Thursday, November 25, 2010

They that wait...

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

With the Christmas season approaching, it brings back many good memories of a season in my life. The year was 2001 and my husband and I were waiting for my son, his wife and the two grandbabies to come home for a visit. In anticipation of them coming I had already set up the pre-lit tree and had taken the ornaments out of the garage. In my mind I could just see them arriving with the children to a homey house already decorated for Christmas. I was looking for a reprieve from the stress of taking care of my dear husband whose health was rapidly declining. To me decorating the tree and having everything in place when they arrived, would have been a spark of joy over the recent events that had taken place in our lives. But one night as I went into the living room preparing to decorate the tree, my husband said to me in a gentle voice “Let’s wait until they get here.” He went on to say that he knew that was hard for me, because he knew how I liked everything “just right”, but could I please just wait until the children arrived. I have to admit, it was hard to pass the living room over the next few days and see that bare tree standing in the bow window. Once I snuck in and just as I was picking up an ornament my husband’s voice came from behind me and said “Rooooooni”. We both had to laugh, because he KNEW me too well and had caught me red-handed!

Sometimes to wait is such a hard thing to do, and yet in this life God asks us to wait many times. I believe that waiting is a time to learn to trust Him even more. Sometimes it takes going through the process many times before we get to point where we can settle in and rest in Him knowing that He has it all under control and that it will somehow all work out. Our “Waiting” training as I call it, usually begins with small situations and in time you graduate to larger issues. But as you learn to release those things that you have no control over and many things that you DO have influence over…that is when your “waiting” season doesn’t seem so long.

That Christmas of 2001 was indeed a learning time for me. A little thing like waiting to decorate the tree instead of forwarding on with MY PLANS has served to change my life.
You see, after my son and his family arrived, my husband asked them that night to help us decorate the tree. And that night with Christmas music playing in the background, the tree lit, and the grandbabies crawling around and chattering, we all decorated the tree together. It was a scene to behold as my son twirled his wife around to the music and our oldest grandchild placed an ornament on the tree that was made by his father many years before. At one point I went over to my husband that was reclining in a chair, I took his hand and we just smiled at each other. He knew that in my smile I was saying “thank you for asking me to wait”.

You see…my plans, if I had carried them out would NEVER have produced the scene that my husband and I were enjoying at that precious moment. And to make it more precious it was the last Christmas of us all being together, that very next month on January 29, 2002, my husband went home to be with the Lord.
When God ask us to wait, we have to remember that it is for our own good. And the results that He gives are so much better than anything we can ever plan. This holiday season, may we all learn to seek God’s best for our lives. It is good to make plans, but let us seek His plans for our lives. And if it means we have to wait a while for things to happen, just remember, our strength WILL be renewed, we will NOT be weary, and we will be blessed by the One who loves us the most.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who will separate us?

“There is no pit so deep, that God's love is not deeper still."
— Corrie ten Boom

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39

A friend requested prayer for their family member that had to be hospitalized for a mental condition. While many with compassion rushed to let her know that they are indeed praying and believing God for restoration. One well meaning soul decided to question the decision to hospitalize and even offer suggestions as to maybe what they thought would be a better way to handle the situation. While I know that this person meant no malice, STILL it was not the time to question these people that were in the midst of suffering through this trial. They had asked for prayer and we should honor just that.

God is a BIG God! How many times have we sang songs about it…and yet sometimes we put Him in a box and think surely He could not work in a particular situation. All the time thinking that we have a better solution as to setting up the “atmosphere” where God can do HIS work better.

I remember when talking to a person about my husband’s illness and death, she said “Maybe there was some secret sin in his life that no one knew about, maybe that is why he was not healed.” I don’t know about the theology of that, but I do know that my husband loved the Lord and confessed everything in his life that he thought was not pleasing to God, trust me, he did. For many months what this person said troubled me, that along with the severe early stages of grief truly was a trying time for me. But after spending time with the Lord, He helped me to realize that He, the God of my husband was big enough to take care of any situation in his life and that He is Sovereign and cannot be separated from a person such as my husband, who not only loved God but served Him.

I have learned through my journey (and still learning) that God can work through any situation. I am reminded of the words of Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian woman, who lost most of her family and along with her sister was imprisoned in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Even after seeing the horror and darkness in that concentration camp she was STILL able to say that “There is not pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” Even in the midst of darkness He is STILL there. So who are we to question whether or not He will work in what we may think is not an Ideal set up! Shame on us! Our job is to pray and believe, we can reach so many hurting people that way.

God’s love is so big that we cannot even imagine it! So deep that we cannot even phantom, so wide that we cannot measure! He is a Just God and His mercy endures forever!