“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” – Jeremiah 31:25
It is safe to say that many of you are acquainted with waiting. Waiting and I have gone beyond the level of mere acquaintances; we are quite intimate. I waited fifteen years for a certain healing; it came. I waited ten years to hold a degree; it is mine. I waited five years for a second child; we have him and another one. From the time I knew I was to write, I waited about 25 years to hold in my hand a book I wrote; many of you hold it too. Ben and I have waited together fifteen years to be a part vocationally of God’s global movement; the time has come. Finally. Easy is not something I am aquainted well with. If you only knew the stories behind those sentences that are so easy to set on paper, but much harder to live. These are just a few threads of waiting in my own life that God has demanded and enabled me to have tenacious pit-bullish faith for (faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see- Heb. 1:1).
It is my personal experience that waiting is not passive. Great effort is being done in us and in those around us in measure of how we respond to waiting. Folding our hands in acquiesce is not waiting. A courageous surrender rarely comes without some measure of needed fighting. Often much warfare. The living will not start when the waiting is done; it will only begin in a new way. A way that we’ll not be ready for if we do not embrace the hard process of waiting.
When the bible speaks of waiting, it always entails an eager expectancy, a longing, a trust, a looking for, utter confidence, patience, hope, rest, tarrying for a time. It is a waiting prepared for action–an ability to run as soon as the starting blocks are removed. The training has been accomplished and the race is sure! There is nothing about giving up that which God has given us a zeal to wait for. No, there is not a setting down of what you are waiting for if God has given it to you to hold in the depths of your soul.
I am also learning the pattern that after this type of deep faith waiting is done and it seems that we have been in tangled captivity for so long, we are weary. It is a good weariness but our souls are faint from the intensity that was demanded of us for so long. We need a restoration to receive fully the gift of our longing fulfilled. We need to learn how to walk without that particular waiting. We need to learn to receive the benefits of God’s restoration power.
This is where I am right now. Maybe this is where you are too.
There is delight in the benefits of restoration. When the moments are quiet here and the children are sleeping, I like to look out at the scrappy pines and listen to the palm branches clanking in the wind, opening my hands to receive the sweet joys of renewal. He is “leading me beside streams of water on a level path where I will not stumble”, I am “rejoicing in the bounty of the Lord”, I will be like a “well-watered garden who will sorrow no more”, I will “dance in gladness and be satisfied with his abundance”. What a foreign land this is to me and what strange new courage it demands to walk through it!
Quietly before the Lord in in the ways He sees fit, my work will be rewarded.
See, there is hope for my future.