Friday, October 7, 2016

A Time for Everything





As I sat in a blue shuttle van on my way to the airport at 0 dark thirty trying not to fall asleep, I found myself feeling relaxed. A nice few days at the beach will do that to anyone. In the background, the driver is blasting some of what sounded like an oldie but goodie. The artist belts out "waiting is the hardest part!" He says it over and over again- or maybe it just seemed that way. It's funny that the song was playing for at least 4 minutes before I actually caught the chorus "Waiting is the hardest parrrrrrrrrrrt." Yes, it is! I wanted to scream that to the radio, but to reduce the risk of sounding like a crazy person, I just smiled and nodded as to say yes, oldie but goodie artist...you are on to something, waiting is the hardest part. 

Ecclesiastes 3 tells us that there is a time for everything. The difficult part is that we don't know the God appointed time. Logically we know that we serve a perfect God, so naturally when He decides would absolutely be the most appropriate time. Why is it then that waiting becomes the hardest part? Why is it so hard to relinquish my control and just truly give everything to God? 

Thy Will Be Done
If you are anything like me, I like a schedule. A bit of a routine (the teacher in me). I like to know the start time and if possible the finish time with an agenda. If we deviate from the plan, that's ok, just kindly update the agenda....mmkay. After 35 years, I realize that life just isn't that way. Flexibility is key to a healthy and peaceful life. Understanding that I have no control over the world, that wants to control everything is freeing. We can make plans but the Lord will determine our footsteps (Proverbs 16:9). Once I truly grasped that concept, life became a little less stressful.  All I can do is ask for wisdom and discernment from the Holy Spirit to guide me along the path that He has already set for me. Every day brings new challenges, so I have to be sure to stay in prayer and in His presence to make sure that I don't move backward and try to gain control again. Thy will be done is really all I can say when I find myself trying to take control. Lord, I trust You with all my heart, I will lean not on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). 

Renewed Heart and Mind  
In my very first post, I explained that when I was a little girl, I had my life all planned out. Which included being Married with kids by 28...yeah, not so much. I had to let go of my expectations and desires, and find delight in God. When the scripture says God will "give" me the desires of my heart, it truly means that (Psalm 37:4). He will give me (place in my heart) and then "give" those renewed desires. It makes sense to me now why I couldn't have those things that I desired years ago; I wasn't ready and the things that I want now are completely different from what I wanted even a year ago. He is slowly changing my way of thinking for His will to be done (Romans 12:2) He is slowly shaping me to be the woman that He has called me to be. I did not imagine that at any point in my life I would be living a life for Jesus and pursuing Him with all my heart (He is my BAE *before anything else*). Yet today here I am enduring with peace (some days are better than others) the pruning process as He renews my way of thinking. I know I am (and so are you) His prized possession and that He will always take care of me. He is teaching me to be content in all situations (Philippians 4:11-12).

No Fear 
Sometimes in waiting, God is waiting for us to make a move. Fear will often hold us back but He did not give us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).  I think so often how our lives are ruled by this trickery called fear. God knew this and that is why fear is mentioned so often in the Bible. I can remember shying away from opportunities in fear of not being enough. How often do we find ourselves holding on to broken relationships or staying in unhealthy environments in fear of losing something that isn't even ours to have. No matter if the situation was toxic or not, we hold on in fear…but that is not God's plan for His beloved children. See the truth is that we should find delight in God alone. He should be the thing that we pursue. When we do that He is able to reveal the next steps. When we put our faith in God, knowing that He is a good Father and gives good gifts, makes it a little easier to cast our worries on Him. I will not fear because that isn’t a spirit from my Father and if it isn’t a spirit from my Father, it could be that dirty enemy who comes only to kill, steal, and destroy(John 10:10). Or it could be my own thoughts and insecurities. Without the Holy Spirit's guidance, I tend to allow my own thoughts of fear to take control of me. The enemy wants to keep us focused on anything but God. The enemy wants to make us afraid to take risks and live out our God-given purpose. The enemy wants the fear to be so strong that we focus on what we fear and not the MIGHTY GOD that we serve! We scale back thinking we don't have the strength not realizing that the God of this world lives within us! We move with His strength. Yea, the enemy would hate for you to realize that...because that is true power that is true freedom. Why do we let the enemy use this same plan over and over again? I'm learning that whenever there is a spirit of fear, and that is the only thing holding me back, there is something amazing on the other side of me pushing through that fear and my obedience. We must learn to laugh in the face of fear (I just thought of Simba from Lion King*squirrel moments*) and realize that when we are walking toward Jesus with the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, there is nothing to Fear but…period. Move when God says move!

So yes, waiting is the hardest part but if we seek first the kingdom of God and live righteously He will give us everything we need (Matthew 6:33). Waiting builds our Faith. If we keep our eye on Jesus and not the storm, He is able to calm the wind and waves with just His voice (Matthew 8:26). If we keep our focus on what God tells us, He can part the red seas, deliver mana, heal the sick, make the blind see, and bring life to dead things. So why would I want control again? What am I afraid of? Aren't God's plans for me better than my own? God knows better than me, so why not give Him complete control over EVERYTHING! He isn’t withholding from us because He wants to torture His children. He is our Abba, Father. He protects us from things we can't see.  He wants to bless us and only He knows the right path that will guide us to His best.  There is always a reason why whatever we are asking for has not come to pass. Be still and seek God. 

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