Do you ever feel so anxious about something that it consumes your thoughts, day and night? Every night you go to sleep wondering about “the unknown” or the “what if’s” (or even the “I can’t wait(s)” and every morning your prayer seems to be, “OK, God, it’s all you. I can’t do this alone. Please step in and do Your thing because I sure can’t do it.”
That seems to be a place where I was last year. On September 12, 2013 (EXACTLY a year ago today), I wrote this blog post. It was titled Joy in the Waiting.
It’s so amazing God brought that blog to my mind today, on this very day; that’s no coincidence in my mind. Thank you, Lord, for reminding me how far I’ve come. I have changed so much in the last 365 days. I am glad I am not the same person I was then; the Lord has done a mighty work in my life over the last year and continues to do so. Yes, my life has changed, my circumstances have changed, but the Lord is the one thing that has remained constant. Even on days when I am not so faithful, He has remained.
Here are some words I wrote a year ago….that are still on my mind today.
Do you ever feel like you are waiting in anticipation for God….to speed up, to hurry up, to move along, to go faster….
I’m sure we all have…..and I’m there.
But, right now, it’s not about the journey to go forward, it’s about the journey in the waiting….
There are lessons to be learned through the blessings of waiting.
In life there are certain things we want. In our selfish desires, we want what we think is best for us…NOW. We desire what we want, not necessarily what the Lord wants for us. And, sometimes I WANT to go to any lengths to make it mine. But, I can’t.
By God’s grace, I have to wait. I don’t want to be anywhere where the Lord doesn’t want us to be.
How could we do or want anything that the Lord doesn’t want for us?
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
And so we wait. We know what the Lord desires of us.
Right now God is doing so many incredible things in our lives….it’s amazing to see how every little piece is fitting together, like a puzzle. Yes, there are frustrating moments in all of it, but those moments are few and far between (and in them I’ve learned to laugh)….
Just the other day, during my quiet time, I was reading 1 Peter 5:6-7. This passage is one that I am familiar with, and in fact, I’ve studied and memorized 1 Peter 5:7 before. But, honestly, I don’t think I’ve every studied verse six. And yet, the Lord placed it on my heart this week, just at the right time.
1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (NIV)
As I said, verse seven may be one that is familiar to you….”Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
But what about verse six?
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.”
In due time….
• Maybe not right this moment
• Maybe not tomorrow
• Maybe not next week
• Maybe not next month
• Maybe not even next year
And….maybe, just maybe, not even in your lifetime, but…
He will lift you up…in HIS time!
I’ve shared before that I have a great desire to be in control. Paul even teases me that I am OCD in certain areas of my life (I deny it); it’s probably true. I like order. I like structure. I like forewarning. I like planning. I like details. I like control. And I don’t like waiting…..
And yet, in this very verse, Peter says, “….in due time.”
In the first few verses of chapter five Peter is speaking to the church leaders and elders giving them counsel on how to lead and serve others.
“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be… but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” (1 Peter 5:2-3 NIV)
In verse five he shifts gears and speaks to the young people….yes, I realize I’m not young (and yet, I’m not old either). For the purpose of this study, let’s assume I’m young and taking advice from verses six and seven (although the instruction in verses two and three are perfectly acceptable as well).
“….all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another….Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:5-7 NIV)
I think it’s so important that in two verses (back to back) Peter uses the words “humility” and “humble.”
How can we be submissive, gentle, patient, and kind without humility? How can we be willing to do the Lord’s will if our hearts are full of pride?
To be humble is a command from the Lord. From the book of Psalms all the way to Matthew, the Lord has commanded us to be humble.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8 NIV)
“And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4 NIV)
“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22 NIV)
Developing sincere humility is a process, not something that is created overnight, but through diligence and faith it can be done- and it’s worth it!
Honoring God in patience and trust is part of being humble. If we can show our constant faith (and trust) in the Lord during periods of great joy, then it should be an honor to show Him patience and trust during the waiting as well.
In due time, the Lord says He will lift us up. Isn’t it incredible that the very God who made the universe cares about us and our needs, wants, hurts, fears, etc.?
My Prayer for Today:
I place all of my anxieties, worries, cares, and frustrations in your hands. I will do my best to not dwell on them and trust that you will do what is best for me and those I love. Help me to realize your timing is perfect in all things and in all ways. In due time you will make the paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV) for those who trust in You. Thank you for all you’ve done in my life and continue to do. Thank you for allowing me to see the picture as you have began to fit all the pieces of the puzzle together. The picture, as a whole, is becoming clear, and I am excited! Thank you for your faithfulness.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.