In the waiting… [Dream Again Day 21]

Even in the dormancy and darkness of the seemingly unfruitful winter season in our life, we can rest assured that the Lord is doing a work, deeply and gently within to prepare us for the next season He has planned for us — working all things together for good for those who are called according to His purpose.

There is quite a distance between the promise and the fulfillment of the promise. It’s not a matter of whether we will wait, but perhaps, how long, and how will our hearts respond?

I remember the day like it was yesterday. That day He asked, “Do you trust Me?” And I couldn’t answer right away. I knew that question was loaded. I knew that wasn’t a question of whether I believe, but of whether I would follow. It wasn’t a question that I could use my past to answer, “Yes, God, see, I’ve always trusted you.” I knew He was asking, do I trust Him with my future and do I trust that He holds it? Do I trust Him with my life, no matter what it may bring?

I knew He was saying. What I am going to walk through is not going to be easy. It’s not going to look like I thought. It may be painful at times. I may find disappointments along the way. It may not always be clear, and I will have to walk by faith and not by sight. Do I trust He holds my life? Do I trust He holds me? Do I trust Him to take me through? Do I trust Him, though the journey is long and arduous? Do I trust Him that God is working even when I don’t see? Do I trust Him no matter how far I go from my heart’s desire, and no matter how long I have to wait to see the promise?

Joseph became a slave for 13 years, and was sent to prison for about 3 years before he sat down at the right hand of Pharaoh and saved a nation. (Genisis 41:46)

Moses waited 40 years on the backside of a dessert as a father, husband and shepherd before he delivered a nation. (Exodus 3:1)

Caleb and Joshua waited with grumbling Israelites while they wandered for 40 years in the desert before Joshua led them into the Promised Land. (Joshua 5:6)

Jesus was a son and a carpenter and was thirty years old before He began His earthly ministry. “Jesus kept on growing wiser and more mature, and in favor with God and His fellow man.” (Luke 2:52 ISV)

If Jesus did, how much more will we?

I waited before I answered the question, “Do you trust Me?” I searched my own heart. I weighed the cost. Do. I. Trust. Him? After a wrestling within my soul, with a weak flesh but a willing spirit that desired all of God, not just the easy parts, I surrendered. I replied through brokenness, “Yes.”

In the waiting, though it seems that nothing is happening according to the purpose you believed you were called to, and it may seem like your life has gone a contradictory way than the direction you expected — God is at work.

“He is working behind the scenes orchestrating His destiny for you.” Steve Furtick, Greater

In the waiting we can grow weary and discouraged and disappointed that nothing good is happening in our life and perhaps God has forgotten us. More than once I lamenting over not seeing myself as a vessel of honor fit for the Master’s use. But rather like a dusty one up on a shelf, ignored. And when we don’t see God using us, we think, maybe there is something wrong with us.

There is a work happening all the time, and the scope of it out of our view. We are not fully aware of all the work God is doing to arrange the happenings of our life according to His purpose. God is doing the work of growing us and transforming us from the inside out. Perhaps it’s where God does His greatest work of preparation in us for what He has called us to — for the dream He has planned for us to live out.

It’s nothing for God to answer our prayer immediately, give us the desire of our hearts, and for Him to open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that we cannot contain.

So why, so often, does He not choose to do it that way?

I believe it’s because of the great refining work He is doing in us. And He can answer every prayer and we receive miracle upon miracle, but how are we changed? We will become dependent on the miracles rather than the Miracle Maker.

In the waiting our faith in God grows stronger.

In the waiting God is conspiring for greater things in your life.

Our eyes are on the outer, and God’s focus is on the inner. What’s happening beneath the surface is what God’s eyes are on — on our minds, on our hearts. He is watching how we interpret the situation we are in, how we respond to His parenting us, and where we place our hope.

It’s so easy to put our hope in the circumstance — when this happens everything will be better, I will be happy, and everything will fall into place, if only this happens or if only that would happen then…. Even when things are going well, our hope can never rest on the outward circumstances because those are always changing, but on the One who never does.

So often things do not go as we have planned or in the timing we wanted. Do we trust Him?

Commit deep in your heart that you won’t turn back, no matter how long or how hard or how painful the waiting may be. You will need every bit of what you gain in this place to live out His purpose in you.

 

Write It Out: Answer theses question honestly. Do you trust God holds your life? Do you trust He holds you? Do you trust Him to take you through? Do you trust Him, though the journey is long and arduous? Do you trust Him that He is working even when you don’t see? Do you trust Him no matter how far you go from your heart’s desire, and no matter how long you have to wait to see the promise? Do you TRUST Him? And if you cannot yet answer honestly — wait. He will wait for you. Pray, “Help my unbelief.”

“Between the promise and the payoff there’s always a process. That process is where your audacious faith comes into play…It brings your unseen future possibilities into focus right now. It redirects your attention form what is right now to what you believe will be on day. And it ensures that you don’t give up in the meantime — before your ever get to see your dream become a reality…And that process is the breeding ground of faith. That process has the potential to draw you closer to Jesus than you’ve ever been before. The process is the point.” Steve Furtick, Sun Stand Still

Say it Loud: “I live by faith and not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) “I will not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time I will reap a harvest if I do not give up. (Galatians 6:9) “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5)

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about the things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1

  • http://simplystriving.wordpress.com/ Nikki

    Oh friend…I feel like I need to answer that question every day…just as a reminder to me.

    what a beautiful post. filled with encouragement to li’l ol’ me…thank you.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Nikki,

      Oh, it’s been a while since I’ve seen your face here. I have engaged at home, on purpose and writing everyday, too. It leaves little time for anything else online. And so I feel like I am neglecting my online friends. I know it’s “okay,” but I miss you, nevertheless. 🙂 I am so very glad we will be partnering for (in)couragers. I hope you enjoy it! Love you!

  • http://runningthisthingcalledlife.com Jennifer Peterson

    I just love this series… the words I feel like a dusty vessel on the shelf being ignored is how I have felt and do feel at times. Such encouragement to know that God is refining us and designing us for His plan for us. Thank you for being so faithful and writing. I know it can be hard at times. I know it’s hard to hit the publish button.

    • http://www.alifesurrendered.com Michele-Lyn

      Jennifer,

      Oh, I wish we could sit for cup of coffee. I just figured out how to use a French Press, and I am convinced that is how coffee was designed to me brewed. 🙂 If you don’t drink coffee, then we’d find something. I’ve got to run now, but I want you to know I am grateful for you! Thank YOU!