Friday, May 30, 2014

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

Out of the time we spend in prayer, I find it to be made up of 20% talking to God 20% getting answers and 60 % waiting. The reason we wait more than anything else, in my opinion, is because I think God honors patience. God hears our every prayer, even the ones we don't say aloud. He doesn't always answer them when it's convenient for us because honestly if we knew that information right away there would be no lesson, no learning experience. God will never bring you to a battle you can't win, and I think part of the waiting is Him equipping you with the tools you need to succeed. God could take care of every problem with the blink of an eye, but God is not meant to clean up our mess every time we fail. I think God wants us to get so much more out of life. God is the ultimate teacher, prophet and king. I believe He helps us understand the situation and involves us in the process, so the next time it happens we are prepared. He equips us with many gifts and prepares us for many battles. If He made all of our problems disappear, we would never learn how to conquer them. During that period of waiting it is easy to believe that God has forgotten about us and that He has pushed us to the side. This is far from true, but it causes us to look back and question ourselves. It's so easy to look back and get caught up in doubt. That doubt makes us question our progress in the present moment. Even if nothing is being answered right this second, it means a greater option is coming in the future. Patience in waiting is a beautiful thing and God will reward it. After all, wouldn't you rather hear "wait" than "no" ? You have to remember that each day of waiting is another day God is suiting you up with armor. One day that armor will come in handy.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Finding Faith in the Night Sky

I have always been impatient. Once I have a vision of where my next step will take me, I want to jump into a plan to get me there. I love dreaming and I love change, so naturally I want to blow through life arriving at one destination after another. However, it wasn't until I set nine months of my life aside for God to have his way in me (attending SCSL- the South Carolina School of Leadership) that I realized that I can't expect to be at my point of interest without first going on the journey. Nothing is going to happen in the blink of an eye. There will be seasons of starting and seasons of finishing, but the most important seasons are the ones inbetween. The times when you're watching and waiting for God to move without knowing how He's going to do it. The inbetween seasons are important because they help us understand the faithfulness of The Lord and strengthen our trust along the way. During spring break this past March, I was sitting on the beach praying. I had something on my heart that had been there for many weeks. I started praying, and looked up at the sky, at all the stars. I heard the waves crashing on the shore and was in awe of the beauty, when I had this thought- It would be so awesome to see a shooting star right now. So I prayed, Lord if you hear my prayers please let me see a shooting star. Selfish, I know, but as children of the most high king we are allowed to ask for signs and wonders, right? Well, I didn't see a shooting star that night, or even that week. It wasn't until two months later at a girl's beach retreat that I thought about it again. I was at a completely different beach, but I looked up at the same night sky, heard the same waves crashing onto the shore, and remembered the prayer I had prayed to see a shooting star. I sat under the sky for about 30 minutes until I decided to go back inside. I was feeling a little discouraged, but knew I couldn't always expect God to do what I selfishly desire. On the way back in, some of the other girls needed help picking up all the little candles we put around the porch to set the atmosphere. I bent down to pick up a candle and one of my friends yelled, "Erin! You would not believe what just happened!" I stood up quickly, wondering what she was going to say next. Then she said the words that changed my life- "As soon as you bent down to pick up that candle, a shooting star passed right over your head!" At first I was angry, and I wanted to go inside and pout, but I heard God say this to me, "I hear your prayers. And you may not know that I am working them out, but I am." I think the inbetween seasons are just like that story. You have laid your dreams before The Lord and you have to believe He is working them out, but you can't always see the proof in it. After all, faith is believing in what you cannot see. Faith is what we have to have in the seasons of waiting.