I’d waited a long time for an answer to my prayer. It felt like forever. This spring I was sooo ready to move on and it looked like my prayers were finally going to be answered. Somehow our six-month foray into townhouse living had turned into six years and in my mind, seven was the magic number. The SCRIPTURAL number. Surely God would open the door for us to move this summer, if not sooner.
I reeled at the delay. It felt like we were running out of time.
Last night as I scrolled through Facebook, I noticed a post by a marketing expert I used to follow; this was the caption:
“If you could have one dream come true this year, what would it be?”
I was about to hit the un-follow button because I don’t read her stuff anymore but then my eyes fell on the first comment and it stopped me in my tracks. Someone very close to me had responded and the fact that they had expressed their desire so vulnerably wasn’t lost on me.
Now, I have no idea what this marketer does with the information her followers give her, but I suspect she uses it to fine-tune her message. As a writer, I was intrigued so I read the comments—all 641 of them.
Here’s an unedited sampling—grab a Kleenex:
* To be healed and permanently cured of ovarian Cancer
* To meet the man who will love me for everything I am and never leave and marry him!
* For my three adult children to get saved and follow Christ.
* To never have a seizure again in my life
* To just find where I belong..
* My son being drug free and being the musician that he was born to be
* Have enough for retirement to not have to struggle or depend on social security
* Will be happy to just have a roof over our head.
* For my husband to get help, with his mental issues and low self esteem and abandonment issues..
* See aerosmith in concert in vegas (Me, too, sister; me, too!)
* My grandbaby who has spina bifida to walk
* My son and daughter to forgive me for divorcing their dad
* To have Thrillions of $ & Feed & Buy all Homeless People a house
* No more alcohol in my household and in any of my family members
* To be completely healed and set free from anxiety and depression
Oh. My. Heart.
Do you hear the longing in these answers? The desperation?
I can relate to a few of those dreams—how about you? What’s your dream?
What are YOU waiting for?
Perhaps it’s a who you’re waiting for, or a where or even a when.
I ask, because I know you’re waiting; we all are. Maybe it’s not for a roof over your head; maybe you just need the one you have to get patched.
Sometimes that dream you’re waiting for is so far out of reach you can’t even bring yourself to admit it out loud. Other times, it’s maddeningly close but your fingers can’t quite grasp it. You’ve prayed, worked on the contentment thing, begged, tried to solve it yourself and clung to hope when it felt hopeless.
You just want to move on, already but the heavens aren’t moving.
Girl, I. Feel. You.
Sometimes moving on means accepting where you are.
Contentment. It’s one of the biggest lessons you’ll ever have to learn and you can only learn it the hard way. Paul said he’d learned to be satisfied in any circumstance. “I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.”
Sometimes moving on means standing still.
The Bible talks a lot about standing still.
Moses told the people to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Paul tells us to prepare for battle and having done all, to stand.
Bible commentator David Guzik says stand means to not droop or slouch; nor be uncertain or half-hearted in the fight (no self-pity is allowed).
We’re taught: Don’t just stand there… DO something!
The reverse is sometimes true: Don’t just do something…STAND there!
Sometimes you have to unpack your bags
Your deliverer is coming. He just might not be coming right this minute.
When Jeremiah wrote to the exiles in Babylon, he told them to “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce.” He was telling them to settle in and make the best of their circumstances. I wonder how that went over.
Psalm 37:3 tells us to “trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.”
Dwell means to settle down. You know that’s mostly an inside job, right?
Sometimes moving on means rethinking things
Isaiah 55:8 says, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. New Living Translation.
His ways and His thoughts (about you, about your circumstances, your child, finances, health) are higher. You think he’s forgotten you? That you’re not enough, that you’re on your own, that it’s all up to you? Graham Cooke says, “If all your thinking has brought you to a place you don’t like… have another thought.
“… my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. NLT
Sometimes moving on is a dichotomy
Should you keep pushing? Or simply lean?
Practice self-discipline? Or dependence?
In his Leadership Series, Ken Boa says, “This is how spiritual transformation works. Discipline and dependence go hand in hand. We can pursue it but can take no credit for it.”
So yea, there’s probably some work
you I could be doing while you I wait for God to move the mountains. (This is the part where I give you all sorts of examples you already know. But you know what to do, right?)
Sometimes the work is surface stuff
Here’s what that looks like for us: since a move isn’t in the cards, we’ve determined to make the most of the house we’ve got. My husband is sprucing up the patio to make it more pleasing for me… putting up a canopy, buying a rug and more usable outdoor furnishings.
But the interior stuff, the heart work, are what’s really important: how we communicate our disappointments and desires to one another and to the Father. How we pray together and lean in to hear what the Father is saying. How we encourage each other to work hard and at the same time, leave the outcome to Abba.
Here’s my point:
What you’re waiting for is rarely the point
It’s who you’re becoming while you wait.
It’s discovering for the “thrillionth” time, that despite the diagnosis, the loneliness, the disappointment; despite the menacing mountain that flat out refuses to move:
He is good and you are His beloved child
So, yea, we’re not moving, but my daughter is. She wanted me to look at houses with her but hesitated to ask because she thought it might make me depressed.
I don’t want to be that person. Sure, I want to move someday, but right now, today, here’s what I’m doing…
Until God says the waiting is over and it’s time to move, I’m going to:
- Accept my situation and be thankful
- Submit to God’s plans and timetable
- Settle down and live securely, feasting on His faithfulness
- Stop trying to play God
- Remain faithful while I wait for God to move my mountains
God’ story ends triumphantly, friends. If you’re in Christ, yours does, too.
What are you waiting for?
I’m praying for you!