Northern England / Southern Scotland on the way to Hadrian's Wall

The wait is worth it

Anyone who tells you life isn’t about waiting is lying. Some days, it feels like that’s all life is. Waiting. When you’re a kid, you are waiting for the day you can drive a car. When you’re old enough to drive, you’re waiting for the day you’re “grown up enough” to live on your own. When you’re out on your own, you’re waiting for the right person so you don’t have to be alone. You get the idea. But it seems to work that way in our walk with Christ too.

He leads. We follow. But He doesn’t always lead where we expect Him to, and He never moves on our timetable. Never. It’s either too slow for us or too fast, and we have to learn to wait. We have to learn that waiting is worth it.

Northern England / Southern Scotland on the way to Hadrian's Wall

Northern England / Southern Scotland on the way to Hadrian’s Wall

Today’s verses are Hebrews 6:11-15.

Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance. For example, there was God’s promise to Abraham. Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying: “I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number.” Then Abraham waited patiently, and he received what God had promised.

What’s one thing you’re waiting on right now? I bet you have more than one. But I know you’re waiting on something. You’ve probably been waiting on it for a while too. And, if you’re anything like me, you’re wondering why you have to wait so stinkin’ long. It’s just a simple yes or no, isn’t it?

In those moments when you get tired of waiting, on those days when you’re ready to give up because it just doesn’t feel like God is going to do anything, think about the stories in Scripture. The example today is Abraham, and he’s a great example. But he’s not the only one.

God made promises to Abraham. Ridiculous, impossible promises. And Abraham had to live a good deal of life before he even got to see some of those promises kept. And–just being brutally honest here–he didn’t actually live ( on Earth) to see all of God’s promises realized.

Even so, Abraham lived believing that God would keep His promises. He endured all sorts of trouble, holding on to God’s Word. And I know that when we meet him in eternity, Abraham will still believe it was worth it. All the pain, all the doubt, all the fear, all the uncertainty and unknowns–don’t think it’s only in today’s modern world that we face such things. People haven’t changed that much in 8,000 years.

God kept every promise He made to Abraham, even though Abraham didn’t always hold up his end of the bargain. And aren’t we thankful? Because all of us are in the exact same boat.

God has made so many promises to us, and He will keep them. Because He’s God. That’s what He does. And we need to remember that even when it doesn’t feel like He’s keeping up His end. He is. It just isn’t going to look like we think it should look.

What are you waiting on today? Don’t despair. You may have to sit still, but God is never still. He’s always working on something. And there are no better hands to leave your problems in. He has unlimited resources, unlimited time, and unlimited love, and He wants what’s best for you.

So what’s a few weeks? What’s a few years in the face of that kind of opportunity? Enjoy the downtime. Soak up the quiet. Use the time you’ve got in the interim to get to know Him better, because I promise, when He’s ready for you to stop waiting, you’re going to hit the ground running, and you won’t slow down.

He’s got it. Stop worrying. He knows what He’s doing, and He is good. Truly, truly good.

Glen Eyrie Conference Center - Colorado Springs, CO

Being shaken isn’t the same as being moved

Mountains are pretty stable things, at least from my perspective. I’m sure some geologist could prove differently, but as far as I’m concerned mountains don’t really move easily. Granted, Jesus said if we had faith the size of a mustard seed, we could move mountains … but He didn’t say it would be easy.

I like walking in the mountains and on the beach, and even though the mountains tend to make it harder for me to breathe, usually the footing is more secure than the beach. Beach sand is unreliable at best, and of course, if you’re going to walk on the beach you’ll want to be in the water. So the tide sucks the sand out from under your feet as you walk. That doesn’t happen in the mountains. If you slip while you’re walking in the mountains, it’s not the mountain’s fault. It isn’t the one moving.

Glen Eyrie Conference Center - Colorado Springs, CO

Glen Eyrie Conference Center - Colorado Springs, CO

Today’s verse is Psalm 16:8.

I know the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.

Life is pretty nuts. There’s always a lot going on, and it doesn’t ever seem to slow down. And I always feel like I’m losing ground or like I’m taking wrong steps, and it’s difficult to find stable footing when it feels like everything around you is shifting.

So a verse like Psalm 16:8 is comforting. But when you’re in the middle of a major life issue and everything around you is falling apart, it’s easier to focus on the fact that nothing is going right than it is to remember that God never leaves us.

Whenever I run into comforting verses like this, the ones with a slightly vague sound, I always look them up in a different translation to get a better grasp of what the language is saying. Some day I’m going to learn Hebrew and Greek. But until then, I have the Amplified Version. It’s usually lengthier than other translations, but it drills down a little deeper into actual word meaning.

This is Psalm 16:8 in the Amplified Bible:

I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Most translations basically say the same thing, but the connotations are different. Because being shaken isn’t the same as being moved.

Let’s face it. Everything shakes. Shoot, even normally steady Midwestern Kansas had earthquakes last year. Maybe that’s a poor example, but nothing in life is stable. Like I said before, mountains look stable and are more likely to withstand traumatic events than something slippery like sand. But they still shake. You put a mountain in an earthquake, and it will lose parts of itself.

And we’re the same way. Even if we have a foundation on something solid and unyielding like the Bible, even when we have faith that is strong and confident, we will still run into events in our lives that will shake us.

We’ll be hurt. We’ll ask God why. We’ll want to get through it, to reach the other side, to see the light at the end of the tunnel. We want to wake up in the morning and be happy again. But we can’t, not because our faith is gone or because we don’t trust God … but because we’re shook up. And it’s difficult to focus when you’re shook up.

But just because you’re shaken, doesn’t mean you’ve been moved.

Everything shakes. But if you’ve set God before you, like the verse says, you’re still on stable ground. If God is at your right hand, you’re not going anywhere He doesn’t want you to go. And you’re not experiencing anything He hasn’t allowed into your life. And if He allowed it into your life, He did it for a reason.

Events in our lives are going to shake us. And it doesn’t always mean you’ve done something wrong; it just means life is broken. A little shake here and there is probably good for us, I guess, to help us remember who’s really in control. Maybe you’ll shake a little and maybe the things that you’re facing will tear you up a bit, but you’ll heal and be stronger for it. The trick is to focus on the fact that you’re still on solid ground. And as long as you’re walking with God, there’s nothing that can shake you enough to move you.