Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.
Be still in the presence of the Lord,
and wait patiently for him to act.
There are so many things going through my mind right now that I don’t even know where to begin. I am overwhelmed with all God seems to be doing in me right now. My mind is a constant churning of things I am seeing, hearing, believing, desiring. I can’t seem to start on any one topic because I want to tackle them all. Just like my role as a single mom… There are so many important things vying for my time and attention, and choosing where to start can be difficult.
I guess I will start with God’s timing. I have read a number of verses in recent months that talk about God’s timing, about things happening when “God’s appointed time was at hand.” For our instantaneous society, this concept is downright unacceptable. We live in a world where we can have almost anything we want right now. Whether it is a fast-food meal or streaming movies into our homes or purchasing anything we want on credit, we have the ability to get what we want and get it now! We have thrown away the principle of delayed gratification, and it has truly created a society that is indulgent in so many ways.
In Ecclesiastes, the wise King Solomon said, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven (3:1).
God does not operate like our fast-food society. He is a God of perfect timing. God isn’t in a hurry either. A single day is as 1000 years to Him. He does not operate on our finite time schedule.
The beauty of it is that God sees from eternity to eternity. He sees all and He knows all. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His ways are higher than our ways. My view of things is finite. I can’t see the final picture the way He does, and He wants to make sure that every detail is carefully planned and in place before He gives me my desires. He loves me that much…
We tend to want what we want now, and we often try to make things happen instead of waiting for Him. However, when we try to step in and take over—when we try to play God—we usually just mess things up. God is so good, though, that He forgives us and promises that ALL THINGS work together for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28). I am learning, though, that it is better to intentionally wait on Him. That way, things don’t get messed up in the first place.
As I quoted above, Psalm 37 tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our hearts. Three verses later, the psalmist tells us to wait patiently. I have had these verses taped to my mirror for nearly four years now. It was shortly after my divorce that I discovered this correlation between Him giving us our desires and waiting. It has played a huge role throughout this journey.
I don’t believe that God will give us ANYTHING we want. He loves us too much to do that! Instead, He says in 1 John 5:14 that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us and we can know that we will receive it. So, how do we know if our desires are according to His will?
If we choose to abide in Christ daily, He will take our desires and conform them to His will. I remember in college there was an honor that I desperately wanted to receive. I prayed daily and intensely that God would allow me to be chosen. As I prayed, the desire for that honor lessened. I didn’t get the honor I wanted, but I can truly say that I felt absolutely no disappointment. You see, God had taken over my desires and changed them to His desires. Incidentally, God had a higher and better honor that was given to me. If I had gotten what I wanted, I would have missed out on something better. God always wants what is best for us, not just something good.
I am in a season of waiting right now…and I don’t like it. But, I am learning to embrace it. I have come to realize that God is not slow. I don’t know what you are waiting for, but I will be completely candid with you about what I am waiting for.
- Ministry… As a young child, I was called to the ministry. I knew early in college that I was destined to be a pastor’s wife. God made that calling very clear to me. However, with my divorce, I not only lost my family but my ministry. The denomination that I have always been part of looks down on divorced people. They are no longer considered qualified for the ministry. Although I understand the biblical argument—God does hate divorce—I am not certain why I should be disqualified from the ministry. I had clearly biblical grounds for divorce. I did everything I could to hold my marriage together. I fought with everything in me and truly believe that God gave me the release from my marriage. Obviously, one could argue that I am taking a specific experience and trying to twist scripture for my purpose. I understand that argument. I also know that every member of the hall of fame of faith (Hebrews 11) was a sinner. Jacob was a deceiver. Moses was a murderer. Rahab was a prostitute. David was an adulterer and a murderer. Noah was found drunk. Gideon was full of doubt. I could go on. Suffice it to say that we live in a broken world. If God did not use broken people, He would have no one to use. Romans 11:29 says, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. God has been moving in my heart over the last year that He still has a ministry for me. He has not yet revealed the details to me, but He has made it clear that there is something special for me. I am simply praying and believing that God will reveal His plans to me in His time.
- Education…For as long as I can remember, I always wanted to earn an advanced degree. However, as a young married couple, I chose to allow my husband to pursue his education first. He was the one working to support us, and his education seemed more important. Then, kids came along and I devoted myself to staying home. Just as I was stepping back into the world of education, earning my nursing degree with plans to go on to an advanced nursing program, life happened. I am now a very busy single mom. My education is always on my mind, but I have yet to be able to grasp how I could possibly add a degree program to my busy life. I barely make it day-to-day as it is, working, keeping up the home, running kids to activities, and showing up to be their biggest cheerleader at their events. In addition, I don’t want to jump into an educational program that is not going to be used. Do I get an advanced nursing degree? Or do I shoot for an MBA so that I can eventually have my own business? Or do I seek a Bible degree since that is my true passion? The answers are not yet clear (and the money is not yet available). Therefore, I wait.
- Husband…The greatest desire for which I wait is for that amazing man that God is preparing for me. I don’t need a man; I think the kids and I are doing pretty well on our own. But, I want a man. I have come to realize that God created me as a helpmate. I am not one to need—or even want—the spotlight. I am never more fulfilled than when I simply come alongside someone, support them, encourage them, complete them. That is who God created me to be. Every night, my precious daughter prays for a Godly, athletic, sexy, rich, smart, involved man who will love us all very much. I am SO glad God hears the faith-filled prayers of a child! I can’t wait to see what He is planning in response to that prayer! God has reassured me repeatedly over the last three and a half years that He is preparing that special man for me. However, it seems like a long time coming! I am weary. I am worn down. I want to be able to come home at night and just have someone to share my day with. I want to have that person who will put his arms around me and comfort me when I’ve had a bad day. I want to have someone who shares my passion for Christ and ministry. I want my boys to have a Godly example of a husband and father. I want to be that encourager that God created me to be. I want to have someone to walk with me through this journey we call life. But, I wait…
God has spoken to me so clearly about these desires recently. He has revealed pieces of His plan to me, and I am so excited. But then He says wait.
Over the next few weeks, I am trying to study the art of waiting on God. I hope that I will learn a whole lot about why waiting is important, what I should do while I wait, and how I should wait. Hopefully I can share some thoughts that will help you, too. I hope you will be waiting to see what I learn…