Tag Archives: patience

Advent & Looking to Mary.

Today marks the beginning of Advent.

Like other Jews, Mary (mother of Jesus) longed for the fulfillment of the prophecies promising a Savior to Israel. (Never could she have imagined, even in her wildest dreams, that she would be the one to bring Him into the world!) In my life, I’m (still) waiting for the fulfillment of so many of God’s promises to me.

As I go about Advent, I am going to look at Mary and the hope of her Son. No matter how painful the waiting (for all kinds of fulfillment), I want to be strong as Mary was. I want to trust His promises to me. I want to grasp onto His faithfulness, to trust, even when there is no hope within my line of sight.

I want to say “yes” as Mary did, and not to count the cost. Her cost for saying “yes” to conceiving the Savior could have meant death for her. I don’t know if the cost for me will ever mean physical death (as a martyr), but it does mean dying to myself and my own plans every day.

I want to say “yes” and not question why He asks a certain experience of me. Mary didn’t question why she specifically was being asked to carry out the magnificent task of carrying the Son of God within her womb and mothering Him. She simply said: I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38) I have many questions about why I am asked to carry certain things. Why am I entrusted with this or that? Yet, His plan is sovereign and wise. I want Mary’s courage to simply say “yes,” only looking forward and keeping my eyes on Him.

I can’t imagine the temptation to impatience there was for Mary during her pregnancy. Can you imagine being told by an angel that you would conceive in a supernatural way…And not only that, but that the child would be the Savior of all humanity! Mary protected Jesus in her womb for 9 months and waited all those months to behold her beautiful Savior face to face. She must have faced persecution for her out of wedlock pregnancy, most people not having a clue of Whom she carried. Yet she carried the evidence of what people believed was sin in her body, waiting and waiting to hold Him, and for the world to know Who this special Child was.  In all of my waiting…To finish school for a more fulfilling job where I will no longer live paycheck to paycheck, in waiting to meet or know who my husband is, in waiting to find a more permanent living situation…Impatience. Yet most of all, longing for the day I meet my Redeemer face to face, and live in perfect joy forever with Him and all the saints. Waiting. There is always something to wait for. The waiting, the longing, the feelings of never being settled…Mary teaches me to wait. She is teaching me endless strength, and to have faith. She shows me the example of a woman who followed the Lord without fear, no matter where it led her.

So now I step into Advent, a season of the Church where my daily lived experience is made manifest. I’m thankful to have Mary to look to for the virtues I need the most at this time. Most of all, I’m grateful that she said “yes,” so that our Savior could come into the world!

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” Luke 1:45

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Courtesy of Howard Lyon
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The God of Open Doors.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”~Matthew 7:7

door
 

(courtesy of unsplash.com)

 

During this season, there are many people waiting on open doors. I sense that this will be a big year for a lot of people. In fact, when I think of my friends and acquaintances, it is hard to recall someone who isn’t discerning some sort of change in their life path. I myself am seeking another path. However, these steps will not be achieved overnight. They take prayer, discernment, and trial and error. Our steps must be directed by the LORD. Proverbs 19:21 reminds us that,”many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”  We must wait for open doors.  We ourselves cannot open the doors. They are locked, until Jesus directs us to our open door. It’s not to say that every open door is worth walking through–sometimes we can walk through a door and find that we’ve walked into something we shouldn’t have. In these cases we must continue to search. During these seasons of waiting and journeying towards new paths, it can feel like doors are slamming in our face, over and over. We can grow tired of knocking and getting no answer. It can feel frustrating as we try to turn the key in numerous doors, but they just won’t open for us.  Trust that it will be worth it to walk through the door that Christ has opened for you.

I came across this great word. It’s worth a watch. I like how Stephanie keeps it within the realm of God’s will–we must not think of the closed doors as rejection, but redirection by our loving Father to something better!

Dear friend, keep walking! Keep to the path of righteousness. Your Father has prepared you a room, and you will come to your open door. Be patient, keep seeking and asking, and don’t give up knocking! 

“I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept My word and have not denied My name.”~Revelation 3:8

What Are You Waiting For?

What are you waiting for? Each one of us is waiting for something. Waiting is not easy. Yet it can be a very blessed time. In fact, I venture that it is actually a gift! We must, however, use it well. Waiting is not in vain. It may feel like walking through a desert with no hope of water or reaching your destination, but is taking you to a Promised Land, just as it did the Israelites. Check out my post on Ignitum Today for more on this topic!

desert of waiting
courtesy of unsplash.com

I pray that you may have the grace to wait well and be at peace during this time! May you realize what a gift it is to wait. Rest in Him.

 

Behind the Scenes

2016 started out totally uncertain.

I sat with my parent’s on New Year’s Day at a coffee shop, discussing my plans for the coming year. They asked about when I planned to do this or that. The one thing I knew is that I have dreams for this year, big dreams that I have hoped and prayed for a very long time. However, I have no idea of the timing! I laughed when they asked me about my plans. The fact was, I didn’t even know if I would be going into work on Monday! I had received a summons for jury duty, and was told to call a certain number, and then I would know whether to report on Monday or not. (I didn’t find out for sure until 6 AM on Monday! Crazy, right?) Yes, my Heavenly Father is teaching me that I am not in control! I must rely on Him, moment by moment! 

God is working behind the scenes. As I live out my life each day, I don’t know what the next minute will bring, the next day, or the next month. I have no idea of what is going on backstage. But I know that it is for my good.

courtesy of unsplash.com
courtesy of unsplash.com

When I look back on my life, I am amazed at the events God has pulled off. The experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met, and the blessings that God has poured out upon me are simply astounding. I especially remember the unexpected email from a former boss that led me to my current job. Our Father in Heaven was definitely working behind the scenes, orchestrating a chain of events to put me into this position. Even at this very moment, God is working behind the scenes to orchestrate events that I have no idea about. 2016 is all in His hands. He is doing the same for you.

Remember that the behind the scenes work takes much time and preparation. But when the curtain is drawn, a wondrous scene will play out, one much awaited. Trust Your Heavenly Father as He works behind the scenes for you, my friend. Trust.

It’s Not Over.

This song has seemed to come on the radio quite often lately. I think it’s one of God’s ways to urge me to trust in Him and to continue to pray on all the questions in my heart. 

He is writing my story. And He’s writing yours, too. The ending has not come; there are still chapters up ahead, with twists and turns. He knows every word, every ellipsis. He knows it all, including your present impatience and wanting to read ahead and to hold the finished book in your hands.

For those still waiting, longing, praying desperately for a spouse. It’s not over.

For those crying out for a child to hold, feeling the ache of an empty womb and empty arms. It’s not over.

For those seeking employment to meet daily needs, and only finding rejection. It’s not over.

For those watching loved ones struggle because of their own harmful choices. It’s not over.

For those praying for peace and the road to take. It’s not over.

He is writing now, friend. Trust Him with the pen, and be amazed as the story unfolds.

God bless!

Waiting on God

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.”~Psalm 27:14

I remember apartment hunting and all of the feelings associated with it. It was an experience somewhat like feeling like a fish out of water. I was staying with a friend, hoping not to wear out hospitality, and desperately hoping for a place of my own, ASAP. I waited much longer than I thought I would to get a place of my own, and the time had come that I could finally, finally get my own apartment.

I looked at places that had very positive aspects, but something didn’t feel quite right. They didn’t have the feeling of home. Trading the discomfort of my current situation for independence was very appealing. There were a few times I almost jumped quickly into a living situation. Thankfully, God gave me the grace to be patient and wait. The search continued.

I woke up one morning with clarity about the place I should go with. Something just felt right, even though in one aspect I had hoped for something else. God had another plan. I haven’t for one day regretted the choice I made in which apartment to live in. In fact, I see many reasons why this is the perfect place for me, including the neighbors I’ve been blessed to meet. I didn’t understand then why I couldn’t move right away, and why the places that fit all my qualifications didn’t feel quite right. I am so grateful that God led me where He did, and, more importantly, that by His grace I was able to wait.

courtesy of unsplash.com
courtesy of unsplash.com

So many times we grow impatient, waiting on God. It isn’t going fast enough for our taste. We think God doesn’t have it all under control. Sometimes we jump into decisions, jobs, or relationships on account of our impatience. Patience and waiting on God’s best doesn’t always come easily. But it is so worth it.

Ask Him for the grace to wait. Accept the discomfort that comes in waiting and standing still. He will hold you and show you where to step. Just wait.

“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”~Psalm 46:10