Give me Faith Lord to Wait

Waiting. It’s difficult. It takes faith to truly wait. Humanly, we are impatient. We want what we want when we want it, and sometimes, we will run through a brick wall just to get to our cravings and have our desires met, even if that means that we do so in unhealthy and unholy ways. The Lord offers this promise though, that if we wait, trusting expectantly for Him to move, in His timing He will. He will show up. He will rescue. He will renew. And that is the promise that he offers us if we will wait on Him to show up.

The past three years have been frustrating to say the least. I thought I was this good person, this faithful Christian, that had his life together…until God began peeling back the layers of my soul. Showing me my insecurities and my fears and my doubts and my cravings. It was difficult. To see this image of who I thought was, and instead being exposed for who I truly was, and being laid bare. It was pretty embarrassing, but also humbling.

Humbling to the point to where I truly began to open up. Open up about the deep dark recesses of my soul that had been laid untouched for many years. And me, along with the help of my godly Christian family around me, began to get to the roots of all these hurts, and insecurities.

It hasn’t been a smooth, cookie cutter process. I would make progress and then retreat into isolation, and into the familiar arms of my desires that I felt kept me safe and known, but in reality, they were pulling me away from who I truly was. It was a battle, and I was torn, sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks into months. I tried to find anything and everything to fill the loneliness and the hurts that I was feeling but nothing worked. I became empty, empty to despair.

The amazing thing though was that God never gave up on me. He continued to pursue me, in the places I wouldn’t think he would dare enter. He infiltrated my lies, my fantasies, my substitutes, and He continually called me back to Himself. Oh son, you are no longer a prodigal. Come home. 

I wanted to come home but I didn’t know how to. In essence, I wanted my Christian life, and the relationship with Jesus, but I also wanted my sinful, fleshly desires. I just wanted a little bit of it. That little bit was never enough though, and I constantly put my real and true self in harms way. Thankfully the Lord protected me from myself. His hand was on me, and He was not about to let me go, for I was His.

I vacillated between shame, guilt, despair, and condemnation, only to repent and turn back, only to once again be drawn again into the belly of the beast. It was hell on earth. It was a war for my soul, my will, and many days, I just collapsed into exhaustion.

It took me a long, long, long while, but eventually I got to this place, where I could see both sides of me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I saw how they couldn’t coexist and how they would always fight against each other, leaving me torn, even if I just tried to hold onto a little bit of it.

It came down to a choice. Jesus had chosen me eight years ago now, and now it was my turn, to see both options, to see life and death, flesh driven cravings and God given peace, and I had to make my choice.

I chose Jesus, again. This time with a new confidence. This time with a realization that I had to let go completely of that which I had held onto for so long, even the smallest bits, and I had to surrender once more to Jesus.

After three years of wrestling and torn-ness, I finally made a decision. To surrender to Jesus. Fully. Not holding anything back.

One of my best friends sent me this C.S. Lewis quote a year or so ago, and I’ve been digesting, and understanding it more day by day since then.

“Sooner or later, God withdraws (if not in fact, at least from our conscious experience) all those supports and incentives. He leaves the creature to stand up on its own legs-to carry out from the will alone duties which have lost all relish. It is during such trough periods, much more than during the peak periods that he is growing us into the sort of creature he wants us to be.”

I didn’t understand or appreciate this quote truly then, but now I do. When the Christian life hits the dry desert seasons, will we live off our emotions, and the highs that we experienced, or the past accomplishments, or even our talents and spiritual gifts, or will we faithfully seek and trust God that even though the pain is real and the hurt is deep that God is truly working in these places, and that he has not in fact left us?

That has been a question I have had to ask and answer and search for over these last several years. Why was the beginning of my salvation radical and easy, but now 5-8 years later, my faith and my identity in Him were crumbling? Why was the struggle back and stronger than ever? Why was I lonely and feeling abandoned? Why did I continually fight back against the amazing grace that had been lavished on me time and time again?

I don’t have full answers to those questions, but I can tell you that in the searching and asking of those questions, that God was faithful. Faithful to provide me with those around me who would stay with me, even as I vacillated from one spectrum to the other almost daily. They were constant in their encouragement. Most importantly though, God showed up when I needed Him the most, and His pursuit of me was unending.

So after years of fighting and torn-ness, I surrendered once more. I came face to face with what endurance would really look like for me. Endurance. Openness. Trust. Faith. And most importantly, waiting. Believing that Jesus was enough for me, and that even when the waves and winds of life were rocking my boat, that Jesus knew exactly what was going on, and He was with me. All the time, and He never left my side.

So now I wait. Instead of escaping, I will endure. Instead of running, I will stay. Instead of doubting, I will trust. Instead of trying to move ahead and forge my own path, I will wait.

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and future. 

I can safely say for all of us that this sounds wonderful. We can get on board with the prosperity, and the hope and future. But the preceding verse paints a picture of what it would truly look like for Israel to experience this prosperity, hope, and future.

Jeremiah 29:10 says “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.”

Yes, the Israelites would experience prosperity, hope, and a future, but it would not be a linear destination to get there. They would first have to spend 70 years in Babylon, as captives of Assyria. 70 years! Some of these people wouldn’t even be around to experience the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel, but this was his promise. You will suffer, you will be in captivity, but I will come get you. Do you trust me? Do you trust me that I will do what I’d say I would do even on those days when you are in captivity and you’re literally exhausted and burnt out mentally, emotionally, physically?

I believe the Lord says the same to you and I today. That suffering proceeds prosperity and hope and future. That for us to truly grow into the people that God desires for us to be that there will be suffering. Suffering that is so immense sometimes that we cannot get out of bed. Suffering so smothering that it feels like we cannot even breathe.

It is in these moments of suffering, and overall waiting, that we have to ask ourselves the question, in our loneliness, in our depression, in our addictions, in our anxieties, do we trust God to show up? Do we trust God to be with us and hold us as we struggle to even live faithful lives? Do we believe ultimately that Jesus is enough for us?

I think that this is what it comes down to for me in the midst of crisis. Do I believe that Jesus is enough? If I do, I will stay. I will wait. I will pray expectantly. I will believe that He is who He says He is. If I don’t, I will look for substitutes. Escapes. Bandages. Feel goods.

I recently came across an old song I used to love listening to, and I just wanted to share the lyrics with you. It’s called While I’m Waiting by John Waller.

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy, no
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
And I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait
I will move ahead, bold and confident
I’ll be taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint

And I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve you while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

(lyrics provided by: https://genius.com/John-waller-while-im-waiting-lyrics)

I hope this song and these words I have shared with you today encourage you to wait on the Lord. It’s not easy, but it is worth it, one day at a time. Expect Him to show up. He always does.

photo-1475137979732-b349acb6b7e3

Picture taken from: https://www.originsrecovery.com/breaking-down-the-third-step/

Blessings.

3 thoughts on “Give me Faith Lord to Wait

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