Posts tagged ‘Patience’

September 6, 2011

In the Stillness

The busyness of life causes so much noise it can be difficult to hear the Lord. Sometimes we ache to hear his voice, sit in his comforting presence, or long to draw close to him. Frantically we search for him. But sometimes, He calls us to sit and let him find us.

Quiet my child. I am with you. I will comfort you. Be still.

Being still is foreign. It’s awkward. It’s uncomfortable. We are faced with ourselves – our doubts, fears, sins, our past, our futures and our questions.  Our pain can seem magnified in our stillness. But God still calls to us into the stillness.

Listen, I will speak. I will call to you. Trust me. (He whispers.)

Psalm 46:10 Be still and know I am God.

Trust me. I am in control.

1 Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.

Listen. I will not always speak loudly to capture your attention. Stay alert. I am as gentle as a breeze.

Do not be afraid of times of stillness. When you seek for wisdom and discernment – do not grow weary in waiting. There is a purpose in silence. Be alert to when He does speak. He will – in his perfect time.

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September 2, 2011

Faith Defined

Faith means…

Getting up tomorrow and doing it again

Faith means…

Saying goodbye to something that’s not good enough and trusting God to bring the right thing

Faith means…

Throwing off whatever grips your anxious heart at 3 am and knowing God is in control

Faith means…

Trusting an unknown future to an unseen God

Faith means…

Speaking the truth when you could risk losing something or someone

Faith means…

Believing God will do what he said he would do…even if it takes longer than I think it should

Faith means…

Not giving up

Faith means…

Believing that there is a purpose in today

Though we grow weary at times, faith will get us through. Faith will bring hope. Faith will bring joy.

Believe.

What does faith mean to you?

May 8, 2011

In Due Time

My pastor gave an amazing sermon today. He preached on 1 Samuel 1 – where Hannah fasted and prayed for a child. She probably prayed a hundred prayers and implored God to move. I can identify with Hannah – I’m sure many of you can too. Do you ever feel like you pray a prayer a thousand times and when you say “amen” you wonder if you were even heard?

Well, He heard you. I promise you, He did.

1 Samuel 1:20 says, “and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said ‘I asked the Lord for him.’”

You see, God hears our prayers. He’s just waiting for the right time to reveal his plan.  

This past year I have personally wrestled through letting go of my plan and seeking the Lord’s direction with my life. For an entire year (if not more) I’ve wondered why every step I’ve tried to take has failed and have felt stuck.

Has this ever happened to you?

But what happens when He calls? Are you ready? When your number is drawn and you’re asked to fight, or assigned an unexpected challenge can you do it?

God has given me Joshua 1:9 as my battle cry.

Joshua 1:9 “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

We are commanded to have courage and to be strong. Whether we are waiting in our current circumstances and yearning to hear God’s voice or direction or if after a season of quiet, you are quickly given a challenge – we must rely on Him. He is with us always.

In due time He will reveal himself. We can trust that.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

May 2, 2011

Dear God, Are You There? It’s Me, Traci.

Ignored – much like this blog for the past month. That’s how I’ve felt. Surely I am not alone. I think each of us comes to a point (multiple times) in our faith walk where you feel like you’re at a crossroads. It may not be anything dramatic but there you stand clueless about where to go next or how to take one step forward.

If you’ve been there for any significant length of time you may begin to feel like living at the crossroads is normal. The danger in that is that we can forget to pray or seek the Lord. You “know” the right answers that God will come through and reveal in His timing but do you really believe it? Have you gone to Him and asked? How often do you and God have a heart-to-heart?

I was convicted when I read Isaiah 65.

“The Lord says, ‘I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name.’” Isaiah 65:1

“…For when I called, you did not answer. When I spoke, you did not listen. You deliberately sinned – before my very eyes – and chose to do what you know I despise.” Isaiah 65:12

How convicting! God wants to give us an answer. He may be waiting with clear directions but instead we forget to ask! How many times do we confide in friends and self-help books but forget to go the One with the plan? In our impatience, we run ahead and take matters into our own hands – often deliberately sinning in the process. We also then run a risk of damaging God’s perfect plan for us.

It is not easy to wait – but in the process, talk to the Lord. He is ready to respond. He’s anxiously awaiting your attention. Run to Him.

Image Source: Google Images

April 1, 2011

Puzzle Pieces

Occasionally, in the late afternoon I step out of my office and into the activity room (I work at a senior center). I enjoy spending time with program participants and have grown particularly fond of “Alice” (not her real name). Alice is a feisty, determined (read sometimes stubborn) elderly woman who is a die-hard puzzle queen. She often invites me to help her tackle whatever 500 piece puzzle she happens to be working on that day. Truth be told, I’ve grown to love these moments with her.

In the time I’ve spent with Alice and our puzzles, I’ve noticed something. Alice’s determined nature often finds her forcing pieces into places they don’t belong because in her mind they “should.” She will push a piece into another and become so focused on one area of the puzzle she misses the obvious pieces that lie just off to the side.

Image Source: Flicker

This made me think of how often I try to fit into a piece not designed for me. It doesn’t mean those pieces aren’t good or a part of the larger puzzle but they aren’t the right fit for me. God designed me to be unique and He has a plan for my life – a plan that fits into His larger plan.

How often do we become so focused on one area of our lives that we miss the right piece of the puzzle that’s lying off to the side? Have our outlooks become so myopic that we can’t see what else is out there? Are we so unwilling to wait that we force ourselves into place because we “should?”

Like so many, I struggle with waiting but finding the right fit will be worth it. I want God’s best. I hope you do too. As you wait, consider embracing your uniqueness. Who are you? How are you gifted? What are your talents and passions? And whose are you? Where is your identity? Have you placed it solidly in Christ?  If you are made new in Christ, what do you know of His character? Allow the Lord’s character to sustain you, provide you hope, and give you peace.

Whatever you’re waiting on  – wait for the right fit. The puzzle will come together in His perfect time.

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.”

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