Doubting

March 7, 2011 § 6 Comments

“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:25) I imagine Thomas said these words with tears in his eyes, arms crossed, and maybe with a foot stamp at the end just for emphasis.

I find myself shaking my head at this man who refuses to believe until he touches and sees for himself. I mean seriously his other 10 or so friends testified to the truth. Was he jealous he wasn’t there when Jesus appeared first? Why wasn’t he there? I often wonder. I shake my head and think, “I would never be like Thomas.”

Funny thing about those “nevers” I almost always break them. Things I thought I would never say or do, I say or do them. When I take a serious look at myself, as much as I hate to admit it, I am like Thomas in many ways.

I doubt the things that God has clearly called me to do. This ministry from the blog, to the articles, to the guest posts, and the speaking engagements, I doubt. I wonder if I am reaching anyone. ANYONE….Bueller….

I realize this is ridiculous. I am encouraged by people nearly daily and God keeps opening doors of opportunity that I could never have forced open even if I wanted to. The bottom line? I want things to go on my schedule and I want my ministry to be successful according to my eyes.

So I doubt. I doubt when my blog stats are low. I doubt when my blog stats are high. I question when I don’t have a speaking engagement. I doubt when I do. I come off a month when several doors have begun to open, but I have yet to see if these doors will stay open or slam shut. I must wait and while waiting, doubt starts whispering to my heart. I start to cross my arms and tears develop in my eyes. Like Thomas I say UNLESS God shows up the way I want Him to I just can’t believe it and I stamp my foot for emphasis. Yes, I look a lot like my two-year-old throwing a fit on the floor.

I have been content in the past. I know it will happen in God’s time in His way. This is His ministry and if I reach one person I have done what He called me to do. If I reach hundreds of thousands I have still done what He has called me to do. He knows the timing, the plan, the direction. I don’t need to doubt that. I just have to get busy doing the next thing and leave the results to Him.

What are you doubting today? I would love to hear about your doubts so I can pray for you.

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Waiting and Strengthening

February 22, 2011 § 6 Comments

Her eyes sparkle with awe, wonder, joy. Suddenly her eyes moisten slightly as sadness darkens her countenance. Her eyes betray her inner struggle, but only briefly.

The joy returns as she bends to talk to my little man.

I recognize the emotion in her eyes. I have seen it before – in the mirror.

It is the joy, awe, wonder that a child, a young child exudes. It is the pure joy of watching an image-bearer begin to figure life out. Oh, but then the stab of reality, the pang of truth. I want what I haven’t been able to have. I want a brand-new image-bearer of my own.

It happened to me the other day. While eating at a restaurant with a friend, a precious infant was seated within reach of me. She had chubby rolls, dark hair, and huge bow atop her precious head. She smiled at me, over and over again. Precious, amazing, a gift – one I may never receive again.

My eyes mist. My heart longs, but somehow there is peace. As if God Himself bent low to wrap me in His arms. In His arms the waiting is somehow easier, pressed against His chest, wrapped in His arms, the love of a Father who holds our tears in a bottle, who is the God of all comfort. When I turn my hopes, plans, and dreams over to Him, as I lay my dreams down at His feet again, my mind is renewed, my heart is strengthened, and my soul is at rest.

As I cling to the foundation, the Precious Corner Stone, Jesus, as I wait on Him, I am strengthened. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength…” It is in the clinging and waiting that I am strengthened.

God asks us to wait to strengthen us for what is next, for what is now, and for what may never be. Isn’t He good to strengthen us?

What are you waiting on God for? Please share so we call be praying for each other!

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Rethinking Rejoicing…

February 3, 2011 § 8 Comments

Well, I finally figured out my YouTube issue I had yesterday. So now you can see my vlog! Woo Hoo!

Also I want to thank Julie Gillies for the tweet that inspired this vlog!

Can’t wait to hear what you think! Jump in and share!

Three Empty Chairs

February 1, 2011 § 4 Comments

My blessings have been prodding and poking the painful places in my soul lately. As God is apt to do He uses their naivety to shed light on things I would prefer to leave in the dark. He shakes me awake through them as they open their hearts to me…

“Mommy, I want another baby in this house.”

“So do I my child, so do I,” I whisper to myself and then I pray again for a miracle. Either in my body, on my doorstep, or in my and my family’s hearts.

For all would be true miracles of God…a baby in a womb as good as dead;
a child who needs adopted with no strings attached, no painful search, no doubt he or she is ours;
or God’s work in our hearts changing the longing to contentment, not contentment to wait or the hard fought peace that comes while we wait for God’s miracle, no the heart change that knows and rests knowing the miracle is in the changed heart.

“Three empty chairs mommy. Who can we invite to fill them?”

Who to invite to our three empty chairs? Three…yes three empty chairs. Three babies who were only held in my womb not in my arms, but there is more in that number…Yes who to invite to fill our chairs? God our Father, God the Son Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. Three separate, yet all one. The perfect trio to fill our chairs, calm our longing hearts, and to sit with us while we await our miracle.

While you wait for a miracle from God, who are you inviting to wait with you? I would love to pray with you. What miracle are you waiting for? Click the comment link at the top of this post.

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You all are blessings to me!!! Thank you for stopping by!

Active Patience

August 16, 2010 § 4 Comments

“I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1

My simple mind read that verse and thought I know what waiting patiently looks like. You are quiet and still and waiting. Right? That is what I teach my children.

My two year-old whines, “Milk-y, milk-y, milk-y.” (I do not understand why things have to end in “y”, they just do).

“Is that how you ask?” I respond (some days seething, other days rolling my eyes, and some blessed days with the patience of…Job).

“Milk-y pwease,” he lisps his toddler-ese.

Waiting is TOUGH Business

“Ok, son, but I have to finish this, just one minute,” I lay down the law.

Then a fit ensues, time-out and screaming occur. Finally when the screaming has cleared the room, I moralize, “Son, you must have patience.”

My two-dimensional version of patience is when you will have to wait and so you do, quietly, with hands folded in your lap. There is no weeping, no gnashing of teeth. Just silence. Nothing active, but expecting the cup of milk mommy promised to deliver. Oh, but this verse is different. Can you see it? The first thing is that the Psalmist says he waited patiently for whom? For the LORD. The LORD is faithful to fulfill His promises. We often do not know what form those promises will take, but we know He will fulfill them. So we can wait patiently quietly in hopeful expectation, because God WILL do what He promises. However this is interesting, the last phrase says, “He heard my cry.” Wait. Isn’t the Psalmist waiting patiently? Why would he be crying out to God if he was waiting patiently?  Maybe my idea of patiently waiting is totally wrong.

So I start digging into what the Hebrew means. I am NOT a Hebrew scholar, but I have some pretty great resources that help me understand the words. This type of waiting patiently is in hopeful expectation. Not bump on a log-ish. NO! Hopeful anticipation. The root of the words translated patiently waited meant, twist, stretch, then tension of enduring, waiting, cord, be strong. Can you see the rope being made? Can you feel the tension, the anticipation? My idea of patiently waiting doesn’t include hopeful expectation. It wouldn’t allow for crying out to God, it isn’t realistic. I am seeing that more and more clearly. I see it in my kids again. When they are hiding from me, but want to be found. It goes something like this:

“Moooommmmmyyyyyyy,” bellows a blessing. “Come find me,” she giggles.

I can’t come right away, but in her hopeful anticipation, in her patient waiting she continues to call in her sweet tone, “Moooommmmmyyyy, you can’t find meeee,”

We can cry out in anger and frustration ruining our waiting patiently and hopeful anticipation. We can lash out and scream. We can allow bitterness to fill our waiting time rather than patience. I will not say the discipline of waiting patiently is easy. It is full of pitfalls. Things that want to steal our joy, doubts that God really is ABLE or FAITHFUL. Waiting. Oh, but I am so glad that waiting patiently doesn’t have to mean waiting quietly, not moving. It means crying out to God, not in bitterness or anger, but in hopeful anticipation. As we cry out this verse promises that God will draw near. Do you see it? He draws near or inclines to us as NAS says. God is near us as we wait and hope in Him. Psalm 40 in NAS goes on to say, “He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD.” Actively waiting on the LORD results in some amazing things. He draws near, He brings us out of the pit of destruction, He sets our feet upon a rock. He also draws others to Himself through our example.

Oh Lord, forgive me for misunderstanding waiting patiently. Father help me to cry out to You in my need. As I cry out I know that You are faithful and that You are able to meet my needs. I will wait in expectation for You to rescue me from the pit and put my feet upon a rock. I will trust that You will show me what is next. I pray that my waiting can bless others who are watching that they may come to trust in You. Thank You for drawing near to me! Amen.

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Mittens in Summer

July 11, 2010 § 6 Comments

I have yet to understand marketing and why mittens were available in the summer.  It was the end of July and I was out clothes shopping for some kiddos I love. One of my sweet blessings noticed the most awesome pair of fuzzy

The right time, but not the right place for mittens. 😉

mittens she had ever seen. She just HAD to have them. Since she had behaved so well shopping and since I didn’t have any mittens for her for the impending winter (about five months in the future), I decided that she could have them. Besides the price was right.

I never imagined she would want to wear them that very day, inside, at the play area in the mall. I could fight the battle and say NO or I could attempt to reason with her.
Me: Don’t you think it is a little too warm for mittens? I thought we bought those for the winter.
Her: I want to wear them NOW! PLEEAASSSSE Mom!
I could see my chances at dissuading her were slim, so I gave in to her pleading. I thought that after she realized she couldn’t really play with them on, and when her hands were burning up, she would take them off. Oh how wrong I was!

Remember how I said these mittens were fuzzy and that it was July. Well, in a few short minutes my sweet child was sweating up a storm and yet she refused to take her mittens off. Soon I realized that as she pushed her hair out of her face she was leaving fuzz on her face from the mittens. The next thing I know, she has puked all over the play area at the mall. I have never seen that place clear so fast, nor have I ever received so many dirty looks. Everyone thought I brought a sick child to the play area, when in reality the fuzz from the mittens got in her mouth and choked her.

So what’s my point? Simply that we often see something we think we need or want and God knows it isn’t the right season yet. Sometimes we see others in different seasons of life than our own and we want that for ourselves. We want the pink fuzzy mittens in the middle of summer. The ones that if we wear them now in our current season, they may make us sick. God is saying wait my child those are for winter not for the season you are in now. Isaiah 64:4 says, “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.” We are so impatient for God to work in our time in our way and yet He knows what is best. He knows what you need and desire. He knows the right time for those things to take place. So wait on Him! He acts on behalf of those who wait for Him and His perfect timing!  The key is waiting for Him, not for what WE want, for what HE wants.

I’m not so good with the waiting thing.  However I have to trust God to know the season.  I have to trust God to know the perfect time.  If I don’t wait for God, I may often get sick on the fuzz of something that would have been perfect for winter, but not for summer.  O Father, help me to wait on You and Your timing.  May I not get frustrated or dismayed or disheartened in waiting.  May I trust in You for what You have planned for me!

What are you waiting for?  I’ll start….

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