At the beginning of the year, I posted that I felt that my “word of the year” this year was the word wait.
I have a confession to make. I haven’t been good at waiting.
I’ve been struggling. A lot.
I’ve felt like God doesn’t hear my prayers. I’ve felt that He doesn’t care about what I’m dealing with or that maybe He’s punishing me. I’ve felt distant and abandoned by Him.
And I’m sure that many of you can relate to how these valleys in life go. You feel distant from God, you struggle to pray, you struggle to read the Word, and then you feel more distant from God. Rinse, lather, and repeat.
So that’s where I’ve been lately.
This past weekend I went on a ladies’ retreat that my church held. We went to a lovely cottage in rural Quebec on a beautiful little lake, surrounded by other women in all stages of life, all of whom love God. The topic of discussion throughout our weekend was intimacy with Christ; how to pursue it and how to recognize the intimacy God already shows us.
I had to bring Malachi with me and he woke up early the Sunday morning…early enough that by the time we got up, had a bite to eat, went for a walk, and returned, he was ready for a nap by the time most of the other women were just getting up for the day.
I grabbed his time to do some quiet time with God….something that I haven’t done in a long time. I perched in the window sill in the little nook that was my room for the weekend, looking out at what God created, and opened the Bible to Romans.
I found myself at Romans 3:23-26.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
A few hours later in our final session of the weekend, the speaker mentioned that sometimes people will define ‘justified’ as, “just if I’d never sinned.”
And I realized that God isn’t punishing me. He sees me as though I haven’t sinned. He knows that I’ve sinned, but that knowledge doesn’t affect how he loves me or values me.
Yesterday I read in Hebrews. I came to Hebrwes 6:13-20, but verses 13-15 stood out to me in particular.
For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And this Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.”
There’s that word again. Waited. Patiently, even. Something that I had told myself I would do, but I haven’t been. I’ve been wanting God to work on my timeline.
Farther down in verse 18, it says, “it is impossible for God to lie.”
I had been feeling like God’s promises in the Bible for some reason didn’t apply to me. But that’s not the case. He doesn’t lie. He doesn’t pick and choose who his promises apply to. They are for all of us, even little old sinful me.
And then I read from 2 Corinthians 5:7, “for we walk by faith and not by sight.”
I wasn’t having faith that God would keep His promises because I was basing my feelings and beliefs on what I could see. That’s not what faith is, though!
I need to have blind faith…faith that believes in Him even when all I see is darkness and I can’t understand how it’s going to work out, let alone when.
So this is where I’m at now. Waiting on God to do His thing, but reminding myself to wait on His timing and not my own. Asking God to forgive my disbelief and my impatience, and asking Him to show me the lessons He’s trying to teach me in the meantime.
I hope this has been an encouragement to you! What has God been showing you recently?