have just heard about the edict against them--that in months, they will be slaughtered, legally, by the government.  Queen Esther's cousin Mordecai delivers a message to her, urging her to go to the king and plead for the lives of their people.  Esther at first gives all the reasons why that will never work.  Mordecai responds: 
“Do not think to yourself that in the king's palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews.  For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father's house will perish.” (Esther 4:13b-14a)
What stood out to me this morning was Mordecai's utter faith that, whether Esther spoke up or not, the Lord would deliver them. As a Jew, he would have known that the Lord had promised to protect His chosen people.  Mordecai had a plan--Esther to intervene with the king--but greater than his trust in his plan was his faith in his God.

I am thankful that we can see Mordecai's humanness.  "When Mordecai learned all that had been done, Mordecai tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city, and he cried out with a loud and bitter cry." (Esther 4:1).  He didn't just nod and pray and twiddle his thumbs, waiting for divine intervention. He wailed.  He grieved.  He sought out Esther and had to ask her not once, but twice to speak to the king. Once Esther was persuaded, he led the Jews in fasting for her for three days.  

Mordecai was facing certain death if the edict were carried out as written.  He responded with honest emotion, a plan, and faith in a God who might or might not work through the plan Mordecai had conceived.  Where did his faith come from?  The knowledge of the promises of God to be faithful to His people.

Fast forward to me, a 21st century Christian facing not possible imminent physical death, but the possible death of hopes or dreams or security.  I am going to lose loved ones.  The idea I had in my head of what my life would be doesn't seem to be happening.  I have waited and waited and waited for good things that I want (and, truth be told, believe that I need).  Yet I, too, have promises from the Lord as well.  Promises to meet my needs.  Promises to give me the desires of my heart.  Promises that nothing, NOTHING, can separate me from His love:
 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
My plan may not work out.  My idea of how God will work may not be correct.  My desires may not be met in the timetable that I prefer (or at all).  Will I, with Mordecai, have the faith to believe that "relief and deliverance" will rise from God's perfect plan, His powerful execution of that plan, and His purposeful timing in when that plan occurs?  I may not get what I want, but I am promised that the Lord will give me what I need:  "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19) 

Ultimately, my truest and deepest needs, for forgiveness and restoration to God, have already been met through Jesus.  Romans 8:32 says:  "He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?"  The deliverance of my soul has been accomplished, arising from the cross.  I can trust the Lord for everything else, as well.

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