Wow! I just looked at the date of my last post, and I cannot believe it has been since last January! The year has just flown!
Well, here we are again at Christmastime, and I was just bemoaning the fact that I was not acheiving my goals, and just generally frustrated with my walk with Christ, because I had once again lost sight of him in this busy time of year. Thankfully, though, I had been voicing my frustration with myself to the Holy Spirit, and faithful as always, he began to reveal why. So here I am, ajusting my spiritual attitudes AGAIN. How easy it is for me to loose my vision. I wonder if God ever gets as frustrated with me as I do with myself and consequently with others?
There is so much going on in my head right now, I hardly know where to begin.
I guess I will start where I am, which is usually better than trying to go backward, because that involves stories that would just take me off point, and go where I am going, but in a round about way that is neither pretty or comfortable. For me, anyway. You might enjoy reading it, but I wouldn't enjoy revealing the darkness that is still in my heart after 43 years of following Christ.
At any rate, suffice it to say that I was struggling with the people around me just not "getting it". Now if you wonder what I mean by that statement, you may not struggle like me. In fact, you may not "get it". Not to insult your intelligence or your spirit, and truth be told, I think it is more my problem than anything. I am prideful and arrogant, and really, just plain sinful. And I am the one who really doesn't "get it" most of the time. That is what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me.
You see, I have been frustrated with my family during this season. It started even before we began to put up the decorations. Every year it is the same thing: We start something as simple as putting up the tree (did I just say it was simple to put up a tree???) and it always ends with someone mad at someone else and feelings hurt and mom crying. After all, I just want to do a family thing for a couple of hours without all the fussing and selfishness. But it happened again this year and I cried, AGAIN. I used to love Christmas. But after 38 years of living with Scrooge and his minions, and the selfish little beasts who God has chosen to use to reveal my desperate need for him (because of my own selfishness) through (ie: children...5 of them! I must really be worse off than I had orginally thought), I no longer look forward to putting up the decorations. It is now a chore that I do, not that I enjoy. But I digress.
Anyway, they roll their eyes when I say, "hey! lets read Christmas devotions!" or "lets watch a Christmas movie" or, "you want to bake cookies with me?" well, not so much the cookies, cause they know they will get to eat some. But you get the picture. Anything that involves "Christmassy stuff", they act like they are going to the dentist.
I was just feeling so justly self-righteous, and wondering why they didn't "get it."
I mean, its our Saviours Birth for heaven's sake!!! Why wouldn't you want to savor every moment??? Why wouldn't you want to devote yourself fully to this time of year when heaven and nature sings of the glory of God in the Highest? Why I as you? Why?
So I got all up on my high horse, thinking: "I am the only one who gets it. Why don't they care? Why don't they love you like I do?" And all the while praying that they would "see what I see" and that they would love him like I do, while getting angrier and angrier, and wondering why my prayers seem to fall on deaf ears.
DUH!! So I asked God: "Why won't you just show up and fix them? They are driving me crazy!!! Especially my husband!! So I turn on the radio in the car (which I NEVER do) and here was this guy from Walk in the Word ministries talking TO ME! sounded like the voice of God, really.
He said, "what is the difficult circumstance that God is using to bring you to a place of humility before him? God orders the circumstance of your life to put you in a position to see how desperately you need him." Could it really be that simple? So I went to their website, and here is what I found:
The Benefits of Waiting
"I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord." - Psalms 40:1–3
The longer I live, the more I come to understand that life doesn't have a lot of green lights. There are hardly any times where God is like, "Do you want that? Have it right now. Why didn't you ask sooner?" More often God is like, "I'd like you to wait."
"No! I want it right now!"
God is like, "Listen! You might think you want it now, but I'm going to give it to you when you're fit to receive it. I'm going to use the process of waiting to shape you into the woman or the man that I want you to be. Getting it now wouldn't advance My purposes for you. I want you to wait."
Waiting is not an easy thing. Waiting is not passivity. Waiting on God is not the absence of efforts. Waiting is "I've done everything I know how to do but it's not enough and now I am waiting on God to do for me what I could not do for myself."
That is such an important lesson to learn. Let me tell you about some of the benefits that you get when you wait on God. Here are five verses that spell them out.
According to Psalm 40:1 when we wait on God, He hears our prayers: "I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry."
According to Isaiah 64:4 when we wait on God, He acts on our behalf: "Nor has the eye seen a God like You who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him." That's what God is fired up about. He works for the people who wait. I wonder how many things we don't get because we're out there working for it ourselves beyond what we should and God's like, "Would you just stop that? I act on behalf of the people who wait for Me."
Psalm 25:3 says that when we wait on God, He keeps us from shame: "Indeed none of those who wait for You O God will be ashamed."
Isaiah 40:31 says that He gives strength to those who wait: "Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength."
Psalm 37:34 tells us that those who wait for God are exalted: "Wait for the Lord and He will exalt you."
Bottom line; God always makes it worth our while to wait for Him!
So I will rejoice in this season! I will wait patiently and know that their walk is their walk and I will not try to pull them along. I will pray for God to do it in his time, and that I live long enough to see it! I will pray, God do for them what you have done for me, or something better that is beyond beyond of what I could ever imagine. And my joy will be in him and in my journey with him, without expectations on the others in my life to join my journey. For it is my journey. They have to have their own. Does that sound selfish? Hmmmm....maybe I better rethink that.....
My expectation is in him, exceedingly, abundantly, above all we could ever ask or even think....giving him glory forever and ever, because he is all that I could ever hope for and certainly more than I deserve. And it is Jesus who brings me joy in this journey. Amen!