NEW: A season of waiting…

Life is made up of “suddenly’s”, periods of waiting, and the “in-between’s” (recovering from the suddenly’s and preparing for the next season of waiting). Although we spend much of our life waiting, there is very little to prepare us for exactly how to do that. In fact, we live in a society that rejects waiting! We don’t like to wait in line, be “wait listed” for a flight, sit in a waiting room, or wait for much of anything. And if we are forced to wait we try to find anything we can to distract us from the process. But waiting is the time that God is working situations out in His timing, it is the time that we should draw near to Him and lean on Him, it is a purposeful time, an active time, a necessary process.

safe harbor

What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! (Psalm 107:30)

When you’re waiting find a safe place to be. A place where you can be still, where He can encourage you and fill you with peace, a place where you can process. When I was waiting I literally found a safe harbor to do that, but it can be anywhere because He is our safe harbor.

If you can find a safe place to wait that let’s you connect with nature so you can feel the sun on your face, see the birds, and let God’s creations and nature bless you in each moment that is a gift in itself!

If that environment is not available and you are waiting inside, try using meditative breathing to connect with each part of your physical being and be inspired by God’s creation of each part of you. His handiwork is all around us regardless of where we are!

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)

 

Psalm 46 10

Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. (Hosea 12:6)

Time creeps by when you’re waiting; especially if you’re waiting for important news. While we wait we are so susceptible to doubt, and to Satan’s whispers. We are prone to worry, to “what if” and to analyze every little piece of news. So what are we to do while we wait? The Bible is packed with instructions about what to do while we are waiting.

Waiting can be isolating. We sort of wall ourselves off from the world while we wait for the news- maybe the fear overwhelms us, or maybe we’re afraid we won’t have our best foot forward during this period, or maybe we are just feeling vulnerable or uncertain. We should absolutely not give in to feeling like we are the only people who have gone through a period of waiting, or give in to isolation. The fact that there are SO many verses in the Bible about waiting tells us how common it is!

Hosea 12:6 tells us that when we are waiting we should return to God, be kind and just (don’t take matters into your own hands, and don’t let the situation zap you of your kindness) and wait for God. That’s it. We may be tempted to try to help the situation along, or to take control over it, but that isn’t God’s instruction. When you’re tempted to do that, as we all are, return to God, be kind, and wait on God.

When you’re waiting be very aware that your emotions are running high. Take a moment before you respond to anyone, to be sure that your response is not emotionally charged. Be kind, patient, and gentle to yourself and to those around you.

Realize that you are prone to Satanic attacks on your character during a season of waiting. Remember who you are! You are a child of the One True King. Do not sell yourself short or compromise your crown. Remind yourself constantly through the process that you are the apple of His eye (Zechariah 2:8) and that you are very precious in His sight (Isaiah 43:4).

Do not listen to Satan whisper that God has abandoned you, or that He is punishing you, or that your prayers have fallen by the wayside. Tell Satan to get behind you! These circumstances, whatever they may be, are allowed by God and He will provide whatever you need to not only survive this circumstance, but to thrive in it. Rest in Him. Trust in Him. This thing will work for His good. Don’t try to figure it out, resist the urge to take control of it, simply rest and wait. It may not feel good but it WILL be good because He is in it. Nothing surprises God, He is in all of it. God knows how you are feeling, He understands you are scared. Share that with Him and let Him provide you the strength to finish strong.  So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. (Hebrews 12:1)

waiting 3

Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7)

As we wait it may seem natural to worry. We might worry about the impact that the news we are waiting for will have on our lives, on the lives of our loved ones, and on our plans. Worry creeps in when we aren’t looking- we don’t plan it, it just sort of takes over. It is critical to stop worry– it will leech over everything and impact every fiber of your being. Stop worry with worship. You can’t simultaneously worry and have faith in God. The more you worship the faster worry will retreat until it is gone completely.

Psalm 37:7 gives us these instructions as we wait: rest and do not worry. Resting while you wait may seem like quite a challenge, but I am here to tell you that even in the darkest times the blessing of divine rest is there for your taking. Pray for God’s peace to wrap around you, to cocoon you while you rest your spirit, your soul, and your mind. Pray for God to insulate you with His peace and nourish your soul while you rest. Meditate on that promise and His rest will find you.  He promises it to you in Psalm 37:7- claim His promise and rest.

 Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have.  And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds. (Philippians 4:6-7)

flower 4

Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.(Psalm 27:4)

In a time of waiting it may be difficult to eat right and take care of yourself. You may not realize how long it has been since your last meal, or your last glass of water. Your body may not feel hunger or thirst because adrenaline has overtaken your system- or you may wonder if you can keep anything down due to the stress. It is important to take care of yourself and to rest. Rest is key for our spiritual, mental, and physical self.  Psalm 27:4 gives us the instruction to be strong and let your heart take courage as you wait. God will give you strength but you must take careful steps to keep that strength up.

While you are waiting you need to nourish yourself- spirit and body. Nourish the spirit with sustenance from the Word. Consider setting a timer to read the Bible several times throughout the day. As you start and end each day spend time in the Word letting God speak directly to your soul. Fuel yourself with prayer and ask others to lift you up in prayer.

Make sure that you eat well and frequently throughout the day so that you can keep your physical strength up. If you are in a physical location where healthy food is not easy to come by plan ahead and bring it with you or ask others to help you by doing so. Keep water with you and drink a lot of it. Keeping yourself hydrated is important to your physical health. Keep green tea, water, and healthy juices on hand so you are able to keep yourself hydrated.

I saw a recent news segment on what foods to eat to combat stress and anxiety. Walnuts (1/3 of a cup), dark chocolate, and raspberries were the top 3 foods to eat to combat stress so make up a few packs of those to keep with you. Chamomile tea with honey was the drink of choice (hot or cold). Within 15 minutes of consuming these foods balance is restored to Cortisol levels in the blood and you should notice a reduction in the feeling of stress.

He will command his angels to protect you wherever you go.
Their hands will catch you
    so that you will not hit your foot on a rock.
You will have power to trample on lions
    and poisonous snakes. (Psalm 91:11)

morning sunrise

Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit (Luke 12:35)

As you wait, remain ready for whatever God allows. Remind yourself that nothing surprises God. God is already in the news that comes- He already knows the outcome and He has not only allowed it, He will work it for good. This can certainly be hard to understand when we receive what we consider to be bad news, but God is very clear in his position: no weapon formed against us shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17), and He will work ALL things together for our good (Romans 8:28).

We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. These are the people God chose, because that was his plan. (Romans 8:28)

So there is no “bad news” in God’s plan- all of it works together for the good of those who love him. As we remain dressed in readiness to do whatever God calls us to, however He allows it, we can thank Him for the promise we have that somehow He will work it for our good. We’ll keep our lamps lit, ready to do whatever He asks of us, His chosen ones, who are part of His plan.

When we take our ego out of the equation, and remember that we are part of His plan and that this circumstance, whatever it is, is allowed by Him for a purpose it is much easier to hold our lit lamp and follow His path.

hummingbird 2

Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him. (Isaiah 30:18)

God is good- all the time. Isaiah 30:18 reassures us that as we wait God is gracious to us. In His grace He provides all we need. He waits to have compassion on us. As we draw near to Him He will nourish us, sustain us, and get us through whatever He has called us to.

After the time of waiting God promises restoration and that you will dance with the joyful again! Cling to His promises as you wait, grab hold of His grace and compassion, rest in His peace, keep yourself strong, and know that this exact situation is allowed by Him for His purpose and it will be good!

Psalm 123

The Lord is my shepherd. I lack nothing.
He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters;
he keeps me alive.
He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name.

Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me.
Your rod and your staff— they protect me.

You set a table for me right in front of my enemies.
You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over!
Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live. (Psalm 23)

The 23rd Psalm way my meditative verse while I was waiting. Regardless of the outcome of the decision I knew that the Lord was my shepherd and because of that I wanted for nothing. This waiting was pivotal, in that it would lead me in whatever way He had planned. Although I certainly had my preference in what the decision would be, I committed myself to following His path even if it took me to my own Ninevah.

I recognized the God-given opportunity to rest during the waiting and the photo above captures one of those moments, beside green pastures and still waters. I prayed for God to lead me through the waiting and to the path that He had for me. I trusted Him in the darkness and I had faith in Him to protect me. I rested in the hope that is promised in this verse and I gave thanks for the blessings that were around every corner even in the time of waiting.

A new season

And then one day the waiting will yield to another “suddenly” and a new season will begin. The time of waiting with a purpose will be over and the ancient path will take you to a new place. Take a moment and give thanks to God that He saw you through the waiting and the He has a very good plan for this next season. Affirm your trust in Him, solidify your footing on the ancient path, and embrace this new normal because it will be good!

Heal, be restored, treasure the blessings in this season. Don’t look back on the past- we don’t live there, there is nothing there for us. Our hope is in Him and in the future.release any regrets, and move forward in His plans for you.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)