Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Word

In following many different bloggers, and just reading Christian writings across the internet in general, I was introduced to “the word”. One word that a person would focus on throughout the year, and allow God to speak to them through. Words like compassion, trust, grace, less, follow, etc. The word served as an inspiration and a reminder to them of whatever particular concept they chose to focus on.

A couple of weeks into the year, I decided I needed a word of my own. I needed a concept to focus on, an aspect of relationship with God that I wanted to delve deeper into. There were many to choose from, such as faith, love, hope, vision, patience or redemption. The possibilities seemed infinite, so I sought the advice of God. I asked Him for a word that I could focus on this year and grow through.

As I tossed words around in my head, rejecting each one, my word came to me. It wasn’t through an audible voice, but yet I heard it clear as day. “Wait” It wasn’t the word I was expecting, although if you asked me what I was expecting I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Yet, it’s very much the perfect word.  But, why wouldn’t it be? My Father gave it to me.

Closely tied into the concept of waiting is trust and patience. Both of these are areas that I truly struggle in. While I say that I trust God when He says He is in control and that He works all things out for my benefit, my actions don’t always back that up. While I can appreciate the big picture in terms of Him working everything out, that gets lost in the pain of the day to day. Thus begins the problem with patience. When it doesn’t seem He is moving things in the direction I feel they should be going, at the speed it should be going, I tend to take things into my own hands.

I don’t even have to tell you how disastrous that is, because you likely shook your head while reading that. You already know. And I’ve done it time and again. So God is teaching me to wait. While waiting seems like a passive action, it’s not designed to be done by itself. It follows giving something to God. A problem, a desire, a question… Seek His will in prayer, seek His direction in prayer, seek Him… but then wait. It might take minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. But wait on Him to act, to fix what’s broken, to heal what’s hurting, to show what’s missing… Whatever it is He needs you to wait on.

I’ve always loved acrostics, because they can often give a deeper meaning to a word. For instance, JOY – Jesus, Others, Yourself – that is the path to joy. So I began pondering what wait could be broken down into, and this is what I came up with.

Watch (look at or observe attentively, typically over a period of time)
Implicitly (without qualification: absolutely)
Trust (firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something)

It denotes a watchfulness, because you know God will move in the situation. And it requires trust. Implicit trust that He knows what He is doing, He knows what is best for you, and He knows what will bring about the desired result of becoming more like Jesus every day. Because life isn’t always smiles and rainbows. We don’t become more like the Man of Sorrows by sailing through life without a care in the world. We become more like Christ when we walk through our deepest valleys fully dependent upon God and not ourselves.

I will fail. I will still allow the here and now to overshadow the big picture. But, every day as I focus on the word “wait” and allow God to speak to me, I will get a little better, a little stronger, a little more trusting and a little more patient.

The day that I heard my word from God, I was in the bathroom washing my hands and looked up into the mirror to realize that I was wearing a shirt with two eagles on it. “But those who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31. I love moments like that! And I love that He loves me with an everlasting love that will never faint or grow weary.

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