When I open curtains in the morning, I request a special message. Just for me. Just for what I'm going through right at that moment.
And once I've picked up my Bible, I always find it. Without fail.
Yesterday, I did just that. A turmoil of emotion and questions roiling in my mind like a restless sea, I searched. I was directed to the multitude of verses in the Bible with the word "wait" in them.
45 minutes later, I'd been copying them all down and hadn't finished.
I needed it. Right then. And I praised God for coming through with His special message for me.
This morning, when I pulled the curtains open, I asked again for another message.
Funny how today's message was almost the same as yesterday's.
Countless times in the Bible, we are counseled to wait.
They that wait on the Lord shall have renewed strength.
I waited patiently (note, patiently) and He heard me.
I wait for Him, because He is my hope.
Stand still and see the salvation of God.
Wait. Wait. Wait.
And then we have this.
"And therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have mercy upon you: for the Lord is a God of (justice): blessed are all they that wait for Him" (Isaiah 30:18).
Hold the show. Isaiah just told me God Himself is waiting. And not just arbitrarily: He's waiting so He can be gracious to me. So that His name will be exalted.
And by waiting while He waits, I am blessed. He is blessed.
So if things are taking longer than I want them to... If answers seem long in coming... I can relax.
He's waiting. To be gracious. To be exalted.
So that I might be blessed.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
"A righteous man falleth seven times, and riseth again."
I stare at my hands. How many times must I walk through this vale of regret, of shame? When I know what the Lord has bidden me, only for my good? When I know? Why must a moment of unpreparedness find me off-guard and level me to the ground?
I dare not raise my eyes. I feel empty: empty of any good thing. Unworthy to stand in the sight of a Holy God. And with it comes that old voice...
"You can't come to Him now..."
"You ignored His caution...."
"You slighted His Spirit..."
"It may already be too late..."
"What if forgiveness is not extended...?"
These thoughts, along with a hundred others, pummelling into my sorrowful heart the shame, the ignominy; words like "unpardonable sin," "fallen again," and "you'll never learn" run riot.
In my heart I know. I know my Savior loves me, though I have failed Him again.
But suppose the time for mercy is past?
The thought crosses my mind as I sit, half-whispering, half-attempting to shut out the voice of doubt and despair: my Bible sits beside me. It's a rare occurance to have it with me at the office. But there it sits.
In my reading of other inspiration, I've not picked it up in awhile. And so I do now, trembling in my heart. I request with earnestness for a promise: shame in my heart, I request that the Make of my soul show me something to quiet the voice of doubt, that voice that persists in telling me that forgiveness is not to be found this time.
Isaiah speaks. God speaks.
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength...Let him take hold of My strength, that He may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me....By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be cleansed."
The iniquity cleansed. I began to pray.
I requested peace--and He promised: if I will keep my mind fixed on Him.
But with it, I must also trust: and so I asked for trust.
With trusting, He promised He has everlasting strength.
I asked for strength, and He said, "Take hold of My strength...and you shall make peace with Me."
Peace. To trust. To strength. To peace.
Wonderful, merciful Savior.