Waiting

One day last week, I stood in our field.  I was walking back to the house and just stopped.  That day had been full, once again I was trying to fit too much into a short period of time. I was tired, pushed to the edge, teetering on throwing in the towel. There were more balls in the air than I was capable of juggling. Having been inside all day, I decided it was time for a change of scenery and needed to get my chores done outside.

So, there I was, standing in the field, decked out in the full bee suit (I had just fed our new hives), when I just stopped dead in my tracks. I dropped what was in my hands and just stared at the field. “Waiting.” I thought. “Lord, in all this hustle and movement – I’m just waiting.” A desperate sense of surrender engulfed me, as the word seemed to blare in my mind, “Waiting.”

I seemed to be waiting for so many things, for so many people, in so many parts of my life. I stood there and stared at the little prairie we had been so patiently waiting on. One little patch of plants I had been watching, were finally in bloom. All the waiting had been worth it. Five years ago, I had spread seed. A year later I found little bitty seedlings, which seemed to grow ever so slowly. Not one bloom, for four years. I clung to a hope-filled patience of ‘maybe next year’.

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Baptisia alba (White Indigo)

It didn’t change the fact that I was still waiting, but those white spikes of flowers seemed to echo that the waiting is worth it. No matter what the outcome, the waiting allows me to trust in the Lord, abide in Him, and practice patience. So many things I seem to be waiting on, rely on God’s timing and strength, not my own. Somewhere in the midst of life, is a delicate balance between moving forward and waiting.

Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (ESV)

Lamentations 3:25 “The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” (ESV)

Be encouraged, that God’s timing is perfect and good; He works things together for those who love him (Rom. 8:28). No matter what the outcome, patience in the waiting is fruit itself.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (ESV)

Our little prairie required us to work in the waiting. We’ve burned when necessary, and clipped noxious weeds. We didn’t sit idly by for five years. Just like that prairie, we too are called to both faithfully wait and work (pray, act when and where necessary, etc.)

What are you waiting for?

Can you trust God in the waiting? Can you trust He has your best interest in mind?

What do you need to do in the waiting?

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My Whole Heart

Over the past week or two, there seems to be a theme between writing the Joshua study and my quiet times with the Lord.  It’s enough to grab my attention and pause for question.

First, in the study of Joshua :: In Joshua 14, Caleb recounts the events of Moses sending the twelve spies into Canaan and how 10 of the 12 come back with a negative report of how huge and mighty the people are.  Only Joshua and Caleb faithfully believe they should obediently go, and let God take care of things. Fast forward, Caleb and Joshua are finally in the Promised Land, and Caleb is requesting his portion of land.  It’s appropriate. He comes to Joshua, saying, “But my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; yet I wholly followed the Lord my God.”  (Joshua 14:8, ESV) In fact, ‘I wholly followed the Lord my God’ appears three times in this passage of Joshua.

And, in my quiet time :: I’m slowly reading and praying through the Psalms.  Today, it was Psalm 119 and how God’s Word is a lamp to our feet, guiding us along.  “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, …” (verse 2, ESV) “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!” (verse 10, ESV)

That “whole heart” is an undivided heart.  It’s not seeking God with just my emotions, or the portion of my heart which doesn’t feel broken (or vice versa). We are not to portion off our heart for Sunday mornings, seeking Him for an hour or two. Or 15 minutes in the morning, checking off the “quiet time” box, then move on for the day. Not portioning off the pieces I want Him to help me with, but including the pieces of my life in which I think I can do things on my own.  We are made to be partners and, though God is the Creator, co-creators here on this earth.

He desires relationship and our whole, altogether heart.  That doesn’t mean we have to have it all together.  And we don’t have to do things perfect, in fact – it won’t be. But I don’t believe God is asking for perfection, rather to love him with all of what we have to offer.  He made us, and we are perfectly made to be more than enough.

Am I seeking God with my whole heart? Am I waiting for perfection (in my own strength), before presenting my gifts before his throne? We don’t know much about Caleb, but I’m sure he wasn’t perfect.  And yet he followed the Lord his God, with his whole heart – and received a beautiful inheritance.  His heart did not melt, but remained steadfast. Oh, to have a courageous faith that wholly seeks God.

IMG_4546Take some time to stop and smell the roses, praise and thank Him for the opportunity to, and ask the question (I’m doing the same) – Am I seeking God with my whole heart? Praying and being still before God, reading His Word, allowing his Spirit to guide me with a heart steadfast on Him? We already have a beautiful inheritance, Jesus.

And, He is so worth it.