Thursday, June 29, 2017

Waiting.


I have a friend who is house-hunting. On a deadline. That’s just double trouble. Ever been there? I feel for her. I scour the homes for sale for her. Not because she needs my help, but because I want it to happen now for her. Because I know what’s it like to wait on a house to appear because you need a house to move into! I mean, if not—the questions accumulate so fast: Where will we live? What will we do? Where will we put all our stuff? How will we ever pay for all this? You know, all those things that follow the original question: What if ______?

We say we believe in our hearts that God’s timing is best. We say we know He will provide for us. We say we know He will direct our paths. And then crunch time comes. Oh boy. How does all that belief crumble so quickly?

I have found that waiting on God is the hardest thing I have ever done on my spiritual journey. It could be huge, monumental decisions I am waiting on wisdom for, it could be smaller things I am waiting for Him to provide for. The actual thing doesn’t seem to matter. Waiting is just stinking hard. Waiting is where the rubber meets the road in the faith department. Here I am, saying for years that I believe He is all powerful and nothing is impossible for Him and now I get a chance to walk out that belief. Hold on, hold on! Isn’t really, truly believing it enough? I mean, do I really have to live it out?

Yes. Yes I do.

And in the end, when the impossible thing materializes, when the house appears, when the right decision makes itself so clear, when the prodigal comes home, when the relationship is restored, when the ____ you have been waiting for so long happens, you will be so very thankful that you went through it. Now, I know this. I tell you this from my own experiences with waiting. And yet I have never, not once, raised my hand and asked God to have me wait on something. Isn’t that something? I know the joy and the high and the pure revelation of God’s power and the possibilities that reside in Him alone. But my self—the one that dislikes being uncomfortable, the one that hates when all the loose ends aren’t tied up neatly, the one that abhors not knowing tomorrow and the next day and the next remembers the pain and discomfort that comes from waiting. And that self tries to push all of those feelings to the front of the line.

But the Holy Spirit is right there with the joy and the peace and the revelation and the remembrance of how my faith grew by leaps and bounds when He showed up, bringing the impossible with Him—just for me.

God is so good. He will allow you to wait because it will grow you into what He wants you to be. It will strengthen your faith in Him. It will help you to rely on Him more, rely on Him first, rely on Him only. It will cause it to be easier for you to share your hope with others, because He is just that good to you. It will cause tears to roll down your face and quite possibly for sobs to rack your body when you sing “Good, Good Father” in church.

Oh, it's love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As you call me deeper still
As you call me deeper still
As you call me deeper still
Into love, love, love
You're a good, good Father
It's who You are, it's who You are, it's who You are
And I'm loved by You
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am…”

You’ll realize how utterly true it all is. His Word. His Promises. His Love.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to take my word for it. You will go through a season of waiting sooner or later. And when you do, He gave you this promise:

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31


You will wait. But you will also have new strength from the waiting. You will fly and run and walk. The waiting makes you feel paralyzed with fear and all those pesky what if’s. But God is greater. He will most certainly give you freedom to move and grow and have supernatural strength during this season of waiting. Because He is a good, good Father.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Oh, Those Summer Nights!


Are summer nights not magical? Ah. I love them so much. I’m not much of a night owl—okay, okay, I’m not even close to a night owl. Ask any member of my family, my eyes droop around 9PM and it's all downhill from there. Don’t judge me.

But summer nights.

Something different about those. Special. And, sure, we live in Florida where it really does feel like summer all year. But when the days are longer and the stars are out and you can hear the crickets and it's just sticky enough outside, then you have yourself a great summer night.

The world seems more expansive, somehow. Maybe God seems closer. To me, anyway. I just feel different on summer nights! All this to say, if you know me at all and have taken an even cursory glance at this blog—I feel all the different feelings in all the different seasons. God is a God of seasons! He made them all and even told us in Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…”

So I revel in the summer nights! Just like I will revel in all the fall activities and smells and sounds when that season comes. I hope you will, too. Both the summer and the fall—they are equally important, equally full of feels.

I don’t know what season of life you are going through right now. Maybe it’s a spring season full of new hope and possibilities and growth everywhere. Maybe it is the other extreme of winter, seemingly full of barrenness. I can tell you without a single doubt that God is with you wherever you are, whatever season you may be in. He said so. “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20.

To the end of the age.

In spring, in summer, in fall, in winter.

In all the in-betweens that seem to sneak in somehow.

And He’s here in all these magical summer nights. Breathe them in. Breathe Him in. I would say imagine Him out there with you, with the stars and the crickets, but it's really not imagination at all—it is faith. Faith that He is what He says He is. And He says He’s with you! Even now. Even tonight.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Happy June!


Happy June, people! Do you love summer like I love summer?
 
I keep a list of words in my phone that I look at or add to from time to time to remind me of summer. Words to invoke that feeling of happy happy joy joy that I get from summer. Here are some of them: fireworks, lemonade, salty water, sand, barefoot, laughter, beach umbrellas, shimmering ocean, sparklers, concerts. So many good things happen in summertime! I’m in for all of them.
 
Whatever your list is, be in for all of them. This is the one and only Summer 2017 that you will get. I know in advance I will have a great pull to stay on my couch and watch Netflix these next few weeks. (Netflix and I are BFF's, so no judgment here.) But I know if I do that, I will be watching other people experience all the fireworks, lemonade, salty water, sand, barefoot, laughter, beach umbrellas, shimmering ocean, sparklers, and concerts. I don’t want all those spectacular things to pass me by! I don’t want to look back at Summer ’17 and say, ‘hmmm. I don’t really remember much about it’. I know if I sink into couch and comfort-land that will happen.
 
I DO want to look back on Summer ’17 and have it come alive in my mind and hear it like a Bryan Adams song. “Oh, when I look back now, that summer seemed to last forever…and if I had the choice, yeah, I’d always wanna be there…those were the best days of my life”. So I’m gonna make my summer a melody. A melody of fireworks, lemonade, salty water…you get the idea.
 
May this be the best June of your life.