The Lord is up to something big.
Isaiah 43:19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
When you’ve prayed and waited and waited and prayed for something for as long as I have, it feels rash to speak any hopeful signs out loud. I think of Sarah and Abraham in Genesis 12. “I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky.” 25 years later, God’s promise was fulfilled when Sarah at 90, FINALLY became pregnant.
A Kingdom Mindset
Still in my situation, about the five year mark of waiting, quietly thanking the Lord for the glimmer of possibility has felt inadequate. After all, cautious self-protection goes completely against a Kingdom mindset. Instead with my mustard seed portion of faith He wants me to boldly proclaim His goodness even before anything specific is certain. So here goes…
Ever since Ian’s life altering accident in Aug 2017, I have prayed for direction. Since I’m not just mom, but also guardian I carry the responsibility to figure out his best life. Other than a brief, somewhat disastrous stint living in the dorms at UNM, Ian has reluctantly lived with us. For Ian living with his parents in spite of the great strides he has made, feels like failure.
We have considered many scenarios for him to move out, but each of them comes with basic safety conditions Ian won’t accept. Without consistent employment and problem solving skills, Ian’s passionate threats to take matters into his own hands can’t materialize. So his resigned and lackluster living perpetuates.
I Want Answers!
Lord, how do I help Ian to improve and mature enough to be able keep meaningful work, work that his TBI demons won’t eventually derail? Where can He find purpose? And what about me Lord? This assignment feels like a sink hole because the familiar proverb, you can lead a horse to water… is in full play.
To be honest, it felt indulgent and even selfish to go with Doug on his extended sabbatical because I’d be leaving unfinished business. How dare I take three months to escape? Even though I sensed its critical importance, it felt like it would be a forced pause in Ian’s progress, however slow. Ha.
1 Corinthians 2:11b ….who can know the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Impeding His efforts
It has become abundantly clear that the Lord never stopped working. Truth be told, my earnest striving probably impeded His efforts. In Cambridge, absent from the day to day, I accepted the Lord’s invitation for intimacy. Instead of focusing on my assignment, and using my energy to solve an unsolvable problem, Jesus simply held me close.
I have a vivid memory of being a squirmy child and having to sit still in church before it was acceptable to bring gold fish and coloring pages. When especially rambunctious, my daddy would hoist me onto his lap. Of course I resisted. But soon overcome by his strength, I felt warm and safe and loved in his embrace. He held me and my attention with his thick calloused hands. Contentment. The minutes flew by and even though I didn’t know it at the time, there was no place I would have rather been.
Over the past several months while I strain to see any glimpse of forward progress, the Lord has hoisted me onto His lap quieting MY efforts and whispering His promises over and over. Tuned into the Spirit, curiously my heart has noticed things.
Over Christmas for example, Ian and Becca actually got along, and dare I say it, seemed to enjoy each other! Ian’s pink toes are a semi-permanent reminder of their fun spa day. Becca confided that Ian admitted to not knowing everything and he showed some deference to her ease in making and keeping friends.
Ian’s ever so slight shift in attitude has had a cataclysmic impact on all of us. And I’m excited to tell you the rest of the story.
What About You?
But first I have a question. What about you? Have you been impatiently waiting on God for something? An answer, some guidance, perhaps healing or reconciliation.
The Preposition Matters
During my current season of waiting, I’ve discovered something. There is a vast difference between waiting ON God for something and waiting WITH God for something.
Imagine in Costco Johnny gets separated from his mother. Even though he is helped immediately, Johnny feels scared and insecure as he waits. He has a sense of lost-ness because he is simply apart from his mama.
That is how it is for us when we wait on God FOR something. Because we assume He is far off, we rally all of our resources to help the cause. Ironically vast efforts and energy apart from Him, don’t really help. It’s God who waits patiently UNTIL we get to the end of ourselves.
In contrast, when we wait WITH God, we have thrown in the towel, aware of our inadequacy apart from Him. In prayer we engage the Holy Spirit when we listen and declare the truth of who He is. We rehearse His promises and enjoy His presence. We contend with His word knowing its living and active. All the while it’s as if Jesus Himself has hoisted us into His lap to hold us close as He waits WITH us, while working within us.
Do you see the not so subtle difference?
I promise to tell you the rest of this amazing story in next weeks installment. But for now,
Numbers 6:24-26 May the Lord bless you and protect you. 25 May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. 26 May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.
For His Glory,
Donna Faulhaber says
Brilliant – thank you for sharing this God given wisdom with the rest of us!❤️
That is kind Donna. For His Glory.
Deb, as usual just beautiful, and again , I can relate to the whole story, god bless, and prayers and love, to you and your entire family.
Thanks Tib! I love that as amazing as God has been to me… He longs to be God for each of us.
Betsy Everett says
Debbie, this is a great lesson, “waiting with God”! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I will look forward to new information about Ian.
Yes. It is indeed exciting.
Cat McKenzie says
I’m so very happy to again have you in my email ! Every word in this writing hit the Bulls Eye in my life of late. Though not great glaring changes, well mostly not anyway, the change has been subtle and sustaining. A glitch here and there ,unexpected and frightening” side effects” melted away as I threw myself at The Lord’s feet. To feel His hand reach down to me and pull me up, is ,was and will be Everything, but in His time and ways ,not mine. I’m joining you in this lesson on Patience and Trust.
Thank you for sharing. When I look back on the “hardest times” in my life, it was then when I was closest to Him. I bet you’ve experienced the same.
Ruthie Mendoza says
This is beautiful, Debbie.
Aww thank you Ruthie. For His Glory.
Very wise words!
Thank you Wendy!
Leslie Jacobs says
Thank you for your reminder. Our God’s “got this”. Praying in hope for Gods healing for loved ones and relationships.
For those that hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary. Isaiah 40:31
Thank you for sharing that scripture. One of my faves! AMEN!
Jennifer Boggs says
Love the very blunt writing of waiting ON God versus waiting WITH God. So very true as we gear up for another appointment season. I need to remind myself to wait with God, as He has the ultimate plan. Appreciate these nuggets of wisdom intertwined with the tales of Ian.
Great to hear from you Jennifer. We MISS you!!!! Thanks for walking this road with us.
Emmy Browning says
What a wonderful message. Great reminder to wait with him. Anxious to hear the rest of the story.
Im excited to tell you. Thank you for your faithful support.
Anne Kole says
Thank you Debbie, for sharing your God-given insight. Waiting with god has never occurred to me, but what a difference it makes! As I think about it, it makes sense. God is more interested in changing me than my circumstances. We wait together until I am ready for the next step. And I love your picture of sitting wrapped in Jesus’ loving arms while we wait.
He is so patient! I look forward to the rest of your story!
Thank You Anne.
Terri J Roseth says
I agree with Anne, waiting “with” God hadn’t occurred to me. The visual of Jesus’ arms and lap is one I conjure up frequently, but always on behalf of others as I pray. Why not me??? Your love for your mama and daddy, as expressed through your writings of past, gives me great pleasure on your behalf and vicariously. Without whining, I had neither available to me so I grew up most especially independent. But I also grew up, knowing practically from birth, that God truly loves me. What a comfort … and your sage advise too wait WITH God makes so much sense. There is no one on earth I would rather wait with! I know others have said this before, Debbie, but your writing style is amazing. A book could definitely be in your future. My best friend in Pagosa had a dream / vision for a book which was finally accepted. It is an incredible amount of work, of course, but it is a reality that she probably doubted for years. But as she told me, she knew God was asking her to write this book. I admire so much her obedience to God, and yours as well Debbie, in both caring for your family (I believe our highest calling) AND in sharing this blog with all of us. There are always beautiful words of wisdom in your posts wrapped up in everyday messiness! God bless you sweetheart, I appreciate you so much. “The Lord bless you and keep you, make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Amen”
Terri, Thank you for your kind and thoughtful email. God will let me know when it’s time. It does feel heavy and a low priority right now. But God has a track record with getting my attention when He wants to. I do write personally which is one of my concerns with a book. Out of respect for the people in my life. I know there is a way… As for my mama and daddy… I know I was fortunate. So I’m sorry if that causes you pain. But just remember Jesus isn’t a cheap substitute.
Katherine Ott says
As a former editor, I’m exquistely aware of the importance of prepositions, but I had never considered them in the way you describe. How marvelous to wait WITH God! Thanks, Debbie.
I love knowing you are a writer Katherine! Please… be gracious with your editing of my writing. I know I take plenty of liberties.
This year is a time for me of waiting with God, with more dedicated time and more solitude. It doesn’t come without determination and sensitivity to the Spirit. Thank you for articulating it so beautifully.
Thank you Suzanne. Isaiah 26:3 May you know His peace.
Barbara Gross says
I loved your message today and am waiting for healing and am going to change my attitude from waiting on God .to waiting with God. This was the message I needed today. Thanks and blessings to you. Barbara
Barbara, Thank you for your comment. May the Lord honor your intention.
I for one can’t wait to hear what happens next!