"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful" (Colossians 4:2)I am learning about waiting as I have been doing a lot of it. Waiting for doctor appointments. Waiting for test results. Waiting for something to help (today I am trying acupuncture and will let you know how it goes!). Waiting for God to answer my prayers for healing - not only for myself but for many other people in my life as well. Waiting.
Waiting to see what life will hold. What it will be like. What I will be able to do. But really aren't we all to some extent?
We all experience seasons of waiting - some longer than others. But I think it isn't the fact of the waiting that is important, but rather what we do in the waiting.
I have tried to rush the waiting. Been angry for having to wait. Denied that I was waiting. Been grateful for lessons learned in waiting. Looked to myself for strength in the waiting. Looked to God in the waiting. Felt almost every emotion in the waiting.
I am slowly learning in the waiting that it is not the outcome that is the most important. It is being expectantly patient, watchful for God, thankful for the many gifts, being open to the divine moments of now.
Our tendency, or at least mine, is to want to know the outcome. How much further until the finish line. When life can move on. But in saying that I realize, I already know my ultimate outcome. I know I am made for more than this. That one day I will be free from the bondage of sickness and be able to dance forever in His courts. But I do not know when that will be either. But I long for that day.
Yet in longing for that day, I do not forsake this day.
For in today there is purpose.
In the waiting, there is purpose.
And the more I align my focus on Jesus, instead of recovery, the more I see the beautiful face of God and words of God in the now. The less focused I become on the outcome of getting better, the more focused I become on giving Him glory in the times of waiting and hurting. And as I begin to grow stronger in my faith, it doesn't matter how weak I am for I know that no matter how bashed and broken I am, Christ will be victorious in the end. Even if the healing doesn't come this side of glory, I know it will come. (And that isn't to say I have given up on the healing at all, for it is a strong cry of my heart - it just isn't the greatest cry of my heart.)
And in the waiting I need to trust, I need to be watchful of the sacred, I need to continue to prayer, and I must be thankful. After writing the previous sentence I stop and realize it is not that I need to actually do any of those things, I get to. I get to trust in Christ alone and gain the comfort that comes from that instead of the fear that comes from hoping in recovery alone as it seems so far off right now. I get to watch for the sacred and see God working in amazing ways around me - like the beautiful light at sunset that breaks through the clouds. I get to pray to my Father and have the assurance that He hears my cries for healing and if it is His will, He will heal me now. I get to be thankful because of the many gifts God has blessed me with.
I get to wait on Him and in doing so, my focus changes to His amazing outcome that is always true.
And the skies and the heavens are above and close and coming down all around and we’re all out here in the rain and His reign and we’re born again in Him and we are His and we are found.So in the waiting, I pray that both you and I will be able to move our focus on the outcome that is in Christ instead of the outcome of our own recovery. That we would focus on Him. And in doing so feel Him surround us with His comforting arms, know our future is secure despite our insecurities in this life, and that our joy is certain in Him.
In Christ — no matter the road, the storm, the story — we always know the outcome.
Our Savior: surrounds.
Our future: secure.
Our joy: certain.
-Ann Voskamp @ aholyexperience