daily devotional

Why can’t things just happen when we want them to happen? Why the delay? Why the uncertainty? If God loves us, why can’t he just change this right now? Oh, because he REALLY LOVES us. Beyond a superficial love of ‘give the baby a lollipop’, to a deep love of ‘help her life have meaning and purpose so she reaches her full potential’.

The reality is, sometimes our answer is WAIT.

Actually, that seems to be the answer I get most. WAIT. It’s not going to be immediate. It’s not happening right now. This is going to require a process, and during the process you’re going to learn the most valuable lessons of life.

But understand ‘wait’ doesn’t mean ‘no’. The calendar now says it’s officially Spring time. But my friends in Colorado are getting snow again today. Snow on top of their already frozen tundra. They’re waiting for Spring to show up while it still looks a whole lot like Winter. But today’s forecast doesn’t mean it’s never coming. Today’s circumstances do not tell the story of how it will be in the future. Today may be a continued part of the wait, and tomorrow will bring you closer to the change.

Winter seasons in life happen. Times of hardship and struggle. It’s a season that seems to settle in and cling on. But since the beginning of time, there’s one thing that ALWAYS follows Winter. Spring. It always comes. The season eventually changes, the sun shines, the snow melts, the flowers bloom, the grass turns green, and the birds sing again. You wake up without that heavy burden, you start smiling again, breakthroughs happen, the darkness has lifted, and you step into your new season of life where things begin to change.

It’s happened to you before, and it will happen again. But maybe right now, you wait.

How do we keep living in the waiting? I’ve found I always seem to be waiting for something. If I’m not waiting for one thing to change, I’m waiting for something else to get better. It’s like when our kids were all 3 teens living at home and it was nearly impossible to have a day when all 3 were acting good, doing good, and being good. But on the rare occasion when it was all good, dang did we recognize it. No one is in trouble right now. No one has an attitude right now. No one is fighting right now. Sweet Jesus, this is paradise! But, most days weren’t paradise. Most days we were waiting to get back to paradise.

Maybe you’re waiting to get back to paradise. Or maybe you’ve never found paradise, but you’re waiting for it. You’re waiting for life to get right. For circumstances to change. For that breakthrough to come. For the good news to be told. For the tables to turn and things start finally going your way. You’re waiting.

How do you WAIT BETTER?

How do we not wish away the space in between where we are and where we want to be? How do we not waste the time it takes from get to here to there? How do we wait and not worry? Wait and not waste? Wait and not grow weary? Wait and not wander? We’re here and we’re waiting, so help us to wait well.

Oh girl, I’m dropping the W words like a world-class rapper up in here today! Which one is you while you wait?

Worry? You’re here waiting for something to to happen and the only scenarios you play in your mind are the worst case kind. You have pre-planned for all the disappointment and you’re carrying the weight of it all before it even happens. Worry is the opposite of faith. Faith is believing in a positive outcome. Worry is believing in a negative one.

Worry is a bad habit that steals your peace and paints every picture dark. Worry is no place for a daughter of the King. Worry is not a place for a girl carrying around the Spirit of God within her. Worry has no place in the life of a woman like you who can tap into the power of the Almighty.

Jesus told us in Matthew 6: 31 “Do NOT worry …” But are you? Are you picking up worry and wearing it like a badge of honor here while you wait? What good is that doing you? Is it making anything better? Is it making you happy? Is it honoring God in any way? No??? Then drop it like a bad date and move on sister.

Worry is a choice. Intentionally choose something different today. Every time worry creeps in with it’s worst case scenario and barrage of dirty thoughts of darkness, replace it with intentionally directed thoughts toward how God has used intended harm for good in your past. Remind yourself of his faithfulness. Dwell in how everything worked out before and choose to believe somehow, someway, things will work out again now. And while you wait for evidence of what God is doing, you will wait well, without worry.

How much has been WASTED while you wait? Wasted opportunities, wasted happiness, wasted days. Why? Because you can’t possibly be happy … you can’t possibly enjoy beauty … you can’t possibly embrace a new day while you’re here waiting. OH YES YOU CAN SISTER. You can wait and not waste a single thing that comes your way.

I waited for a year and a half to hear from our youngest daughter again. It was a long wait. It was a hard wait. But during that time there were many beautiful days and opportunities to be happy. I struggled with the simple fact that I could still be happy while things were still so wrong. Wouldn’t any good mother be absolutely distraught and beyond herself? So I had guilt and shame for still being able to smile while we waited for her to return.

But let me drop some truth on you now girlfriend … you don’t have to waste anything here while you wait. You can have good days. You can accept new opportunities. You can see God’s goodness even in the darkness. WASTE NOTHING in the WAITING.

The majority of our lives we will be waiting on something. If we’re wasting days and opportunities and happiness while we wait, dang we’re going to look back at the end of all this and regret all we missed.

If there’s anything here today to be happy about while you wait, girl embrace it. Be full on ridiculously happy. If there’s a little opportunity here while you wait for bigger opportunities, run with it. While you wait for that which consumes your heart, don’t waste the other offerings to your heart. Wait here, without waste.

When God requires us to wait, we sometimes begin to wander. Wander in our own direction. Wander onto paths we should have never gone down. Wander around because a little movement seems to be better than this stand still of waiting. And we sure get ourselves into trouble don’t we?

Out of desperation as Abraham and Sarah waiting for God to fulfill his promise to them of a child, they began to wander. God seemed to have stalled in the progress of fulfillment, so they would wander down their own path of making it happen sooner. Sarah couldn’t get pregnant, but the younger girl who assisted her could. Yes, this was a brilliant idea. She would convince Abraham to sleep with the younger servant girl, then she could have the baby. No more waiting!

And that went over about as good as you can imagine. The girl had the baby boy as Sarah and Abraham had planned, but then when Sarah became pregnant with the promised child after all that waiting, there was a little problem. Two boys in a family that only had room for one.

This is what happens when we wander in the waiting. When we try to accomplish God’s plan in our own way and timing that sure seems a whole lot better than waiting more. We can wander our way into some real messes.

What we need is an awareness of our tendency to wander. Lord, help us to see when we’re messing with your plans because we’ve grown impatient. Help us to see when we get off track and begin to wander in our own direction. Help us to wait better and not wander.

But waiting while nothing seems to be happening can make us weary. It’s exhausting believing things will change, but another day comes and goes with no change. Faith isn’t easy when the wait is long.

The Israelites were on their journey to the Promised Land and the only way there was through the desert. Traveling through a desert is not pleasant. I’m assuming they had run out of beef jerky and cheese sticks, so they were hungry. After living in the deserts of El Paso for a few years, I can tell you, ain’t nothing tasty growing in the desert! That’s some hard hiking!

The Israelites were asking, how much longer until we get there? How much further must we travel? How much more do we have to wait? And here in the wait, they grew weary. They lost their hope. They pitched their tents in the desert and dwelled right there in the place where they were only supposed to pass through. They settled out of weariness.

We do the same. We get tired of trying. Exhausted in the journey to get from where we are to where we want to be, so we grow weary and stop. Waiting leads to giving up. If I can’t have it now, then I’m just pitch my tent right here and be miserable. This is what weary does to us. Weary tells us it will never get better. Weary tells us it was all for nothing. Weary tells us it’s too hard and we’re not good enough. Weary tells us we were fools for ever getting our hopes up.

Lord, help us not grow weary here while we wait. Help us see that this wait is for a purpose, but it is not permanent. Give us hope again as we wait, but help us to keep moving in the right direction.

While you’re waiting … waiting for things to change, waiting for something to happen, waiting for this longer winter season of your life to show signs of spring, may you wait well.

Worship while you wait.
Believe God is indeed working while you wait.

Psalm 27: 13-14

“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”

Today, we wait well.