My birthday is smack-dab in the middle of Nebraska tornado season. I remember more than once when the sky went all shades of gray and black and green, my dad watched the clouds and knew what they meant, and we took my birthday cake down to the basement. To wait. When the storm rages, you head to the safest place, to shelter from the craziness outside.
Too often in my life, when the situation is messy and complicated, I can’t see through the fog to what is coming next, or a storm is raging in my heart or around me, I run right out into the thick of it. I thrash and rage too, my heart spilling over with complaints and impatience. “Won’t You answer this NOW? Don’t I DESERVE this thing that I’ve waited days…months…years for?”
Haven’t I waited long enough? For the midwife to turn to Jesus. For fruit from all of our praying and walking and pushing out of our comfort zones every day. For an answer to my prayer for energy, healing, joy. For godly spouses for each of my siblings. For freedom for Cambodia from oppression and bondage. For a husband, a partner for this journey, and a little family of my own. For the day my whole family can be together in one place, that does not involve a computer and Google Hangout. For the day when I don’t have to think about ants and critters (I’m totally serious. I pray for patience for this every day).
But here’s the invitation from the Father: to come out of the storm, to wait in the safe place with Him.
Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.
Running to this fortress, seeking shelter and peace in this safe place doesn’t mean that I’m done waiting. But it means I can cease my frantic pacing and planning and trying to make things happen on my own. It is place to draw near, to listen, to rest. In the shelter of the Father He quiets my heart even when the storm still rages outside, and I can ask what He wants to teach me in this season of waiting. I’ve been running towards the tornadoes in my life lately, instead of seeking the safety of the strong tower. I think I need to remember those birthdays in the basement and take shelter in my Father’s strong fortress, and maybe bring some cake (gluten-free of course) with me as I continue to wait and trust.
What has God taught you in the seasons of waiting?
Linking up with Velvet Ashes again this week.
Reading a biography on George Muller- prayer works- but sometimes waiting is the hardest thing to do. Pray that you can find comfort through all the trials, bring comfort through all the joys, and be comforted in all situations
I was watching a sunrise several months ago. It was so slow I started to talk to myself, “Come on, hurry up.” I was so expectant to capture the beautiful moment with my camera that I did not care to wait nor enjoy the whole process of the sun coming up from behind the mountains across the sea. That is when I felt the impression I believe was from God, saying, “Ilsa, you do not rush me. The sun will rise, for sure it will. But.. it will happen according to my good and perfect timing. And so will it be with your desire for the future. Wait on me.” And with that, began this particular season of waiting for me. When I tried to act on God’s behalf, I hit the wall. When I became impatient, I stepped on other’s toes. That is when I realized that to wait with the right attitude is more important than just ‘to wait’. A few weeks ago I read the story of Jesus promising the disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit. Did the disciple know about the timing? No. About the method? No. Location? No. But they waited *prayerfully*. The israelites had to ‘wait’ for 40 years before they got into the promised land, I think, mainly because they had a lesson to learn. God cared about their character and wanted them to grow more than fulfilling their needs/desire. And so now I am waiting for God to act on my behalf with the attitude He favors *prayerfully* as I am growing into becoming the person He wants me to be. Or so I hope 😉 I am also learning to desire Him more than the things He can give me. Knowing myself well, I think there will be times when I get impatient and confused again…and when that happens, I hope I will remember to shift my focus to the Strong Tower and run to Him. Grace and peace to your relentlessly waiting heart, Sarah 🙂
Birthdays in the basement….shelter from the storm. Beautiful post.