Sunday, October 6

Fall Devotional. Week Four: Waiting on God.

Image by Pol Sifter on Flickr
On this, the final week of our fall devotional, we ask the question: how do I wait on God?


God sometimes responds to our prayers immediately. But sometimes, we feel as though the ears of Heaven are shut against our pleas - our heads know that God has heard, but our hearts long for action, for rescue, for help.


We reinterviewed Susan* (names have been changed) in The Ruth Experience - a woman who knows what it means to wait. But first, an abridged excerpt from her testimony in the book:


As Susan left her physically and verbally abusive husband after twelve years of marriage, his final vow rang in her ears: He would use all the money he had to take their three sons away from her.  


Mark’s assault on Susan’s relationship with her children began immediately. During their divorce proceedings, he threatened her life, forcing her to take out a restraining order against him.


“My now ex-husband never gave up blaming me for the divorce, and was very verbal about it with my boys,” she said. He would tell her sons that the divorce was Susan’s fault: she was the one who chose to leave the family; she broke up the marriage; and she was the one taking their money. “This caused my boys unbelievable pain and suffering.”


Their acrimonious divorce took a toll on her sons, and for many years, it appeared that Mark’s words would come true. Though she tried to maintain contact with her sons, increasingly, Susan found her efforts rebuffed.


Desperate, Susan wondered if things would ever change. “My life was a nightmare, and I saw no end in sight,” she said. “It was the most painful experience imaginable, having your children torn away from you. They saw me as the enemy.”


Susan’s prayers were heard by God, and her sons were restored to her, but it took years. And so we returned to Susan for some words of wisdom to share with others who are waiting on God.


1. Cling. Susan never let go of God. In fact, her relationship with God drew closer, drew stronger, drew richer. She held tight to scripture verses that spoke of restoration and redemption. She reminded herself and God of his promises often, especially when she felt discouraged -- and she would speak them out. Two verses she loved:     


“I will restore to you the years the swarming locust has eaten” Joel 2:25 (NKJV)
“I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.” Isaiah 49:25 (NKJV)


2. Accept help. Susan sought help from a Christian therapist and joined a support group with others walking through similar circumstances. She had family she leaned heavily upon, especially in the beginning. And those individuals were an essential part to Susan’s healing, her growth, her eventual restoration with her sons.


Christ’s teachings are clear: we are to help one another. Romans 12:4-5 (NLT) sums it up perfectly: “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”


Sometimes, we have the privilege of being the hands and feet of God, and are asked to extend a hand to another; and sometimes, we have the honor of accepting help. It is easy in our American culture to believe that we can and should do life on our own -- never needing the support of our fellow Christ-followers. Do not allow foolish pride to separate you from the people God sends into your life -- especially during the tough times.


3. Don’t Quit Life. Although Susan could have curled up into a defeated ball of misery, she didn’t. She went back to school. She got her RN degree. Even as she waited on God, she helped countless others.


Even as you wait, keep moving forward, keep your eyes focused on God, keep from becoming so consumed with waiting that you miss every other good thing God is doing for and around you in the meantime.      


Your Turn.


1.  What scriptures are you clinging to as you wait on God? Search them out, write them down, and put them on your mirror, your fridge, any place where they will be a visual reminder to you of God’s faithfulness as you go about the mundane tasks of life.


2. Who can you turn to? Acknowledge when you need help and seek it out. Christian counselors, pastors, and others have been specially trained, but you may also find family and close friends who can guide you with scriptural wisdom when you find yourself blinded by difficult circumstances. Pray for God to bring people into your life who can help. Ask God to reveal those people to you.


3. Pray how God can use you to help another. Look for opportunities to show God’s love to someone else. Find ways to serve God, even as you wait.


Check out the first three weeks of our devotional below:
Week 3: True Sacrifice

2 comments :

  1. Love this post!! Waiting is never easy, but it is encouraging to read stories like this.

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    1. So true Angie! It's nice to hear from someone who's been through it!

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