Welcome Lyndall Jones, this week’s Guest Blogger!
Lyndall has been in music ministry for 25 years and currently serves as Worship Pastor at First Baptist Church in Piedmont, OK. He has been happily married for 11 years and has one son who is 9 with a calling to choose to adopt another child when God leads them to this child.
Joy in the Waiting?
Waiting. I’m seriously thinking this might be my least favorite word right now.
Sure, I want to buy into the idea of how patience and the wait will bring about a good result, but it’s SO FRUSTRATING! Tom Petty was 100% right when he wrote, “The waiting is the hardest part…”. Oh, I KNOW God’s timing is perfect as is His strength in time of weakness because 2nd Corinthians 12:9 tells me so. But that doesn’t always bring a smile to my face when I’m waiting. Maybe you’re in that same boat with me?
There’s a struggle in probably each of us to want to control things. Yes, we’re ready to say we’ll wait for God’s timing, but when His timing stretches into months, years or even decades, we start to question Him and likely want to put in the effort on our own. Honestly, I even qualify this in my own life by saying to myself, “Maybe God just needs for me to act here on my own, and then He’ll open up the doors”.
To be even more transparent, it’s where my wife and I are in wanting to adopt. We’ve been certified to adopt through the state DHS for about 20 months now. We’ve had meetings and looked at files of children and had our file put in for about a dozen or more kids. No bites or follow ups. Nothing. We also have had our home study and file for over a year in a private attorney’s office who works in private pairing adoptions, just in case they have birth mothers looking for prospective adoptive parents. No calls. Nothing. Nada. Talk about disheartening!
Did I miss something?
Maybe you’re there with me. Maybe it’s not about adoption with you. Likely, it probably isn’t. But, you may be facing a problem or running into a wall that you keep continuously asking God to fix, help, or give you direction to and you just seem to hear nothing. It can steal your resolve. It can cause you to doubt your calling or the Spirit’s leading. In short, it leaves you at a loss for what to do. You start feeling like a broken record.
You’re praying the same prayer over and over and wanting God to answer it TODAY! Waiting…waiting…waiting…
In my struggle with this I keep coming back to these things:
1) “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; WAIT for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)
– If God has convicted my spirit to do something, and I know His ways will lead to a better outcome than my own ways, then waiting is a MUST. There’s no gray area here. And I need to be encouraged by this fact, not just reminded and patted on the back. I need to be strong in my faith here, not doubtful. YOU need to be strong and not doubt! I have spoken this verse to my heart and emotions often. I did so again as I wrote these words. I’m short-sighted and impatient. He is eternal-minded and perfect in His patience and plans for us. So, we wait.
2) Is the focus of why I’m wanting _______ to happen to glorify God or me?
– I must hone my naturally selfish instincts here. I know God has called me and my family to adopt, but it doesn’t mean I’m not wanting to do this selfishly at times. Even though I would remind God of how “helpful” it would be give me a child NOW, I think He’s got a handle of how to best deal with things. I need to keep the priority on Him, not me.
Maybe you need to be reminded that the job you want out of, or the family member you wish to see saved, or a problem you want solved doesn’t mean more to you than it does to God. What I mean is this: who cares more for your family? You, or God? Who wants to see you live joyfully more? You, or God? As much as we’d like to THINK we care so much about each of these things or people, God cares more! He gave us relationships with Him through Jesus and He shows exceeding grace and patience in love to us. He’s pretty good at waiting. Maybe we should be, too. Glorify Him even in your waiting.
3) Is this a calling from God?
– If the answer is yes, then seek Him first and all these things will be added to you as well (Matthew 6:33). This is the hardest one. Knowing God’s voice, following His voice, being faithful to His voice – they are all part of this process. But when waiting and waiting and WAITING kick in, doubt will creep in as well. I can’t imagine what Abraham went through in waiting 25 YEARS for his promised child after God told him he’d be the father of many nations! Woah…wait... THAT long?! Um, please, no. Is it any wonder Abraham decided to “help God out” by having a child (Ishmael) with Hagar? And we know that action was not only sinful, but led to more hurt and disobedience. God called him to this. He didn’t wait long enough. But, God still proved faithful in giving him Isaac and the long line of his ancestors still lives today.
If God birthed in you a desire to do something or be something or follow His plans, then is it really too much to ask for us to just wait on Him? I think it’s only human nature to want things in a good time table, but “(His) ways are higher than your ways and (His) thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) I am reminded of the quote: “If God brings you to it, He will see you through it.” However, I will sub in “If God has called you to it, He will see you through it”. It applies here. Trust your calling, and walk in strength today.
Maybe today, you’re tired. You’re tired of waiting. You’re tired of asking. You’re tired of people even trying to cheer you up about being tired! Let me tell you, I’m right there with you. More importantly, Jesus Christ is right there with you. He’s not afraid of you telling Him how tired you are (let’s be honest, mine is more like full-on griping and complaining!) and yet He’s still loving on you. He’s doing all this patiently. He’s waiting on you. He’s waiting on me. Knowing the joy I have daily in Christ is a result of His waiting on me reminds me that I can wait another day in seeing out this calling God has given me. Will you find joy in your waiting?
LISTEN to Becky’s song “Trust Me While You’re Waiting” from the “Before the Throne: Worship & Hymns” album. Share your comment on the song (and/or this blog post from Lyndall) below! (Leaving a comment between May 14th – 24th enters you into the contest to WIN a FREE AUTOGRAPHED CD!)