Questions for the Road:
- What’s it like for you to wait and listen for God to respond to your pain? What could you do to make more room for listening?
- What are some answers God has given you in the past that you can write down as an anchor for the future?
- Share about a time when you either waited on God or tried to force His timing. What did you learn?
- Like most people, I want answers now! Especially when I am in a struggle or a painful situation. I want to know the way through. I know God has the answers and at times like a petulant child I angrily state to Him, “Get me out of this!” Most of the time, He behaves as I do as a mother. He quietly waits until I’ve calmed down before He speaks. He knows just as I know, that there is no point in trying to talk to someone who is just lashing out in anger. They can’t hear, and waiting is hard for them. So, they need a little practice. Waiting is not something that I enjoy, but the more I learn to develop patience and being still in the struggle, the more I find Him just being present with me in the midst of the pain. Over time I have built some soul muscle against the onslaught of my soul that rages when it is uncomfortable. It is a little space. It is grace, really! For a season, I took time to practice being silent. In doing so, my soul learned to quiet down when the stress and struggle were ramping up. I called it 5 seconds of grace, it is the space between what just happened and my reaction. It is there in that place I am reminded to ask God to enter here with me. It’s where I needed to make room for Him. I am a quick-tongued, fire flashing over me, monkey-minded girl. Which is a recipe for disaster! So, I seek solitude to sort my heart out. I seek quiet to prepare for the hard days.
- For a season, the Lord allowed me to pray over myself whenever I felt a sickness coming, and I was granted healing. But this time, the Lord allowed the sickness to come, and I was angry because I had so much to do. I had to cancel days of things I was looking forward too. I was so angry I refused to speak to Him for 2 days. Then on the 3rd morning I quietly spoke, “why didn’t you heal me?” He said, “You want the healing more than you want Me.” See, I had begun to see myself as a “someone” or a “something.” He slowed my roll to remind me to whom I belong. I bawled my eyes out. He is so gracious. He just wants to be with us. This moment became an anchor for me. Whenever life goes in a different direction than I expected, I look for Him. I look and listen because He leads and changes the plan to lead me back to Him. He has off ramps back to Himself all along the journey if we watch.
- Several years ago my husband and I were sitting across from each other at a restaurant. He had brought me there to talk about a desire that he had for a certain yellow Chevelle. I heard him talking about this dream and desire. He shared all the things he would like to do with our family and the changes he wanted to make in his life. As he talked, my thoughts drifted into prayer. I began to ask the Lord, “what should I say, Lord?” The still small voice was so clear. He said, “Say yes, and I will take care of the rest.” I was nervous. The promises that my husband was speaking were rocks of change that I had prayed over him for years. To hear him speak of them each individually as a plan for where he wanted to go was both exhilarating and fearful. My heart was crying out “what ifs” and “if not’s” but the Lord’s tender and steady voice of faithfulness quieted my fretful worries. I said, “Yes” and over the next 3 years my husband entered an overhaul and transformation in the spirit with His God. It has been one of the best things in our lives. When we say yes, we learn He can be trusted.
Our prayers and steps of faith, we think they ought to come in 2 seconds after we pray them. Yet the slow work of our God works a good thing in us if we let Him.
This isn’t microwave spirituality. God isn’t building robots in a factory for mass production. He’s growing children in a family that lasts forever. He really does know what He is doing. We are going to face hard days and difficult situations. We will wonder and doubt if it will all turn out but our God is faithful to perform what He says He will. Jeremiah 1:12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” Maybe it’s time to reevaluate if we’ve been standing on the sidelines of doubt. Maybe its time to believe again, to trust again. Maybe we are ready. Are you?
All is grace,