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Monday, November 21, 2011

The Waiting Place

Lately, Dan and I have been spending a lot of time in prayer over a particular topic. There's this thing going on... and we need to hear from the Lord on it, rather urgently. At least we think we do.

We keep praying and waiting and watching but, so far, we've just ended up with a bunch of...


And I confess, it's in times like these that I start to quetion whether He's really heard my prayers at all. Or I wonder if my lame, unsophisticated prayers aren't really worthy of a serious response.

Of course my head knows this isn't true.

But my heart still struggles with the silence. And the waiting. And waiting. And waiting. As Beth Moore once said, "Never think waiting is idle. It's probably some of the hardest work we'll ever do."

My friend, Kathryn, a Bible teacher here in Atlanta, recently made an observation that felt so relevant to my life right now. I think it's for anyone who's stuck in The Waiting Place or experiencing what feels like silence from God. Here's what she said...

"Zechariah. You know the priest who went to the temple and an angel appeared to him and said he was going to have a son, and to name him John – and then Zechariah didn’t believe him, so the angel made him mute. Remember him?

It just kinda hit me that maybe Zechariah was made mute to develop his character. God just wasn’t being mean – it was actually a loving act of discipline.

During those 9 long months. I imagine Zechariah’s heart was changed from unbelief to repentance to grumbling to surrender to contentment to anticipation to praise. Whatever happened in Zechariah, it was good!"

Kathryn's words remind me that God's plan is good, perfect and right. He doesn't make us wait because we're being punished or because He didn't hear.

Whenever we wait, we can rest assured that there's purpose and righteousness in it. So we might as well just pull up a chair and enjoy it... He won't waste our waits.


LauraC said...

Thank you for this encouragement. My heart has been breaking over a family situation, and after 8 months of prayer, urgently pleading with the Lord, there has been . . . nothing. It gets pretty hard, but then I remember the Lord is developing my own faith and character, not just others'.

Naomi said...

'The Lord waits that He may be gracious to you' Is 30:18.

How true that scripture has proven to be to us over the years. We wait and wait and wait wondering what we should do. All the time, God is waiting because the thing He is preparing us for and us for it, is going to be given with grace. It actually proves itself to be better because we waited than if He had given it to when we first asked.

Praying the answer comes at just the right time!!



Lara said...

I heard something today- sometimes it's easier to climb big mountains than it is just to walk on flat land. That's what I'm feeling now anyway.

Jennie said...

Praying for all of you.
Can't wait to see you at C4C, my friend.

Stephanie said...

Ah waiting. Yes. I know that hard spot. I'm there a lot, impatient me. The Lord reminded me just yesterday that "Blessed are those who wait for him." I keep having to go back to Is. 30:15-18 (its the bi-line of my blog with good reason!). Just last week, the Lord gave me the opportunity to teach this waiting on the Lord to my children. We had been waiting a month. This past week, they felt very strongly about it, impatieint, and wanted me to act. My exact words were, "if I do something about it, it's MY will, not the Lord's, if we wait for Him, we can KNOW it's His will". So we waited. And I prayed with them. And the Lord showed up before the end of the day. What an incredible lesson for the kids! Ha! who am I kidding? for me too.

"In quietness and trust is you strength..."

hnjgregory@gmail.com said...

needed that. thank you ;)

Anonymous said...

Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work. – Peter Marshall

Lorri said...

How very, very true!

Alison said...

"He won't waste our waits"...love that! Needed this today!

Anonymous said...

I'm honored that you quoted me, and so excited to find your blog!!! Thanks Shelly :-)

Anonymous said...

one other thing. our adoption story is totally a GOD story. here is part of it. . .not all...so much more HE has done, but here is some of it:

Disneyfan said...

I often feel that my prayers are unsophisticated but I am comforted knowing that the Spirit intercedes on my behalf and that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose...even when that means waiting.

I loved "He won't waste our waits!" :)