God Is Not Withholding, He Is Waiting

How many of us have been in a holding pattern sometime in our life as we wait to for an answer to prayer? The waiting can be gut wrenching at times. It is especially difficult when it is something that we want it so much we can taste it! I know that feeling all too well.

Recently I became very aware that my desires for my two grown sons became more of an obsession than just prayers I brought before the Lord. God began to speak to me that my heart had become tangled up with my hopes for their future that it had a stranglehold on me. I had linked the vision of my future with whether or not my desires for their lives came to fruition. God spoke to my spirit a couple of weeks ago and reminded me that my view of my future could not be linked to whether my dreams and desires for them came to pass. I was missing out on the things God wanted for me now because I was obsessed with the what if’s in their futures. I had to repent and lay it all down.

All of this happened just before our women’s retreat last weekend. This brought such a peace and freedom to me that it had me pumped up for our fun weekend. During a scheduled thirty minute quiet time Saturday afternoon I went out to sit and listen to what the Lord wanted to say to me. I was reminded of the of the verse in Psalm 84:11, “For the Lord God is our sun and shield. He gives grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” He let me know that He was NOT withholding, He was waiting!

All of us who are parents can relate to this. How many times did we have to wait to fulfill the wishes of our children because it was not time yet. We were not withholding because the time was not for then but later. They did not see the wisdom in that but as parents we surely did.

So when we are puzzled by delays we all have to be reminded that our God is a good God and He does not withhold good things from us He is simply waiting for the right time. Most certainly God will not slight us and give us something that we did not ask for anymore than a good earthly father would do that to his child.  Luke 11:11-13 says, “You fathers-if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for any egg, do you give the a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”  Jesus was simply teaching his disciples that He would honor their persistence in wanting to know how to pray and have an intimate life with Him. He told them all they had to do is ask. However, we must wait on God’s timing.

If you are waiting remember God sees the whole picture and we see one small single camera shot that limits our view. God is good and He is well able to take care of our needs, dreams and longings. So when you seem to be drowning in the ocean of what if’s and why’s just stop, look and listen. You may find, as did I, that you were all tangled up in something of your own making and God is waiting for you to remove yourself so that He can do what only He can do. Isn’t it amazing how simple it is when we take our hands off a situation?

To leave you on a very encouraging note let me share the very good news I received when I returned from my retreat last weekend. Our oldest son who has been living with us for a long time due to his job situation, finances, etc,. was finally able to get approved for a mortgage a couple of months ago. But the best news of all was that while I was on my retreat he found a house and his offer was accepted by the seller with no counter offer. He is closing before November 30th! When I released my unhealthy grip on the dreams I had it created an environment of freedom and things began to move in a very positive direction. Now we have one miracle down for him and two more to go. I am anticipating several breakthroughs for him because I obeyed God.

So be encouraged. If you find yourself in a holding pattern and have discovered how unproductive it is then release your grip on your dreams and God will provide a ram in the thicket at just the right time. The best is yet to come!

Living by the brook,

Marilyn

Puzzle Pieces

My husband and I started a jigsaw puzzle last weekend. We are still putting pieces that look similar in different piles to make it a little easier to locate different areas of the picture. We now have the border completed and we are continuing to fill in each piece. It can be so daunting sometimes.

There is also another scenario that can be daunting to each of us and that is when the circumstances of our life don’t seem to fall in place quite like we had anticipated. I certainly have become aware of this in my own life due to a dream I have had for approximately the last seven years or so. I am turning 65 in two weeks and I really wanted my grown sons to be married by now and for me to have become a Mimi, Granny or Nana by now. I have wanted it so deeply that I became consumed with it. It is not that wanting those things is bad but what if my dreams and desires are not God’s plan for my sons? I began to link my future happiness to whether or not that dream became a reality in their lives.

This past week a friend and I sat down in my family room and discussed my circumstances and through prayer together I was able to see more clearly that I had misplaced my passion for the good things I have in my life for something that may never come to pass. I was missing out on God’s plan for me because I was frustrated over a piece of a puzzle that did not fit!

I actually began to see how it is just like working a jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes we become obsessed with that ONE piece and we cannot rest until we find it. But we end up wasting lots of time looking for a piece that is still hidden while you can be filling in the puzzle with pieces that we do have. It is kind of like missing the forest for the trees. And most of the time if we will simply step back and look at the picture from a distance we can begin to see how things fall together. Before long the pieces reveal a wonderful end result and we enjoyed the process.

I have made a commitment to release my dreams on an altar. It is not easy. It hurts!! But God has always directed my steps. I know the voice of God and I also recognize the voice of the enemy of my soul too. Today I am choosing not to force puzzle pieces into a place where they don’t belong. God says that if we “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

I feel a little like Abraham walking up the mountain with his son Isaac to offer him as a sacrifice. All the while hurting on the inside but trusting that God knew what He was doing. When Abraham made the choice to obey, God provided the answer. There was a ram in the thicket! I have a God who loves me and he delights in me daily simply because I am his daughter. So for now I am going to enjoy the rest of the journey and watch the future unfold with peace and hope instead of anxiety and grief.

So remember that we all make plans but God directs our steps! And you know what I think I may become a volunteer in the nursery with the sweet little babies where I can give some love and snuggles! Sure sounds like a good idea.

Living by the brook,

Marilyn