“I waited patiently for the LORD, and he turned to me and heard my cry for help. He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and they will trust in the LORD.”Psalm 40:1-3
Waiting is not my strong suit, especially when the wait drags on for what seems like an eternity. In fact, I feel like it’s a sign that God needs my help to make things happen. I just jump on out ahead of Him to get the ball rolling. Not a good idea. Because evidently, I need to learn the lesson of waiting, this past year has been just that, a year of waiting on God.
A few years ago, I rebelled against setting myself up for failure and self-loathing by refusing to engage in the tradition of New Year’s resolutions. A friend of mine had shared with me the concept of the One Word for a year. That is where you ask God to place a word on your heart that He will use to focus your thoughts for a solid year. The first year I tried this my word was “Possible”, then came “New”, “Joy”, and the ever lovely word, “Humility.” However, last year I was planning on not participating, but God had greater plans. I’ll give you three guesses as to what my one word for 2018 was going to be, and the first two don’t count.
One day I was cleaning out my oldest son’s old bedroom. Collin had been given a lot of books by one of our pastors, but he had left them behind when he got married and moved out of the house. I was sorting through them all, when this tiny little book caught my attention. It was “Waiting on God,” by Andrew Murray. This little book was written a really long time ago, but it is a gem. It is meant to be read as a devotional everyday for a month. And if you didn’t know, the word “wait” is in the Bible…a lot! It makes for a great word study.
My lesson began at the beginning of 2018 with a quick dive into the valley. Right off the bat, I began experiencing symptoms which I would come to realize was a relapse of my multiple sclerosis. The symptoms started off gradual but increased with intensity and unending neurological pain. Fortunately, my doctor was able to treat the pain with medication. However, I was still left with more muscle weakness, and after much prayer and discussion with my husband, I decided to quit my job. Then my dearest friend (who also happens to be the mother to my daughter-in-law) found out she had an aggressive sarcoma cancer that had metastasized to her spine. What was God thinking! It seemed as though my life was falling apart. Here I was with no job, which made me feel like I had no purpose, and my best friend was given a devastating diagnosis. But God showed up in big ways this year, and has become more real to me than ever before.
So what’s the point of my story? Wait on God. He is faithful. As this year comes to a close and Christmas is around the corner, my word “wait” is at the heart of it all. Advent is expectant waiting and preparation. It is looking back to look forward. It is preparing our hearts for the coming of Christ. He is coming again, praise God!
Looking Back This Year, What Have I Learned?
- God is enough, and I am not. In all my striving and self-sufficiency, God showed me who He was. The valley forced me to look up, to fix my eyes on Jesus. “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable,” (Isaiah 40:28). This knowledge should change how I live everyday.
- I need to make the most of my days. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12). Quitting my job (which I realize that is not everyone’s calling, but it was mine) showed me how much I was spending my days just surviving and not truly living. Every day is a gift from God.
- I need community. I could not have made it through this year without my people, and they know who they are. Surround yourself with people who love Jesus first, and who will speak truth into your life. This too is a gift from God, and it will be oxygen for you!
- Stay in God’s word. Period. Maybe you are in a season of waiting in the uncertainty, in suffering, or in the ordinary. God is actually waiting on you. Come to Him in His word. He will show you the Way, the Truth and the Life.
Join Me On an Advent Journey
I hope you will join me on this Advent journey into reminding us all of God’s past faithfulness and His future hope through His Son, Jesus Christ. I will be diving into God’s word to pray, reflect and rejoice! Come along every Monday for my Advent Meditations. I know there are a lot of voices out there teaching and talking about Advent, but I truly feel God wants me to exalt Him in this space that He has graciously allowed me to have. It will be my privilege to share with you. God is worth the wait, and I know He is longing to show us more.
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