If You Let Him, God will Turn Your Waiting into WinningMay 04, 2022
I was leaving the doctor's office with the beyond-belief, faith-tested, longed-for-it-to-happen-but-just-not-sure-it-would news that I was indeed pregnant.
"Congratulations, you're pregnant!" the nurse said.
I was speechless, I think I might've even exclaimed, "How?! How could this be?!"
Which was a ridiculous thing to say, seeing as how I was at the infertility specialist's office where I'd been every month for the past 3 long years.
But in that moment, I got there.
I got to where I wanted to be.
I got to the end of my prayers.
I found myself on the other side of the "Oh God, please!" and "Lord, if you will!" that I'd begged and begged, and wept and wailed, and longed for Him to bring me.
As I entered the ramp toward I40 east headed to 65 south and home, a quick sense of sadness swept over me. I didn't let it go before I made it give an account of its presence. And the sadness that came my way said this,
"You'll no longer need the arms of Jesus to hold you up in this waiting space."
And for a few seconds I felt like you feel on Christmas night after all the packages have been opened, the family members have gone, and your heart is full, but the anticipation, and waiting and longing is gone.
Hope has a way of delivering an intimacy with God that we simply don't experience when our hearts are full of His answers to our prayers.
I had the privilege of interviewing Jon Graf for the Prayer Clinic podcast this past week. Jon is the president of the Church Prayer Leaders Network. He's a great man of God who's taught countless people to pray. In part of our conversation we talked about the space where we live between the promise God's given us and the fulfillment of it. I asked Jon this,
"How do you live to the glory of God when you are in that painful place?"
Jon encouraged us to spend more time with God; reading Scripture and simply sitting in His presence.
Great advice! When hope begins to disappoint, stop begging God for what He knows you long for, and simply be with Him so that the power of his presence can fill you with grace enough to keep breathing.
Jon went on to say that when we worship in that space, we rest in the steadiness of God's goodness.
Speaking of worship, God showed up smack dab in the middle of worship for me last week on Sunday morning. I was sitting in a different spot during the morning service, because I was hosting our friends who were attending our Prayer Clinic Open House. And as we were singing, I was balancing my prayer burden with the goodness of God; the confident assurance that His timing is always right; and the ache in my soul that was screaming for RIGHT NOW to be the right time!
I'm familiar with this in-between space. I call it the mean time. And even though I teach on it often, it's still hard.
But as we were singing I took a look at the teenaged son of some really good friends of ours; and this is what I read on the back of his shirt...
"This story is not finished."
The fact that the words were printed on a yellow shirt with a huge blue monarch butterfly was no coincidence.
You see, God knew who I was thinking about. God knew her favorite color was yellow and that when I see butterflies I think of her. God literally used the t-shirt on a teenaged boy to speak audibly (or visibly) to me.
This is what God does in the mean time.
I took the picture you see with this blog, and texted it to his parents. His dad texted this,
Then, this past weekend, 2 people sent me a testimony posted on social media by Stormie Omartian. Surely you recognize that name. Stormie Omartian has written so many books on prayer! And one of her books has been my faithful companion this past year as I've let her words become my own in praying over my adult children.
Stormie's been writing or decades, why would she choose this weekend to share this news?
"Before I came to know the Lord, I was involved in all kinds of occult practices and Eastern and New Age religions. I searched for God in each one of them hoping to find some meaning or purpose for my life. However, those gods I was chasing were distant, cold, remote, and did not have the power to save or transform a human life. But the God of the Bible did! He is the one, true, living God. And when we find Him and receive Him, His Spirit dwells in us. I learned that HE is a God who can be found. A God who can be known. A God who wants to be close to us. That's why He is called Immanuel, which means, "God with us." We must take the time to seek and draw close to the One who desires to be with us."
Stormie was compelled to write that post this weekend because the God she knows is the God I know and even though she and I don't know each other, God knows that I needed what He told her to share.
God might use t-shirts.
God might use social media posts.
If you let Him, God will reveal Himself to you in the mean time and you will discover that there is something special about that place. My prayer for you and for me is that when we get to the other side of this thing (whatever this thing might be for you), we will have a slight shadow of sadness that lingers just long enough to let us appreciate how tender God's love is in this place.
Here's to God being very good in the mean time!
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