Monday, April 16, 2012

The God for Whom We Wait

It will be said in that day,
"Behold, this is our God;
we have waited for Him, that He might save us.
This is the LORD; we have waited for Him;
let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation."
Isaiah 25:9, ESV

My little family has dwelt under a particular burden for years now. Some trials grow so prolonged that one ceases to pray regularly for change and focuses on prayers for endurance and patience with joy. Andrew Murray's words helped me again with this recently:
One of the chief needs in our waiting upon God, one of the deepest secrets of its blessedness and blessing, is a quiet, confident persuasion that it is not in vain; courage to believe that God will hear and help; we are waiting on a God who never could disappoint His people (Waiting on God, Kindle location 285).
In the last two weeks, wholly unexpectedly, this burden has lifted in a perfectly timed turn of events. In addition to answering the specific prayers for guidance regarding a significant change of circumstances, this one provision has answered a constellation of other requests I would have thought unrelated. Amazing, isn't it, how He can devise a better answer than the fifteen blueprints I offered Him in my impatience?

It feels like walking into a finely appointed hotel room and discovering that every need and wish has already been anticipated and met. Is this how Joseph felt when he was ushered so precipitously from the prison to Pharaoh's palace?

Even so, the Puddleglum part of me murmurs, "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. What's the catch here?"

The Lord replies, through a Bible study lesson, with the examples of Caleb and Joshua, the faithful scouts whose regard for God's power and faithfulness surpassed their assessment of the obstacles to taking the land promised to the patriarchs of Israel. "Faith brings rest; unbelief brings unrest," said the teacher on the DVD.

Again, in the homework on Numbers, I hear this from the medieval mystic Julian of Norwich:
This word: Thou shalt not be overcome, was said full clearly and full mightily, for assuredness and comfort against all tribulations that may come. He said not: Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be afflicted; but He said: Thou shalt not be overcome. God willeth that we take heed to these words, and that we be ever strong in sure trust, in weal and woe. For He loveth and enjoyeth us, and so willeth He that we love and enjoy Him and mightily trust in Him; and all shall be well (from Chapter 68, Revelations of Divine Love).
Today, then, we celebrate answered prayers and find in them renewed strength to bear those for which the answer yet remains, "No." The many clear marks of God's hand in this change provide no assurance of an easy path ahead, but they do assure of His leading, and because of He who leads loves us and has quite the track record of power and faithfulness, we can move forward in trust in Him who gives rest and victory.

Dear crumble, some of you I know are also in a waiting place; in prayer we wait together for the help you need. God has not forgotten you. He will answer in the best way and time. May He do so in a way that glorifies His name, strengthens your faith, and gives you a story to share of His faithfulness. Even when the answer is no and no and no again, a day is coming, as in the Scripture heading this post, when we will see the God we await and all our hopes will be fulfilled.

It has been a roller-coaster week here, and a mere few of the things for which I thank our Lord include
God's clear guidance::answers to prayer::His patient faithfulness to correct and bear with me::eucatastrophe in action
:lovely mail from two different crumbles who, unbeknownst to one another, sent postcards from their travels:
so much encouragement and affirmation for my beloved::desire even for a particular coffee fulfilled
health insurance::first hollyhocks blooming in the garden::first monarch sighted on the lawn
choosing yarn for a friend's baby::tangible expression of hope::lunch with my mom and a mutual friend
::prayer support::appointment with Dr. Honeycomb::stable asthma::bag full of prescription samples::
watching soccer (futbol) with my two favorite guys::waiting over for a permanent pastor at our church
::a gracious compliment from an acquaintance at church::listening ears::mysterious bruise on the ball of my foot::
no appointments with orthopedist until April 30::new opportunities to exercise trust::our trustworthy God
(taking the Joy Dare, #5520-5544; photos to follow separately)

I Live in An Antbed


  1. Oh thanks for this, while I'm not in a deep waiting place and certainly have been in longer trials than this it is hard to wait on him but to be reminded that his is always faithful and good is a wonderful thing.

  2. He is faithful and good! May you find strength in the waiting to trust the Lord and not be afraid. Psalm 130 has helped me greatly. Grace and peace to you in Christ.

  3. Praising God with you.

  4. Go God! Praising him with you right now, Christina. I'm so glad he answers prayer, early or late to us, they're always right on his time.

  5. Yes, and isn't it funny how He comes up with an answer better than we had mapped out for ourselves in our prayer instructions for Him? Thank you for celebrating with us, Lisa. Praying with you, too. How is not homeschooling? :)

  6. Not homeschooling hasn't really sunk in yet. :-) My mind is still cluttered with paperwork I need to get finished, books to sort through, etc. Probably mid-August it'll hit me full-force!

  7. It's not over till the paperwork's done. I get that. Maybe those tasks are a transition grace.

  8. Dear Christina,
    He is Glorified by the words of your testimony. What a precious, humble, trusting heart is revealed in these lovely words. You bless me by the Him I see in you! Love you, darlin'! :) Thank you so much for linking up!!

  9. Thank you, Anne. Your words humble me. Love you, too!

  10. it is such a blessing to be able (in even a small measure) to share your waiting and your woes, and to pray, along with you, for your deliverance from the latter. it is also such a blessing to share your weal--to rejoice in, and give thanks for, your lifted burdens and answered prayers.
    after reading your post, i could go on writing sentences starting "it's such a blessing..." for a long long time, so i'd better stop! grace always...

  11. Thank you for sharing it all with me. It cheers me to know you found gratitude in my gratitude. Thank you also for the delightful surprise of the postcard, which arrived Saturday. It's so interesting to see the handwriting belonging to the names on the screen, how it corroborates and reveals what words alone communicate. It humbled and blessed to know you thought of me on your travels. (No, I have not been to Venice, nor even to the continent of Europe, but not for lack of interest. Someday, Lord willing.) Grace to you in our risen Christ.

  12. It is such an encouragement to read your testimony here, to see God answering (above and beyond) those long-awaited, much-agonized-over prayers. You are "spurring me on to good works" (I'm probably misquoting a bit here, but I think you know the scripture I'm referring to!), inspiring and encouraging me to persevere in the things that seem never-changing. Oh, I'm just so grateful for His provision and grace in your life right now. May you continue to find strengthened hope and renewed perseverance for all the other waiting you are doing. And the words from Julian of Norwich that grabbed me most were just this: mightily trust. Yes. I am working on this. And it really *does* take great strength to lay it all down in His hands.

  13. So much good stuff here! I love that quote from Murray and the one for Julian of Norwich. And I am so grateful for the answered prayer you speak of. Rejoicing with you. And waiting too.

  14. Praise God for this long awaited answer to prayer! I love this..."Amazing, isn't it, how He can devise a better answer than the fifteen blueprints I offered Him in my impatience?" Yes!

    May I call you Christina? :)

  15. Weren't you supposed to be packing? :) The verse you mean, I believe, is Hebrews 10:24. Interestingly, the preceding verse speaks of holding "unswervingly to hope," which you also weave into your comment. Thank you for sharing my gratitude, and I give thanks that you found sustenance here for your own waiting. Yes, surrender does take strength, but it's not the world's version of strength. It's the strength of the Lamb slain, who makes His power perfect in our weakness. He will not give up on you or let go of you, dear Courtney. You are His, and He loves you!

  16. Thank you, Laura. Glad you liked the quilt scraps from Murray and Julian. May the Lord give you manna and water in the desert of your waiting. Don't give up!

  17. Yes, of course you may. I'm glad you appreciated that afterthought remark. Interacting with another commenter prompted me to add it. It's so nice to learn and grow together, isn't it? I hope your Wednesday has been delightful and smoother than your Tuesday was. Grace to you for all sorts of days in Jesus, Trisha.


Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.