I came across some old journals today and flipped through them, stopping here and there to read and marvel at how stupid I have been. I have written evidence of times when I prayed to God for something and then turned around and took matters into my own hands. The number of times I’ve gone ahead and acted instead of waiting on God -! I think you get the idea of how mortified I am by my past behaviour.
Mortified is the wrong word. What I am is…strengthened; encouraged, because ngivela khatshana and my story is far from over. Today I was reminded of where I have gone wrong in the past, and it was a timely reminder that I need to do what I have failed (spectacularly) to do in the past:
I need only be still and wait, for the Lord will fight for me.
I need only be still and remember that He is God.
I used to moan and mumble about how God never answers my prayers. I remember even saying that God obviously IS a respecter of a persons, because why else would I face the same battles? Reading through my old journals with the benefit of hindsight showed me that it’s not that God didn’t answer my prayers, it’s that I called myself ‘fixing things,’ often ending up in the very situation that I was praying to avoid, all because I was impatient (which really just means that I lacked the faith it would have taken to trust God to work things out for my good).
How can the body be healed if the body isn’t being truthful about what hurts?
In 2013 I was a single mother of one and I wrote in my journal that I would trust God with my love-life. In 2016 I am a single mother of two because instead of trusting God I decided to solve single myself. I won’t go into the details of my relationship history; suffice it to say ‘waiting on God’ when the hormones are raging is not the easiest struggle I’ve ever had. I would say -I’m giving it to God; I’m waiting on Him- only to find myself in an unsuitable relationship trying to strong-arm God into overlooking my wilful disobedience.
It took re-reading those journals to show me where I’ve been weak in the past
(just in time, too), where I’m winning now (I have learnt some lessons), and how I can maintain momentum. It took reading my own words to see clearer than ever before how my desire for romantic love and companionship has been corrupted and used against me (damn you, sin-nature!) and to see how loneliness, boredom and lack of ambition are a deadly trio against living a godly life.
I could tell you how many years/months/weeks it’s been since I had sex, but that is not the point. I’m not trying to win any medals for celibacy and that information will not help you, anyway. What will help you is to know that it does get easier, temptation does fall away, and more importantly, that although waiting on the Lord is difficult and almost impossible (almost, I said) in the beginning, it becomes sweeter the more time you put into that relationship.
By that, I mean waiting on God doesn’t mean doing your own thing in every other area of your life except the one in which you’re waiting for God’s move. It means seeking God in every moment and thanking Him in every circumstance. It means acknowledging that HE is the Creator and you the created, and living like you know that He knows best in EVERYTHING.
It means receiving the gift of discernment: you cannot build a relationship with one you do not know and whose voice you cannot pick out from the pandemonium of your life. Building your relationship with God does not just mean daily reading of Christian blogs and praying form prayers and making sure you’re in church every Sunday (although that’s not the worst thing). It means exactly what it says: building YOUR relationship with God. It means making time to hear God’s voice for yourself, by yourself, throughout the day. If you don’t know what that means, find out, because there is no way you will ever be able to wait on God if you can’t hear from him in a way that makes sense to you. If you can’t hear from Him, you might never experience the abundant, victorious life that God has for you; you might forever be on the outside looking in, wondering why God doesn’t seem to bless you the way He blesses everyone else.
It’s taken me almost a thousand words but all I really want to say is this:
You will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart and your joy will be complete.
I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking ‘but I haaaave…’
Have you really? Or have you been following the forms and going through the motions?
Can you honestly say
I will wait for the vision though it tarry.
Yet I will wait
For I know that it will surely come
And will not be late?