I wanted to write about something that has been on my heart and mind for quite some time. It has to do with waiting. And by waiting I don't necessarily mean being patient for something simple and small, but rather something quite big and challenging to have to wait for... something that really tests your character, your strength, and your faith.
I have been in a season of waiting for a while now. Some of it is really personal and at this time I'm not going to go very far into it (I touch on it in my Youtube video here).
In this season of waiting, there have been many times of uncertainty, tension, tears, frustration, and just pure anger at the situation. But over the past few weeks, God has laid it on my heart to really think about what I can do as I am waiting.
First of all, I think God is really trying to get me to fully trust in Him and in His plan. I generally have a really strong faith, but I fail every day at handing everything over to Him. I tend to take things into my own hands and try to process them on my own and just figure it out that way. However, I find that I feel SO much better if I just give it to God and pray about it and let the answers come to me through Him. Anyone else notice this? It's really quite amazing that I continue to fail at this, but we are all human here and I think it's really just a work in progress. It is something that has to begin again every single day: I have to devote myself and my life to Him every single day.
James 1:12 says "God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation." The temptation in this situation is to take over; to take over my life, to take over all of my decisions, and to take over what I'm feeling and let it completely run a situation regardless of how bad it may turn out. Here's the thing with this: it just doesn't work. It might work temporarily (maybe for one day), but I will soon realize I am back at square one and I haven't figured a single thing out. If I can remember to take a step back, pray, and let God guide me in the direction I should go, I find that progress is made.
Another verse that I love is 1 Peter 5:7: "Cast your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." This is one that I find myself reciting in a variety of situations. I am a music therapy intern, and although a lot of my anxiety about being in front of a group of people and singing with them has diminished, I still have days where I feel it! Furthermore, I struggle with anxiety in my day to day life and have for years. I am in a much better place now, but with my specific anxieties I feel that I need to get better at just handing it all over to God. After all, He knows the exact reason for all of this, and the reason itself may be for me to hand it over to Him all of the time (or as much as I can, being the human I am).
I came across another verse just the other day. It's both odd and amazing to me that all of these verses continue to show up as I am in this season. It's odd because it all has a theme, but it's amazing because my heart is being changed by God and I am finally recognizing it. How cool is that?
Anyway, the verse is 1 Peter 4:12-13: "Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner."
WOW. This showed up on my Pinterest feed, and while there are many versions that state it slightly different, this verse has some serious weight to it. And it's actually beautiful. First of all, we have to remember that God hasn't forgotten about us. I have to remember this... there is a reason for the waiting, the pain, the anxiety, the confusion. It's all part of the greater plan. Second, I have oddly enough found myself telling one of my good friends this exact thing before: "think of what Jesus went through. Everything you are experiencing right now, He experienced. He knows how you feel more than anyone else could ever possibly know. Let that be of comfort to you." The truth is, I needed to tell myself that, too. Again, it's amazing that these things all show up around the same time. It really makes it seem like God is trying to tell me something, huh? :)
But really, this is my favorite part of the verse. I love how it says this is a "spiritual refining process" because that's truly what it is. Going through something difficult and then having to endure it for a long period of time is humbling. It's difficult because you see other people around you experiencing things with seemingly no issues (although of course we don't actually know because we only see the highlights). But I think the important thing to remember is that your journey is yours. Let this be a time of spiritual refining and let yourself draw closer to the Lord. He is calling you to trust in Him, to let your heart be changed by Him, and to allow things to unfold as they will.
I'd like to close out this blog post with another quote I found: "God's delays are not God's denials" (Robert Schuller). Again, this is one that I found just recently. Whether you are currently in a season of waiting, just moved past a season of waiting, or think you may soon be in a season of waiting, I think this is an important quote to remember. God will not cause any one thing to happen without reason. He knows what He is doing. If He says to wait, it is best to wait. He has more in store for you, and it's far more than you could have ever imagined. In the meantime, He wants you to draw near to Him and He wants to mold and shape your heart. Remembering these truths as well as knowing that Christ feels for you is calming, and something very important to know and remember.
Thank you for reading :)