Friday, November 20, 2009

Thoughts on Waiting

"I wait quietly before God, 
for my salvation comes from Him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, 
my fortress where I will never be shaken."
Psalm 62:1-2

Waiting often sounds good to me.

I, unlike a few of my very good friends, am not an activator, achiever, striver.

I like to find a cozy spot and hang there.

I like what is consistent, predictable, what is expected of me.

So, if I have to wait, and I'm in a comfortable spot, I am set. I can wait as long as I need to.

But waiting isn't always like that.

In some areas of my life I have been in a type of waiting that is not comfortable.

It has not been cozy, consistent or predictable.

I have often found myself wondering what is expected of me.

This kind of waiting is hard and a place that I do not want to hang in.


This is where the Lord has said, "Shhh. Wait here. I know what I am doing. Just trust me."

Thankfully, He has given glimpses of hope, peeks at what may be to come, indications of departure preparations beginning.

There are times when I freak out and fuss and make broad declarations and start making my own plans to move. I may even take some steps out on my own.

But He knows the plans He has for me. He walks before me and beside me and behind me.

When I follow my own way, even though it looks so good and right at the beginning, it soon becomes becomes so clear that it is not His way.

So, back to the place of waiting I must go.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; 
do not depend on your own understanding. 
Seek His will in all you do, 
and He will direct your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

"Teach me how to live, O Lord.
      Lead me along the right path,"

Psalm 27:11

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
      no shadow of shame will darken their faces.

Psalm 34:5

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meeting Hannah

I met Hannah this morning in the quiet darkness of my sleeping home.

Yes, I have met her before... I think the first time she was a paper figure kneeling on a piece of felt in a Sunday School room that smelled of crayons and fruit punch.

I knew that she prayed to the Lord and asked for a son.

And He gave her Samuel.

And then, she gave him back.

That always scared me a bit when I was a little girl. I imagined being dropped off by my mom at this dark and cavernous place with an old priest and voices in the night.

It scares me now as a grown woman who has children. Could I give one back to the Lord? Could I give them all?

This morning I feel like I got to know her a little better. She became more flesh than paper to me today. More real.  

She was one wife of two.

She had no children. The other wife had at least two, if not more.

Her husband loved her, but he didn't understand her.

She had deep pain.

She was laughed at, and taunted.

Her husband thought that she should be happy that she had him. (How's that for an ego trip?)

When her sorrow got too much, too heavy to bear, she finally went alone before the Lord and cried out to Him for help.

She made a big promise.

She was looked down on while she was praying and even thought of as being drunk by the priest.

When she told the priest why she was there and what she was doing, he heard her and believed her.

The priest gave her hope.

And Hannah walked out in faith, believing that she was heard and that she would receive what she prayed for.

Her faith changed her outlook and her behavior.

And she gave birth to a son.

I was blessed to meet Hannah this morning. And the world was blessed because she took her pain to the Lord and because He granted her request.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

He hears me!

I sat out in the coolness of the morning and laid my heart out before the Lord. I've been feeling unsettled, unsure of what I was to be focusing on, not sure what direction to take.

I told Him about that.

It wasn't pretty, or well said.

But I told Him.

It happens this way almost every time.

I guess I expect to get an immediate response. Like an owl flying up with a letter from God in its talons or something. But that never happens.

But He hears.

He always does.

And, almost every time I cry out to Him, He gives me an indication that He heard.

Within the day.

That happened today.

Two very clear indications to me that He heard me.

Direction came.

"I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to Him, and He answered my prayer." Psalm 120:1

But the most important reminder came while I was still outside sitting alone with Him.

I had been wondering what I should be focusing on.

The answer came immediately....

Not what, but Who.

Once again, He had to gently take my chin in His hand and direct my gaze back to Him.

Thank you, Lord.

I need to keep looking up, not around.

That's when my way remains clear.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face, 
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
in the light of His glory and grace."