What’s harder? Trusting God when life hurts or waiting?
I’m not good at waiting for God to answer my prayers, or to let me live in his plans and purposes, or to have some highly impactful life. I want it all now. Yet, God has me in a season of waiting. I might as well add – a looooooonnng season of waiting. Sometimes it’s easy; other times, I curl up in a ball distraught at this seemingly long tunnel.
Still, something beautiful and deep comes in the waiting. It becomes an opportunity to encounter God in the secret place. A chance to learn how trustworthy he really is. Trusting God at any point is hard for me. Trusting God when life hurts is even harder. Still, in the secret place, no one is watching except Him. No one can fully understand or help but him. So, I am forced into this place of trusting God when life hurts or with life in general. Anxiety threatens to tighten my stomach up in a ball of knots and a hundred thoughts enter my mind that only serve to increase that anxiety.
God, I’m waiting on you; but, can I really trust you to not disappoint me?
In this difficult place, I find that waiting becomes a time of rich encounters with God if I choose to engage with Him. By this, I don’t mean that we come to God only with a checklist of petitions or frustrations (which God does care about). No, I’m looking for something deeper and more satisfying.
Trust is an act of surrender
I recently heard a great nugget of insight at a conference where Bill Johnson was one of the speakers. He said this:
If God is your servant, He will constantly frustrate you. If you are his servant, you’ll never want more.
I love that. It talks about our heart before God. Is God the one who does our bidding? or Do we submit and surrender everything to Him? This is hard for me. Sometimes I do want to treat God as my servant. I don’t, but I want to. That’s what makes waiting so hard. He is God, not my servant. I am his servant. Plus, there’s the added dimension of trusting myself over others because of past disappointment and hurt. Let’s be honest, often if you want something done you do it yourself, right?
But trusting God when life hurts and at any other time in our lives means that we surrender to God our hearts desires and treasures. This act of surrender becomes an act of trust. We let go. In the letting go, God gives it all back to us better than we ever thought, albeit different to our expectations. (I’m still waiting for this part too 🙂 )
Whatever we are trusting God for and waiting for, our posture at this time will either bring great growth or disheartenment. God longs to encounter us in every situation we face. He wants to show us His goodness, kindness, and faithfulness. He wants to take us deep into his heart to explore the vast depths of his nature.
So, we find ourselves faced with a choice:
- Do we focus on our circumstances allowing them to become bigger than God and define us, our lives and our destiny?
- Do we ask God to lift up our gaze to fill our eyes with His love, hope, goodness, etc… Allowing God to be greater than our circumstances, to define us, and to empower us with his anointing and power.
Trusting God when life hurts turns us into eagles
Eagles? Yes, eagles, metaphorically speaking. Recently, I’ve been listening to some teachings and conversations where eagles keep coming up. No surprise there because God loves to show us his heart, and we need only listen.
Eagles soar on the thermals of the atmosphere. They circle up and glide down. Eventually, an eagle will reach a certain point, where it will lock its wings in complete trust that the thermals will hold it up. To me, this speaks of trust and surrender.
Secondly, eagles have a keen ability to look down from trees or heights and spot their prey. In the Christian world, this eyesight of an eagle is greatly admired (I’ve often heard people ask God for spiritual eyes akin to that of eagles). However, an eagle is designed to go back up into the heights.
Trusting God means this:
Gliding on the winds of the Holy Spirit as he comforts, teaches and leads us. Although we often see the circumstances we are in and the enemy that comes against us, we take refuge in the Holy Spirit. We fix our eyes on God. We fly up to see from God’s perspective which gives us more clarity, wisdom, and understanding.
We wait patiently. When life pulls our gaze down, we look in acknowledgment before lifting our gaze back up to look into the face of the loving Father.
But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
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