I’ve written about waiting a few times before and I am still waiting for some of the very same things to manifest. Have some things come to pass? Most definitely. Even some things that I hadn’t pondered have come to pass. But, there is something very different about my waiting this time around.
I think I finally have my expectation in the right place or should I say on the right Person. Now, this is not spiritual mumbo jumbo. This is not some lofty zen like unattainable goal that is for those who are highly spiritual and oh so deep. Hear me and hear me well. I am in a TOUGH season. A rough season of SEVERE stretching. Yet I have so much peace. There are days when I literally don’t know how I will make it, but I have peace. My soul is heavy with expectancy because I know that at any moment God can and will do it.
Why is He stretching me like this? I don’t fully know. Even in my disappointment and moments when I really just don’t understand, I process how I am feeling and then say Hallelujah anyhow. It is a season where sometimes pouring my heart out causes me to be misunderstood and I am given various advice that sometimes is honestly annoying because what I have shared is misunderstood. Consequently I have begun to systematically shut down but not in the unhealthy way that I used to do it. I shut down to objectively analyze and assess where I am. Is is that I have done something wrong? Is it that I have missed an instruction from God? Is it an error of commission or an error of omission? If it is nothing wrong that I have done or not done, then what is it? Why is the battle raging so much and so strongly. A few things come to mind, the story of Job is one.
I’ve often told God, listen, I am not Job. You don’t need to “show off” about me to satan at all. But I think of Job because of the advice his friends gave. His friends were fine until they opened their mouths. Now, I am not perfect. My old self would have been a very judgmental person so I can understand now if I have to reap what I have sown. And it is also a reminder to self to be careful how I respond to people when they pour their hearts out. It is not always about advice because they’ve done something wrong. Sometimes people just need empathy even if empathy doesn’t resolve the situation. Being heard and not being made to feel negatively about what you are enduring is a powerful thing.
The other thing that came to mind was Jeremiah 12:5 in the amplified version “…“If you have raced with men on foot and they have tired you out, Then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace [where you feel secure], Then how will you do [among the lions] in the [flooded] thicket beside the Jordan?” It cannot be, that the same things I struggled with last year I am still struggling with this year or ten years from now. As I mature naturally, I must develop and advance. The things with which babies struggle are not the same things they struggle with as toddlers, in pre-k and then in high school and so on. The challenges are different. Likewise in the spiritual things. As I am being stretched and processed, I cannot be stumbling over the same level things. If I cannot conquer the footmen how will I manage the greater things to come? So even in this season, I have to evaluate my response because the deeper I go in God, the greater the stretch and at some point the footmen will become horses. At some point I will have to face a swollen Jordan. How I manage then, has everything to do with my response to the other areas in my processing. It has everything to do with my heart posture and my relational knowledge of God.
Jesus Himself said if it is possible, let this cup pass from me but nevertheless, not my will but thy will be done. I take comfort in this. He understands what stretching feels like. However the stretching doesn’t negate the purpose. Admitting to how you feel and the wanting to give up in the midst of the loneliness of stretching doesn’t necessarily mean you are going to abort your purpose, you are expressing yourself. In that state of brokenness and being honest with self and God, you receive the help you need to continue enduring until change comes. It is okay to express to God wanting to walk away from ministry, wanting to quit, wanting to give up but then you come back to the realization that it is not my will that ought to be done. It is God’s will that has to be done. So we admit our inability to do His will without Him but then we resolve to do His will because we know that we are born with everything that we will need to do it. He has placed Himself in us, and the sooner we recognize that, the better it is for us.
So, in no uncertain terms on Sunday during the message God told me get over yourself. It is about so much more than you. The reason that that statement didn’t hurt at all is because I had poured out all to Him. In my consistent pouring out and saying I need answers, I got respite. I got answers as to why I felt the way I felt. I got illumination on things He had downloaded into my spirit and how it tied in. So the disappointment has segued into peace, although the season hasn’t changed. The problems are still there. And sometimes I still have to make a juggernaut of a conscientious effort to refocus my expectations. Only God cannot fail. He is very au fait with my life and where I am now. And He must have a plan! So it might not make sense to me but it makes sense to Him. And when my expectation is where it is supposed to be, there is no anxiety. Doesn’t mean I stop living. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. Ultimately, it will be for His glory and my good.
So, what is your disposition? How are you waiting? Is your waiting filled with anxiety?