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Tag: waiting

A Promise: as good as the Promise Maker

by kerriebutterfield

pinky-promise-by-kennysarmy_flickr-com_5723186334_d6d7728e0c_CC BY-ND 2.0

pinky-promise-by-kennysarmy_flickr-com_5723186334_d6d7728e0c_CC BY-ND 2.0

I had a spiritual breakdown eight years ago. Riddled with disappointment and anger with God for not doing what He promised,  I became  weary of waiting for God’s goodness. I couldn’t pray, or if I did, my prayers were filled with bitterness, sadness, and despair.

In the midst of teaching  others that God spoke, healed and saved, we witnessed our friends die of cancer and we struggled financially. I was  doing the “right stuff’ but things weren’t  working out “right”. It wasn’t until after a traumatic event that  I realized all this and I found myself losing hope.

A few weeks later, home alone with my miserable self, I  heard Papa God say to me, “A promise is  as good as the person who makes it. You believe I am good for others, but you don’t believe I am good for you. I want to give you unshakeable faith in my goodness. I am going to astound you with my goodness so that you truly know that I am good.” Read the rest of this entry »

Winding paths vs straight answers

by Wendy

Winding Paths by John Shortland Flickr-com_9062631866_ff25dab5b9

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or wher it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”   John 3:8

 

Frustrated? I was beyond frustrated, pleading with God, crying out, and interceding in every way possible. The spiritual roadblocks still stood like concrete as I smashed into them daily.  Or, worse yet, I watched my friends and loved ones crash nose-first into massive boulders thrown by the enemy.

In my mind I could see the solutions, the barrier-shattering breakthroughs that would set us all free, but I couldn’t reach them.  Nor could I force my way through the frustration. Staring out the car window, I stewed silently, wanting God to pulverize the obstacles and shoot laser-like sunlight into the haze as the residue dissipated.  I could barely articulate the avalanche of feelings.  Instead, my fingernails dug into my palms and tears crept closer to the surface.     Read the rest of this entry »

One Word for 2018: Hope!

by juste buzas

Image by David
Flickr.com_brokentaco_2781330996_f9260fea91

“The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear or dread?  The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?”  (Psalm 27:1)

One afternoon not long ago, I stood on my front porch and watched the beginnings of a thunderstorm roll through the sky.  The sky was wild, exhilarating; alive with color and movement.  I was caught up in the rush of wind and action, struck with wonder at the battleground set before me.  It was as though the place in which I stood was the dividing line between storm and stillness.

To my left, the sky was ominous.  Layers of gray and black rolled together as one, threatening force.  An occasional drum of thunder grumbled from within the darkness.

To my right was brilliant sunshine.  Billowing white clouds set high against a glorious, blue sky.

The stage was set.  The battle was at hand. Read the rest of this entry »

I Hear the Rain

by juste buzas

Image by Ed Merrit
Flickr.com_5458771978_55f71d99a3_ CC BY-ND 2.0

And said to his servant, ‘Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” Elijah said, ‘Go again seven times.’  And at the seventh time the servant said, ‘A cloud as small as a man’s hand is arising out of the sea.’ (1 Kings 18:43)

Here I am, standing in the desert, under my open umbrella.  I’m waiting for rain.  I know it looks strange, insane even.  I’ve been standing here a long time, and no one seems to get it.  No one understands.  But just listen.  Do you hear it?  Feel it?  No?  Try again.  Listen.  I can hear it.  I hear the rain.  It’s coming.  It’s just upon the horizon. Read the rest of this entry »

Island Time

by Rob Dunne

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I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. Psalm 130:5.

In 2004, I went on my first mission’s trip. Five young adults and I went to the beautiful island of Jamaica to conduct a vacation bible school. Weeks of planning went into the trip. Each moment of the day was meticulously planned out. Our team arrived at the church and quickly finished preparations. As the 10 o’clock hour came and went, we were all dejected by how few children showed up. Did they neglect to advertise the event?

We quickly learned about the concept of ‘island time’. In a nutshell, Jamaicans have two speeds – slow and slower! In the fast-paced world of New England, we expect everything yesterday. We lack patience or tolerance for things that take longer than a few seconds.

Admittedly, it took us all a few days to adjust to this slower pace of life. Personally, it took even longer to appreciate why they live the way that they do. First, it is hot. If you do things too quickly or exert unnecessary energy, you won’t last the day. Second, they are simply more laid back than us.

As a litigation attorney, I am in a profession that requires me to rise early and work late. By the time I get home and eat supper, my mind and body are drained. Making time to be with Jesus can be difficult. Therefore, I find myself getting creative. Read the rest of this entry »

Waiting, Not Wasting

by mymorethanme

beach waiting“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

A few weeks ago I was hit with a nasty case of food poisoning, which significantly affected my already compromised digestive system. I have been dealing with bacterial overgrowth in my small intestines for seven years, which has caused IBS discomfort, pain, and food intolerances, as well as (I believe) a variety of skin issues. Living with this digestive disorder has greatly impacted the lives of myself and my family. We know this sickness is not from God, and that He desires and is able to heal me. So, why the apparent delay?

The answer is, I don’t know. I don’t know why some are healed instantly, others are healed over time, and still others aren’t healed this side of heaven. I am sure there are many factors involved–some of which I’m fairly certain of, some I can guess at, and others I have no clue about. Read the rest of this entry »

Awaiting the Groom

by Dawn Aldrich

The Bride by Katharine Shilcut_Flickr.com_3368836744_76035d1f65_b

The Bride by Katharine Shilcut_Flickr.com_3368836744_76035d1f65_b

“The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry went out ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ ” Matthew 25: 5-6

Outside my second floor living room door there was a small, steep staircase that led me to the mostly empty attic. Smelling of cold, dry wood in winter I’d make my way up there to fill the time with great imaginings until my sisters came home from school or until my mother called me down for supper.

In one corner close to the stairway laid an old black trunk with a rounded cover and a big brass latch in front quite resembling a pirates’ chest. With my two, tiny, white hands I’d carefully lift that latch and open the cover to reveal the girly treasures inside: Mom’s old dresses, her beige tortoise shell high heeled shoes and sheer, white, summer curtains! Treasures indeed to a little girl who loved to play dress up and especially loved to play The Bride! My wardrobe was complete when I found some plastic flowers in a box nearby marked, “Christmas.”

I’d place my right hand on the stair rail to balance myself as I lifted feet into Mom’s shoes one at a time. With that accomplished I’d dig deep into the pocket of my play dress to find the bobby pins I’d stashed for the veil. Then pinning it atop my blonde crown I’d grab the plastic, Christmas bouquet and start to hum “Here Comes The Bride.” One shaky foot in front of the other I’d slowly clip-clop the entire length of the attic floor to where I dreamed my groom was waiting, wondering who it would really be someday.

Read the rest of this entry »

Waiting with God

by kerriebutterfield

Waiting Time by Craig Sunter flickr.com/20199477206_ce5b2885f1_z.jpg CC BY - ND 4.0

Waiting Time by Craig Sunter _flickr.com/20199477206_ce5b2885f1_z.jpg
CC BY – ND 4.0

Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up, don’t be impatient; Be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep waiting— For He will never disappoint you!” Psalm 27:14
As I sat in the chair, mouth gaped wide open, and the dentist drilling away, Papa God began to speak to me. He said, “Kerrie, disappointment has caused cavities in your heart. I’m going to drill into your heart and fill them with goodness and hope and heal your heart.” The funny thing was I had been living with disappointment for so long, it had become familiar and normal, and I wasn’t even aware my heart was in decay.

Disappointment is when you stop believing in God’s ability to work things out for our good. You have underestimated the bigness of His goodness towards you because you have become heartsick and weary in waiting for goodness to appear.

I’ve spent some time in “disappointment-ville”. We’ve sold everything we own twice in our lives as we tried to obey and follow God. Read the rest of this entry »

What are we waiting for?

by Dawn Aldrich

Image by Marcy Leigh https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcyleigh_CC BY-ND 4.0

Image by Marcy Leigh
https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcyleigh_CC BY-ND 4.0

“But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior.” Micah 7:7

While we set aside lawn rakes for snow shovels, pumpkins for poinsettias we usher in the Advent season – the season of waiting and inward preparedness. But what exactly are we waiting for? And how do we prepare for it?

Are we awaiting a birthday celebration – the remembrance, the anniversary of the Christ child? Yes, in part. The incarnation of God’s love for mankind through Christ is certainly a divinely significant event to celebrate. Yet, if that’s all we celebrate – an anniversary- then we are left wanting after all the presents are unwrapped, the decorations torn down and put away. For what power does Christ’s birth have for us here and now without understanding the hidden cross inside his lowly manger on Christmas night as our hope of salvation and resurrection? (Watch for the Light, 2001 Orbis Books).

The First Advent – the birth of Christ – brought God’s kingdom from heaven to earth. And through Christ’s death, we gain salvation, adoption by God as heirs to his kingdom – the present and future. This future kingdom – when all heaven and earth passes away and Christ returns – this Second Advent – this is what we await with great expectation.

We wait and we prepare our hearts, first by remembering Christ’s humble birth and the hope hidden within him and through him and because of him. And secondly, we prepare our hearts as little children – ever hopeful, ever faithful, and ever watchful – for God’s light until it permeates and changes us.

This Christmas, what are you waiting for? Which traditions help prepare your heart for remembering the First Advent? Will you look at them differently in light of waiting for the Second Advent?

Most Journeys Are Mostly Boring

by Mike McKinniss

IMG_2347When the right time comes, I the Lord will quickly do this. (Isaiah 60:22b)

I recently had the good fortune to fulfill a life-long dream to drive across the country. The trip was itself a major step in another, much longer, more personal journey—a seven-year pursuit of the love of my life. But that’s another story.

As I made my way across our nation’s flatter states, a principle of life and faith slowly emerged in my consciousness, not unlike the gradual upward climb of the Rockies on the horizon as I made the journey west. I would be driving across the Oklahoma plains or the Texas panhandle, thinking about one thing or another or nothing at all, when suddenly I would realize in amazement, that it had been hours since I’d done anything of interest—no turns, no stops for gas or relief, not even a tap of the brake.

And then, quite surprisingly, I would look around find that I had ventured into a vastly different and dramatic landscape. I had not noticed the massive painted bluffs that had been creeping upward on either side of the highway. I had not anticipated the emergence of a vast canyon, nor the remarkable vistas it revealed. As anyone who has made the trip through the American West will tell you, there are spectacular sights to see along the way. Indeed there are. But most of the trek by car is actually quite boring and uneventful.

This reminds me of the old saying about a soldier’s life in a time of war, that it is months of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror. We might say the same about our journeys, spiritual or otherwise, though hopefully without the terror part.

Reflecting on the larger journey I have been taking with the Lord, this is precisely how I might have described it. Though the faith-filled trip has lasted several years, with many significant events along the way, most of the time has passed with little event. Following the word of hope and promise from the Lord, most of the time since has been spent waiting and watching.

Toward the closing of this long spiritual journey, a short passage became very important to me, and I suppose it illustrates this point in a way. Isaiah 60 is a powerful prophecy promising the beleaguered people of Israel a future time of national restoration. Although Israel would endure a long exile in consequence of their rebellion against God, there would come a time, Isaiah assured, when they would again shine as a people. When and how would this come about? The Lord says through Isaiah, “When the right time comes, I the LORD will quickly do this” (Isa. 60:22b, NET).

From my picayune perspective, things tend to move slowly with God. We live in a big world, with more going on than we could ever hope to comprehend at once. Our faith journeys, by nature, will feel slow, deliberate, as if we were sitting in a car amidst the vast American plains, with little to do but peer out at the endless flat horizon. Nothing seems to happen.

And then, suddenly, at the precisely the right time, it seems the Lord acts in one swift and decisive move. We had not seen it coming. Night had been black around us for hours on end. And the fulfillment comes as a sudden sunrise, punctuating our long uneventful wait with joyous surprise.

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