Are you in the middle of a waiting period? You have a promise, word, or dream and you think you have done all you can to make it happen…and yet that very thing is still out of reach. Yeah, me too. Houses, cars, babies, money, marriages, jobs, friends, you name it. We have all been stuck in the “Not Yet” loop. The tension in the waiting sucks. It sucks faith, energy, creativity, even hope. Unless we have some secret weapons.
I want to briefly unpack something the Lord is giving me these days. Every experience, good or bad, is an invitation to encounter God. Here is the catch. These encounters are not one-way encounters — only what we get from God. They are two-way encounters, both parties giving and receiving.
Don’t miss the huge truth-bomb here that God enjoys receiving FROM you. Yes, you.
(So what are you giving Him?)
There is a reciprocal relationship where I ask and He gives. He gives, I praise. He doesn’t give… I cry, pout, stall out. But c’mon, that’s kindergarten level. Maturity offers different responses. I ask and offer Him thanks in advance. He gives, and I ask who to give it to. We dance. We laugh. And, when things go badly, I look to Him. He doesn’t always rescue me but He gives me perspective. I have the opportunity here to test my thinking and believing in the middle of the tension.
What do I actually think about the LORD, instead of what do I think about the situation?
The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.
Nahum 1:7 NKJV
The Lord gave this verse in a hard, hard season of waiting. I learned how to use three secret weapons from one verse.
1) The Lord is good. Every disappointment, heartache, delay, and faith strain is reframed by God’s goodness. When we come to bank our whole life on His goodness and His desire to be good to me, to you, it changes every result, or lack of result. We don’t minimize the pain, but we tell the pain it is not the final answer. God’s goodness will be revealed sooner or later.
2) Every trouble we face, we have a stronghold to run to. We don’t flail around helpless and hopeless. We don’t try to white-knuckle it. Heaven has provided a very real place for us to rest and recuperate. A place where we can escape the trouble and find wisdom and comfort.
3) He knows those who trust in Him. Listen, this verse stopped me dead in my tracks. HE KNOWS who really trusts Him. Remember the give and take? He looks at us in the hardest moment and asks, “Will you give Me your trust?”
I don’t know about you, but that verse compels me forward into faith. I may get knocked down but I am getting back up. And when I do, I want to be that kid in the classroom, jumping up and down, with my hand up, shouting, “Pick me, Pick me. I trust You! I do!”
But wishing doesn’t make that kind of trust in God real. When we are willing to go through the experiences, encounters, history, risk, failure, and do-overs, then we grow a kind of faith and trust that makes Him smile. Maybe I am a hard nut, but it has taken a lot of hard knocks to get me to child-like faith.
I have also loved this passage from Psalm 27. In the NIV, verse 13 says, I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. But verse 14 in The Passion translation takes it to a whole new level.
Here’s what I’ve learned through it all:
Don’t give up; don’t be impatient;
be entwined as one with the Lord.
Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope.
Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!
Psalm 27 TPT
Being entwined with the Lord means it is not just me trying to keep going in difficult times. He is with me in it. He gives me all that I need in the tension. So what to do with the disappointment I do face? This verse strengthens me to keep waiting. He is not done. I WILL see His goodness sooner or later. He is with me. So that means His goodness is already here right in the middle of it with me.
Bad outcomes, poor results, waiting in the tension… these can become places to be even bolder. “Okay God, show me your goodness again even in this yucky place. I am looking because I trust in You.”