When we just can’t wait…

I’ve been finding myself really fascinated – and somewhat annoyed – by how impatient of a culture we live in nowadays.  Seriously, it seems like I can’t drive anywhere any more without at least one driver cutting me off and almost causing an accident.  Some of the most foul language I’ve heard has come from people waiting in line behind me, frustrated about how long something is taking.  When did we, as a culture, become so impatient?

And then there are my kids.  These precious children that seem to keep growing more amazing, yet more impatient, as they get older.  Repeatedly asking how much longer they will have to wait when their brother or sister’s practice runs a little too long, or turning a tad crazy when there’s a long line in the restaurant drive-through line for what we ironically call “fast” food.  And don’t even get me started on the impatience that can occur in our home when Netflix takes a couple minutes to load.

Recently, I found myself getting annoyed by their behavior and started asking myself where they have learned all this impatience from.  Does it just come naturally, I thought?  I mean, surely they don’t see me responding that way when things don’t happen for me as quickly as planned.  And then, I stopped.  And realized… maybe they don’t see me physically responding that way as often, but I do.  Of course, I’m a little past the annoyance over a drive-through line, but I’ve got my own impatience issues over this bigger picture thing called life.  And those seasons of life that I end up in for much longer than I’d like to be.

I just finished studying the book of Habakkuk and the amazing truths within its three small but powerful chapters.  If you aren’t familiar with it, Habakkuk was a prophet during a pretty rough time when the nation of Israel had forgotten its special calling and had resorted to doing its own corrupt thing.  Yet Habakkuk kept seeking God and asking Him “How long?” until He would bring revival to this still chosen nation of His.  There seemed to be this long delay in the Lord’s answer, so Habakkuk kept praying and asking relentlessly.

And then God answered – “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it testifies about the end and will not lie.  Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late.”  Though it delays, wait for it.  Wait for it.

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God was working His plan, and though it may not have made sense to Habakkuk, it was better that He took His time doing it –  because it would then be in His perfect timing.  And Habakkuk was encouraged to keep waiting, because it was coming.  In God’s time and in His way.

In all of the impatience that surrounds and consumes us, I believe it’s easy to forget a couple of things that the Lord wants to remind us.  To begin with, we forget the importance of waiting.  As we study the Scriptures, we find that many of the people the Lord used in larger than life ways – these people that we admire and strive to be like today – all went through long waiting seasons.  Joseph waited in prison, perhaps wondering if he’d been forgotten.  Moses and David both waited while tending sheep after experiencing a dynamic call of God on their lives.  Even Jesus waited in the wilderness before beginning His earthly ministry.   So why would I think of myself as any better than them, for some reason, and that I could escape my own waiting period?

Also, I believe that in our impatience, we forget the beauty of rest.  In our busy hustling and proclamations of productivity over social media, we almost repel ourselves away from rest with all we can fight, instead of leaning into its treasures.  Waiting periods in life can bring about the sweetest, most restful times if we press into them, instead of just trying to get out of them.  It is there we find Jesus – not necessarily showing up with plans we need to follow and obey at that moment, but just Him showing up.  To tenderly nurture us.  To be the “I Am who I Am” God that He is and will continue to be.  To show  us His immutable character, and His incredible love for us.  And to remind us that He is all we truly need.

When it all comes down to it, that is what I, for one, really want.  I’m much more willing to go through as long of a wait as the Lord sees fit when I keep my eyes on the beauty in the waiting season instead of looking for the escape route.  I want to be able to say with Habakkuk,

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”  -Habakkuk 3:17-18

Habakkuk learned that the secret of waiting in hard seasons was rest and surrender, and that led Him to rejoice even when things weren’t going his way.  I am slowly learning the same.  Will you join me today in celebrating our rest, and in praying for each other that we would have the patience to endure our waits well?

I believe He has a beautiful plan for all of our seasons… We just have to wait for it. 

christydsiggy2013

 

 

 

 

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Waiting for Rain…

You all, we need rain.  Badly.  You can see the results of the lack of rain on most people’s lawns around here… especially mine.  It’s not pretty, you guys.  April has now passed and there was sadly no such thing as “April showers” this year.    Occasionally, we get a tiny little shower.  But most of the time, the rain they supposedly predict on weather forecasts never seems to come.  Meanwhile, I have friends in other parts of the country telling me it’s been raining every day where they live, and they are so over it.  I jokingly asked – or possibly even slightly begged – one of these friends the other day, if she could somehow send some our way.  If only it were that easy…

But on a serious note, isn’t it the same way in our spiritual walks quite often?  One person appears to be feasting while someone else feels like they are fasting.  It’s like walking through a spiritual desert, longing for some word from God, the source of Living Water, to quench our parched souls.  Another person is just bubbling over with all the Lord has been teaching her lately, while another opens her Bible for what feels like months on end of seemingly no real dynamic connection with Him.

There seems to be this commonly held belief that every day walking with God should leave us feeling so close to Him, that all we are constantly learning from Him just joyfully spills over onto everyone around us.  But boy, is that not the case at times, at least for me.  Dry times seem to come more often than those times of spiritual refreshing and renewal.   So how do we endure those dry times well when we are undoubtedly faced with them?  I’ve been learning a few things through my own dry times lately that I hope I can encourage you with today.

1. Dry times come to all of us. And don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.  No matter how much it seems like someone has got it all together, has a way more dynamic relationship with Christ than you do, or has so many exciting things going for her that you can’t imagine her life being anything but perfect – don’t let what you see on the outside fool you.  Everyone goes through loneliness, questioning, and times when God seems absent… even those people who never share about them.

2. Dry times are different from dream pauses. Sometimes, because dreams of mine for the future are on hold for the present, it’s easy to think that God isn’t really speaking to me right now.  Instead, I must remember that what He has to show me today may be right in front of me in the everyday mundane and smaller picture, instead of just looking at the bigger picture and saying He’s being silent.

3. Dry times are better endured together.  I know for me personally, the need is great, particularly during those harder seasons in life, to have friends nearby who can remind you of Truth when you most need to hear it – even when you don’t want to hear it.  We all experience seasons that are unique to us, and since we all won’t be in a dry season at the same time, those of us who aren’t walking through deserts can be great encouragers for those who feel like they are.

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4. Usually the only way out is through.  Life is just plain hard sometimes, and often God does seem far away.  We send up repeated prayers and feel like they may never be answered.  We read our Bibles and don’t take away half of what we wish we did.  Yet, God’s promised that His Word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11), and that He will reward those who remain faithful to Him (Hebrews 11:6).  Keep pressing in and stay faithful, trusting He is working something good even when you have no idea what He’s up to and don’t understand His plan.

5. You never know when the rain might fall. Just like I’ve learned from watching the local weather forecasts, no one can really predict the future when it comes to rain.  Even the supposed “experts.”  Keep a positive attitude, remembering that He loves you and is with you even when you don’t sense His presence.  One day, perhaps when you least expect it, you’ll have some amazing and life changing moment with your Heavenly Father.  And like the beautiful rainbow that comes after an intense storm, the dry dark time in your life will result in an even more amplified and stunning encounter with the One who truly does know you best.

Hang in there, friend.  The rain is coming.  I’m believing it for both of us today.

christydsiggy2013

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The Beauty of Silence…

I’ve got a confession to make.  I’ve come to the realization that I think I’ve got a “frenemy.”  Maybe you too would be honest enough to admit that you have one of those in your life?  Both a friend and an enemy… the oxymoron of complicated relationships.  My frenemy, however, is not a person – but a spacial awareness in life that I find myself facing regularly and trying to battle through.  And that, my … {…Read More}

Thanksgiving blessings…

Just like that, another Thanksgiving is upon us.  (Does anyone else feel like this year flew by?) For those who have experienced loss, this can be such a bittersweet time of counting our blessings, yet feeling that ache of missing those no longer with us that churns in our hearts a little stronger around holidays.  We are definitely feeling it, but there is still so much to be grateful for, and I always want to try … {…Read More}

When the carving brings hope…

A few weeks ago, we sat down like so many other American families this time of year, to invest a night in the activity of carving pumpkins.  Now, you must understand that I make this incorrect assumption every year when we buy pumpkins and plan our carving night… that is, I tell myself that my kids are old enough to do the carving now.  I know.  Faulty.  But to justify my thoughts, my kids do … {…Read More}

The beauty of the slow brew…

I will never forget the way our house used to smell each morning after I brewed a pot of coffee. It wasn’t just any old brand of coffee, either. This was coffee made of rich Ethiopian beans that we would get through a company supporting fair trade and small business opportunities in developing countries. And, as an extra bonus, five dollars of every bag bought went to help fund our pending adoption. B never really enjoyed … {…Read More}

Why we should all keep walking…

I don’t know what it is about walking, but it’s really enjoyable for me. And I feel like I don’t do enough of it. Walking is an easy task in and of itself, but it can sometimes be laborious too. You can set out for a walk eager to get some exercise, and come back home exhausted due to the length of the walk you took. Of course, now that I’m trying to train for … {…Read More}

When birthdays become life lessons…

Calling all the mamas out there today… Yes, you, with the child you feel like you are constantly disciplining for the same old reason.  The one who wears you out with the way you have to stay on top of them with a balance of discipline and love, wishing you could just love without the discipline for just one day.  Isn’t disciplining so exhausting?  It wears me out and makes me long for a day … {…Read More}

Like a conquering hero…

  Last weekend, the kids and I got tickets to go watch our local orchestra perform for next to nothing.  We got great seats and sat back to listen to an amazing performance of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony… which, in case you didn’t realize, is actually more than the “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” part we all know well.  70 whole minutes, in fact.  While the kids started squirming a bit, I tried to follow the … {…Read More}

When loneliness becomes a gift…

I’m back.  But it feels like I should write that as, I’m baaaaaaack.  Because it seems like forever since I’ve written a blog post.  I’ve missed it, not because anyone out there really needs to read what I have to say, but because I feel like I need to write.  It’s this push in my heart, but there are seasons and breaks and busyness and things that get in the way. For us, it was … {…Read More}