My daughter loves the VeggieTales movie about Jonah. She talks about it all the time and we often read the story of Jonah from the Bible.
They talk about Jonah delivering God’s messages in the movie; my daughter picked up on this. She has “play mail” that came with one of her toys. She will frequently come up to me and say, “Mom, you have a message from the Lord.”
Do you ever feel like God is trying to tell you something? You keep hearing the same message from several different sources and they are all saying the same thing? Perhaps pointing you to the same Scriptures?
That has certainly been true for me lately.
Every time I pick up something to read, God says “wait.” It can be a reading on prayer- and it talks about waiting, a reading on faith and it talks about waiting.
You get the picture. I find myself so challenged by this call in my life from God. Wait. And I know what He’s asking me to wait for- friends.
What do I think He’s trying to teach me?
God is asking: Do you really believe, Rachel, that I am enough for you? That I can satisfy your longings, provide your needs?
Honestly, I am such a people pleaser- I have looked to other people to tell me who I am, to supply my worth, to make me feel loved – and many times I have valued their opinion over God’s.
God has been stripping all that away, and it is so painful!
Every day, I need Him- in my loneliness now, I seek Him. I look to His Word to keep injecting the truth into my mind to preserve me and dispel the lies.
I used to look to people to tell me truth- to speak encouragement to me. The only problem is- sometimes others don’t speak God’s truth into my life. Sometimes instead they perpetuate the lies.
How can you know? God’s Word- time with Him. That is the only way that we can weed through the lies that people try to sell us intermingled with a grain or maybe a slice of truth.
Otherwise I might buy it. And I am beginning to see that though this process is painful, I want to see it through.
I don’t want to be so desperate in my attempt to find friends and escape this season- that I miss what God is trying to teach me.
Do I have faith that He will bring friends into my life? Do I believe Him even when I can’t see what’s up ahead?
Does our trust in the goodness of God only stretch as far as our eyes can see? I have been so convicted.
My faith is small. I know God is stretching me- urging me to get in the deep end. To submerge myself in Him.
Letting go of control isn’t easy- but I am willing to try, day by day, little by little.
Here’s a portion of what I read yesterday from The Best of E.M. Bounds on Prayer:
“Yet faith is called upon, and that right often, to wait in patience before God and is prepared for God’s seeming delays in answering prayer. Faith does not grow disheartened because prayer is not immediately honored; it takes God at His Word and lets Him take what time He chooses in fulfilling His purposes and in carrying on His work. There is bound to be much delay and long days of waiting for true faith, but faith accepts the conditions-knows there will be delays in answering prayer and regards such delays as times of testing, in which it is privileged to show its mettle and the stern stuff of which it is made.”
I have discovered that it did not take much for me to get discouraged. My faith was so weak. I had to ask forgiveness for my lack of faith in God- in His goodness and provision in my life. I had lost hope.
Now I feel as though every day is a call to deeper faith, abiding trust, being willing to live in anticipation of the Lord’s provision- believing that He will answer in His good time.
Do I believe that God knows best? A question that keeps coming up in my heart and mind. And every time, I have to choose to say, Yes.
Here’s another quote from E.M. Bounds:
“Delay is often the test and the strength of faith. How much patience is required when these times of testing come! Yet faith gathers strength by waiting and praying. Patience has its perfect work in the school of delay. In some instances, delay is of the very essence of the prayer. God has to do many things antecedent to giving the final answer-things which are essential to the lasting good of him who is requesting favor at His hands.”
What are you struggling with today? Is God asking you to trust in Him, even when you can’t see the outcome?
I pray that my own struggle will provide encouragement for you to stay the course and keep the faith. Even when we can’t see what God is doing- we can trust Him. I pray that you will rest in God’s Sovereignty today and seek God first as the answer to (and for) all that you need.
***The Best of E.M. Bounds on Prayer is out of print- to read his works I would encourage getting The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer which is available for Kindle and in book form.