IN THE WAITING

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
 In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths."

Proverbs 3:5-6

A place to find encouragement when you're trying to trust God in the unknown. "In The Waiting" is the official blog of MyBabysFamily.com; a ministry that supports hopeful families seeking to grow through adoption.

 
 

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My feelings do not dictate the will of God in my life. Nor, do my feelings determine his faithfulness, his goodness, or his love for me. There are some days when I hear Him loud and clear, and then there are other days when I feel like he's farther as far away as the moon is to the earth. But thing is, that's just feelings. I wake up some days and I feel like I have the faith to conquer the whole world! Then, days like today I feel as dry as a desert.


He's as near as the air you breathe. His love is as endless as a bottomless pit. A part of walking the journey of faith is knowing there will be times when we have to remind ourselves of his goodness and accept that his presence doesn't seem right beside it even though it's just mental deception. As believers, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our salvation. In the dry riverbeds, I like to think about this fact more deeply... "set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Corinthians 1:22)"


What does that mean for us? Is this part of the very immediate, instant access to the Father that we are told about all the time? Does that mean I can take in a breath, and close my eyes, and imagine that He's there on the inside of me? Does it mean I can believe that the very air I breathe is the spirit I am taking in with each inhale? Oh dear ones, it means that his nearness is transcendent beyond this reality. It means in every step we take, in every thought we make, HE IS THERE. It might be invisible, it might be subtle, but it's very real. "By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. (Hebrews 11:27)"


Moses left Egypt without fear because he had the faith that helped him endure as though he had seen him who was invisible. He had the power to step forward and be the leading force of change for the Israelites as God intended because he trusted Him to show the way. There are countless times in the story of Moses and the Israelites where even when they had visible miracles of God's reality, they still had doubt. They still had fear. They still had to question his integrity, and still questioned inside whether they should trust the all powerful God who parted the very sea for their salvation. The constant, everflowing, abundant love of Christ is shown all over scripture and even in our lives. We need not fear, or give into the lies of the darkest valley (Psalm 23:4), because it is just that--deception. God is always constant; God is always true.


God catches me constantly trying to offer to what "I can do for him," even though I know it's nothing. It's funny to me because he's brought attention to this so many times; constantly worrying if I am good enough. I am caught between this place of fully recognizing that I can't do anything to earn his love, and yet for some reason always trying to. It baffles me at times because he's made this behavior very apparent to me, but I still seem to repeat my mistakes. I know deep in my heart that it's from misplaced inner motivations. It's like I am moved to constantly try to do something to express how much I love him, but not the right way. There's nothing wrong with expressing your love and gratitude for Christ in action, but it's wrong when you get into the habit of thinking you have to "perform" to be loved.


The reality is that we can't do anything to earn God's love. We can't do anything to earn our way into heaven, either. God's love for us "just is"; such as the invisible force of the wind whipping through the tree leaves. You can't explain why the wind does what it does, but you know it's there and very real. But like I was saying, I have this tendency to think that I need to do things like to earn his love. Dear ones, if you've ever had this perspective, take yourself back to the cross. All of your sins, all of your shame, was nailed to that cross while Jesus triumphed over sin and death.


If we can trust God to honor what Christ did to save us, then we can definitely trust in his faithfulness to figure out our lives. God is the most trustworthy being in existence; everything that he says "will be," always comes to pass. There is really nothing to argue. It's about coming to terms with who He is, and believing that He will. There is a special place reserved for the people of God within the Holy Spirit during times of waiting, and it is a place where the waiting doesn't seem so much like a punishment. It's a place of a quieted heart, stillness in each beat, and being able to hear the sound of the air inhaling and exhaling through your lungs. It's a place of contentedness mentally, and every inch of your body is relaxed just like after a professional massage. It's this space occupied in your heart by the Holy Spirit himself that clings to you in the places of unknown reassuring you with every terrifying step forward. It is, as expressed, "...the peace of God,which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7)." It is given to us by the Holy Spirit, for believers, and can be wholly accessed in time of hardship to keep going.


So, if you're like me, stop trying to earn a way into his heart because it's already yours. He stretched his arms out so wide for us that he died to display his unending, unconditional, sacrificial, and long-suffering love. Be the prodigal daughter, or the prodigal son, that he has given room in his heart for you to be (See Luke 15:11-32).




"We walk by Faith, not by Sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7


Is faith really blind? I've thought to try to answer that question, in perspective of my own life, and what that means. A couple of weeks ago I ordered some wall decals to decorate the hallway of my condo. One of them was 2 Corinthians 5:7, and I put it right on the wall that faces the entryway to the kitchen. Each time I leave through that same space, I see that message. It gives me strength to keep stepping forward, and a tangible way to experience God's presence.


The common understanding of "walking by faith and not by sight" is that we do not know what the future holds, but we trust that God is going to lead us and take care of us. That is by far what it's saying, and it's what gives me strength each moment I feel discouraged. It's a resounding reminder, softly spoken from the whispers of the Holy Spirit, "trust me, trust me, trust me." His quiet, gentle and compassionate nature draws us in to believe, to hope, and to trust that all things will work out for our good (Romans 8:28).


But in my own life I've come to see it's more than just agreeing to believe he's going to take care of us, as I'm sure it is for everyone else. We aren't blind in our decision to follow Jesus, to trust him when things don't make sense; God doesn't just tell us to trust and not deliver. All throughout scripture we see evidence of a God that keeps his promises and is faithful. In addition to that, individually he shows us his faithfulness in our own lives. I can look back at countless ways God has spoken to me about something in my life and how he moved to make what he said happen. This is something believers share in their individual relationships with God, how he works nothing but good in our lives, which gives us that assurance we know we can have to put our faith in him to work out all things.


So I don't believe my faith is blind, purely by definition. I want to follow Jesus because I've seen with my own two eyes how good he's been to me in my life. I want to follow Jesus because he was the one who was there for me when the entire world and those that I loved couldn't be. I choose to trust him when I don't understand what's going on in my life not because of what I read in scripture, but also because of his repeatedly consistent faithfulness to helping me in my life. He sees me through all of the ups and downs, and he's the greatest support system I have. He can be that for you too no matter what obstacle you're facing in your life.

 
 

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