I love reading. It is probably the best form of self care for me and also a source of inspiration and reflection. After reading an article by Tirzah magazine titled "What do i do in the waiting?", I could not help but think about the last couple of years of my life and how God has pruned and refined me. The article centered around waiting, and God being in the processes of our waiting. As i am currently in the waiting season for a few things, the idea of God being present, right here and right now during this sometimes exhausting time of my life gave me great encouragement.
"Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord", Psalm 27:14 NIV
Waiting is not easy, and few people actually wait as they are meant too. I know for me waiting usually means i am trying to garner my own form of satisfaction while i wait. Its like snacking before dinner, once you do it you can never really enjoy your meal. God has taught me over the last couple of year what it means to wait. Even now i find him calling me to be still and rest, while i wait on his timing. Waiting is not easy for me, so this time of stillness is painful but necessary for my spiritual growth and character. God knows me better than i know myself, alot of times when we feel weary it is because we are striving to do beyond what we are meant to do. We burn ourselves out. But God has this amazing way of being right where we left him, waiting for us to turn our attention back to him. He longs to give us peace within our season of waiting. Whether you are waiting for something to happen right this moment, or you are waiting for a future change, God is in the midst of it all, he is in the process of our waiting.
"I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion, therefore i will wait for him." Lamentations 3:24 NIV
As i have learned, no matter where i am in life, there is always something to stretch my faith and teach me patience. No matter the length of time i wait, there are a few things that have helped bring me peace, and a spirit of expectance from God.
1. Scripture. My bible reading has increased exponentially and it is mainly because i always find exactly what i need when i open the bible. Every story, and text speaks to the journey i am on. Not to mention God is found in the pages of his word. Seek him there you will not be disappointed. *Favorite book of the bible to read while waiting, Psalms*
2. Pray, pray, pray. There is power in prayer, but in more so in continual prayer. I used to wonder why i would need to pray continually for anything if God was all knowing he already knows what i need...how naive of me. Praying isn't just about repeating what you desire over and over again, its about the relationship we form when we talk to God about our struggles. And i don't know about you, but rarely do i run out of reasons to go to God. God longs to hear about our good and bad, he wants to be our best friend and number one confidant. I encourage you even when you are tired and weary, pray. Even when you feel like you are alone in your waiting, pray. Jeremiah 29:12 says, "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and i will listen to you" NIV.
3. Friends. I can not stress the importance of being surrounded by people of faith. i am fully blessed to have great women in my life who encourage my walk with Christ and who can speak truth into my circumstances. Recently over text one of my spiritual sisters reminded me of when Moses was too tired to keep his arms up during a battle between Israel and Amalek. Every-time his arms lowered the army of Amalek grew stronger in their fight, but once his arm were lifted with the help of Aaron and Hur, Israel was able to defeat Amalek. She reminded me that much like this story the people of God need to be lifted up in prayer and encouraged by those within their circle. It was a great reminder for me to share my struggles with those who understand and share my faith. We are all in a season of waiting. It may not be for the same thing, but we equally need prayer and encouragement to keep up strong.
"For where two or three gather in my name, there i am with them", Matthew 18:20 NIV