Sunday, October 21, 2012

{22} What if Your Wait Never Comes to Fruition?

I remember how softly I used to whisper that prayer... with such fear and surrender.

I always paused long and took a moment to tremble before offering those words to God like Abraham laying  Isaac down on the mountain.

I first prayed the prayer when Ugandan adoption shut down and we weren't sure if we'd bring our child home.  On one hand, I begged God to miraculously fulfill the desires of my heart.  And then...

And then came that long, sacred pause when I waited for His Spirit to strengthen me to say, "But even if You do not, God..."

I next prayed this prayer in the waiting room of the cardiac ICU.  My dad was in bad shape.  We didn't know if he'd ever smile again, speak coherently again, walk again.  There were days we weren't sure he'd live.  And so we cried out for healing and wholeness.  

And then, in the smallest whisper and in great weakness the Spirit helped me say, "But even if You do not, God..."

There are other, less painful waits I'm in now.
One of my waits is bearable because it only recently began.
The other is manageable because it does not involve life and death or my children. 

Still, even in more bearable waits I must breathe in deep mid-prayer before conceding, "But even if You do not, God... even if you do not, I praise You."

May I be rude?
(Because perhaps the rudest topic anyone could bring up to someone desperately waiting is the possibility that they'll never get the thing they hope for.)
May I ask you...
Even if God doesn't give you that thing you seek, can you praise Him?

Once, when I was in serious need of more faith, I turned to chapter known as the Bible's "Faith Hall of Fame". I devoured each verse, hoping to learn how all of these historic figures kept hope alive through adversity.  

And then, I read a phrase that chilled my bones:  
"These all died in faith, not having received the things promised..." (Heb 11:13).

Our heroes of the faith died without having all they hoped for?

There is this whole magnificent story of redemption that God authors.  And it is filled with twists and turns, speckled with our miniature stories.  And the beautiful, sweeping theme is that God rescues us and brings us to Himself for ultimate and eternal joy.

In the meantime, individual Christians don't know how our lives fit into God's redemption story.
But we do know they fit.

Whether God loves us by giving us what we ask for or giving us far better through pain, we know God's good purposes are at work.

So we pause long, 
breathe deep, 
and with great fear, surrender, and peace we whisper,
"But even if You do not, God..."


Please consider looking through the comments in this series 
and praying for our sisters who wait.


Waiting? Hurting? 
Have God-glorifying ideas for this series?
Comment or email me.
We'd love to pray for you all month.


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Today was Day 22 of
31 Days of Waiting:
Day 1     Day 2     Day 3     Day 4     Day 5     Day 6     Day 7     Day 8     Day 9     Day 10     Day 11     Day 12     Day 13     Day 14     Day 15     Day 16     Day 17     Day 18     Day 19     Day 20     Day 21     Day 22     Day 23     Day 24     Day 25     Day 26     Day 27     Day 28     Day 29     Day 30     Day 31


BJ said...

I'm humbled to say I don't think I've ever prayed that. I THINK it, I think. Waiting, or even hearing "no" has never made me cease to praise in the long-term, but short-term I know there has been some questioning, anger, lack of praise. A very thought-provoking post. "Even if you do not..." Thank you.

Amber V. said...

"So we pause long,
breathe deep,
and with great fear, surrender, and peace we whisper,
"But even if You do not, God..."

Yes. This struck me powerfully because this is it... where I am. This is my whispered prayer & where I fight to stay. PRAISE God for His leading as we wait.

Gary Ware said...

1Jn 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

"according to his will" is a key phrase I learned to yield to. NOT always easy, but took the guess work out, for me, and kept my praise in.

Anna said...

Great thoughts. I hate the waiting and wondering if what I want will or will not happen. That is both the hardest place and the best place to find faith.

RACHEL said...

I love hearing from all of you more than you know!!