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Christian Living, Encouragement, Help, Intentional

What to do in the waiting

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Even as I said the prayer out loud, alone in the car, I imagined the words hitting the ceiling and bouncing back down. Not heard. Forgotten.

It’s how my heart felt as I had been crying out the same prayer over and over for years and still there was no change.

Did God even care? I imagined him sitting up there, arms crossed, a smirk on his face. He knows He can do something about it, but He won’t. Like a judge  who has the ability to let someone go but instead smirks and slams the gavel for a more worse fate.

It wasn’t a pretty image. And I knew in the deepest parts of my heart that it wasn’t true. But the seemingly endless years of an unanswered prayer was weighing heavy.

But I know this truth: He who promised is faithful. The sun rose this morning and it will set this evening. It is unwavering in its progression across the sky and in its setting on the horizon. Just as our God is faithful. And he’s not the uncaring judge, but in fact is the loving Father. He isn’t withholding for His own amusement. Instead He is providing exactly what we need when we are supposed to have it. We have a limited view. We only see the present and a bit in the past. However, God’s omniscience means He sees along the whole timeline of the ages, knows how it’s all supposed to work out, even when we do not.

We have a limited view. We only see the present and a bit in the past. However, God’s omniscience means He sees along the whole timeline of the ages, knows how it’s all supposed to work out, even when we do not. Click To Tweet

Maybe you’re in the middle of heartache, unanswered prayers, and waiting. What do we do in the middle of all of this?

I have found encouragement in Hebrews 10:23-25:

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

1. Hold fast to your confession of hope – for He who promised is faithful


2. Stir one another on to love and good works


3. Meet together with friends and encourage one another

It won’t make the prayer become answered or the waiting end, but it will remind us of the hope of our salvation, help us to get the focus off ourselves while we serve others, and remind us that we are not alone as we gather with friends.

family having picnic on terrace

God is not afraid of our angry questions. Take them to Him and sprinkle a bit of Hebrews 10 into your day as well.

Through these 3 steps we’ll find that perhaps, without us realizing it, God has been answering our prayers all along. Just not in the ways that we had imagined.

Encouragement, Help, Intentional

Yes or No – 3 Questions to help you decide

I’m always excited about “volunteer plants.” These are the random vegetables that just start growing in the Spring without any help from me. Maybe it’s because I’m not that great at gardening, so when plants spring up green and thriving, I get a little giddy.

 

A couple years ago the volunteers coming up were pumpkins. I had tossed the remains of a pie pumpkin in the tired-out Autumn garden the October before. April came around and we planted a few rows of green beans. The beans came up alright, and right in the midst of all those beans, were some sprouts of pumpkin. I wasn’t expecting those sprouts, but there they were. Because I loved the idea of a bountiful harvest of pumpkins, I let them go, to see how they would fare.

Hindsight came to show, that, despite them being small and welcome in May, they became overwhelming and intrusive in July.

The green beans that came up 6 weeks earlier could barely see the sun, choked out by the explosion of pumpkin vines. We ended up with some pumpkins in the end, but we didn’t get a whole lot of green beans, which was kind of the original plan to begin with.

 

I learned my lesson that year. And this year, when the volunteer squash and tomatoes popped up – some were ripped out and some were transplanted. It pained me to have to rip out perfectly healthy plants, but I knew that if I didn’t pare down, nothing would really grow well.

Kind of like life, right?

There are a lot of things that we can say ‘yes’ to. And they can all be really good things.

But too many good things packed into a life means nothing is really thriving. Sure, they may all be growing…some. But nothing is really thriving and producing fruit like it should.

And, just like paring down the plants in the garden beds, choosing to say no to a good thing can be painful.

 

But, let’s not be quick to say no just because it feels like our life is too full already. Because, it could be exactly what God has brought across your path. So, how do we determine when we should politely decline, admitting that we can only grow green beans this year, or move ahead with a yes?

  1. Am I in a season where I can give this commitment the time and energy it deserves? Maybe a few things have dropped off your plate, making room for this in your schedule. If I’m already booked sun up to sun down, then this may be someone else’s yes and not mine.
  2. Would I be saying yes out of obligation or is it the Spirit prompting me? Being a people-pleaser, I really have to check myself on this one. You don’t want to commit out of obligation, that will only breed resentment. But, if the Spirit is telling you to move, you better move.
  3. Does this line up with my convictions and priorities? If you are finding your schedule full and there just isn’t any more room, it may be a good time to take a look at what you’ve already committed to. Is your life full of things that line up with your priorities (i.e. faith, family, etc) or has the schedule seemed to fill up with busy work and other people’s priorities that have been placed on you. If you are wanting to take on something new, something that does line up with your priorities, then some paring down may need to happen to allow that.

This is not an easy exercise. But if we are wanting to thrive, instead of just survive, it is necessary.

Your turn! What do you think? Do you have some volunteer plants in your own life that may need addressed? Do you have a hard time saying no, too? How do you combat the pull towards over-commitment?

   

Free Downloadable Guide

3 questions to help you decide

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