We know as Christians that our walk with God will lead to a lot of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, joys and sorrows, loss and gain, peace and struggle.
Last Sunday morning (July 6, 2014) I delivered a message at my church. I wanted to speak about the bride of Christ from Jesus’s perspective. But the Spirit kept moving in me and I felt strongly impressed to speak about Longsuffering. This wasn’t something I particularly wanted to speak on. Like many people, I have long term and perhaps life-long trials and promises and I wasn’t interested in entertaining the thought of them.
Of course, God won out and I delivered the message, mostly talking about how to suffer long with God and achieve the victory that He wants for you, the change within yourself that He is helping you navigate. In reading Hebrews 11, there are many people whose faith made them far stronger, people of renown whose example we should follow.
It’s a common lesson, almost textbook, but a surprisingly insightful one – the trials and longsufferings themselves are what produces the person God has intended for us to be. And in that, the waiting for the deliverance, for the unfulfilled promise, for the grief to relent, is the point.
It’s in this waiting, while we are experiencing the pain or grief or impatience, that He moves so effectively. So thoroughly. It’s a shame to say it, but it’s true: it’s effective and thorough because we’re open to Him then more than any other time. We need Him, not for food or shelter, but for something that produces far more effect for our character than meeting our basic needs – we need Him for emotional support, emotional rescue.
While we’re on our knees, begging Him, imploring Him, while we’re reaching out to Him to hold on to the only thing that can possibly save us, we’re on our knees, we’re reaching out, we’re holding onto Him. We’re doing exactly that which we don’t do unless we have to. I know that, for me, I certainly don’t have the motivation to be on my knees, tears streaming down my face, heart distraught, offering only devastation to Him, if all is well. And if my emotional barriers aren’t down before Him, the Spirit isn’t able to move within me with the same swiftness or power.
Multiply that by days. Weeks. Months. For some, years.
That’s a lot of change. That’s a lot of growth. And that’s the point.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
I wait for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning. (Psalm 130:5-6 NIV)
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