As always, I am sitting and praying and believing there is another set of ears in need. Praying and believing that there is another heart desiring these words put forth somewhat humbly, somewhat insecurely, somewhat confidently sure that the thoughts do not come from me alone.
But today, making eye contact with the blue eyes staring back in my direction is essential. Reminders are needed. Truth is needed. Hope, above all else, is needed. Of course that could be said for everyday, necessary for everyday, but there are times where not one more minute can pass until that salvation you are working out requires some extra fear and trembling.
A couple years ago, after smiling at so many others' posts, I downloaded the Time Hop app. Eager to enjoy smiles and tears of joy from past pictures of my baby boys who aren't quite babies anymore, I soon realized that I had no control over what from the past would make its way directly into my vision.
Sure there were those lovely memories of cute babes and fun times with friends, but every so often a memory was triggered that did not bring smiles or immediate joy. In its stead would come pain to a heart unable to handle the unwanted surprises. After a week, pressing the uninstall button gave back a little memory space on my phone and started my days with less unexpecteds and a lot more peace.
Last week, Zach had a different experience with those memories involving social media sites, and his was one that I have not been able to get out of my mind. Technology brought to his attention a photo he had posted of our church's first Sunday in its new space six years ago. Captioning the photo were the words "I can't wait to see what God has in store for us."
I can wait. That's all I could think. I could have waited.
Because, spoiler alert, that beautiful place full of loving people closed its doors almost exactly two months ago. Because within those years of growing in grace and wisdom and knowledge of God, among those years of serving together to help the unchurched, dechurched, teens, and homeless, friendships ended, betrayals hurt, marriages were broken, arguments were had, loved ones died, and longed-for children never made it into the world.
If I knew what was coming, my caption would have read, I can wait.
There have been many a time in life where focusing on the hard times and the unwanted events has taken precedence. We like to keep hopes high, to assume that the only thing coming up in the road is sunshine and happiness, cool breezes and sweet smelling flowers, laughter drifting in and out of fondly remembered moments.
When there is an inevitable bump, or in some cases a gigantic precipice followed by a seemingly infinite chasm in the road, all other previous moments are inconsequential in our minds. The only things that takes up all the precious space are the challenges, therefore blocking out the beauty beneath. That evil one, man, he earns his name.
Many a time I sat at a table across from my pastor as he patiently heard my heart full of hurts, fears, and doubts, and on occasion, successes, growths, and dreams. Many words were taken straight in and hung on to, but one phrase was written as to never be forgotten: "just because the outcome was negative, doesn't mean it was a wrong decision."
Let that simmer a minute.
Why does that assumption always find it's way back in? Why does it feel as if hard means bad, uphill means unnecessary. Second-guess girl rears it's head again as past decisions are critiqued and Trust slips to the background, letting self take center stage. To place your Trust in Christ, to believe that God truly is Good and in Control, is to submit to the bumps, peaks, and valleys, to keep your eye on the Horizon and see that though circumstances change, though you change, He never changes.
Life is full of wait, a word and a lesson I have been called to ponder upon. To rush it is to miss the moments on the way. God is working, always working, and as exciting as new beginnings are, the journy through them is equally as frustrating, equally as full of desires to quit, to cut and run. Instead of saying I can't wait to see what He does my answer is instead that I can wait.
I can wait.
I can wait as he renews my strength so that I can run and not be weary (Is. 40:31). I can wait and keep his way, knowing that I will be exalted to inherit a place in His kingdom (Ps. 37;34). I can wait because He is good to those who wait for Him, who seek Him (Lam 3:25). I can wait for the promise of the Father (Acts 1:4)
So I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope [Always Hope]; [May] my soul wait for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:5-6
There will always be that desire to jump ahead, to see what is coming up, to be expectant of the future, and that is ok. But don't miss what happens in the middle. Don't be in such a hurry for what's next. Don't waste the wait.
Pray for me as I try to relish the waiting, I'll be praying for you.