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Not another wait

When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst. Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return. If he works severely, he also works tenderly. His stockpiles of loyal love are immense. (Lamentations 3:28-32)

Life isn't always going to go our way. In fact, we will likely face more than one hiccup in our day today. When hiccups come, how do you handle them? Do you complain like I do sometimes? Do you say life isn't fair like I do at times? Do you just want to escape it all like I do on occasion? If you didn't notice it as I asked those questions, I don't always embrace what I am going through - there are times I want to find the quickest and easiest way to be 'out of the mess'. Life is heavy and hard to take - sometimes more frequently than we might like. When we face these 'hiccups' in life our response isn't to run - but to wait. Okay, I know I just crossed the line there when I reminded each of us to wait. Waiting when trouble is abounding is definitely not the way most of us would deal with life - we want to run away, question God's goodness, or complain in bitter anger because we don't feel like things are 'fair'.

Enter the silence - in other words, get your mind, will, and emotions into times of 'prayer' - talk to God about it and then shut-up and just listen! I know, I am not supposed to tell anyone to 'shut-up', but sometimes we just need to be in a place where we can finally hear what God is about to do. Understand this - 'shutting-up' is more than us not talking. How many times can you sit in silence, all the while your mind is racing, emotions moving every which way, and your will just itching to get things underway? If you are anything like me, I can sit in silence and be 'calculating' in my mind, 'ramping up' in my emotions, and 'digging in' with my stubborn willfulness. Enter into silence - mind, will, and emotions settled, attentive, ceasing to plan and manipulate. Why is this so powerful for us to understand? It is as we 'settle into' God's presence, we find we make room for his movement within us. 

Have you ever entered into silence and felt the conviction of God? Yup, been there, done that, got the shirt, and worn out the shirt more than once! As we 'settle into' God's presence, we might soon find ourselves sharing our doubts and fears - nothing is too superficial to share with God. As we share those doubts, he can bring us into a place of trust. As we share our fears, he can bring us into a place of understanding his power. As we share our wrong responses, he can share his mercy and grace - forgiving us, creating his peace within. When conviction comes, don't run from it - embrace it. Whenever conviction comes, grace is God's response. Silence may just bring the hope we so eagerly desire, but before it comes, we must 'settle ourselves', lay down our fears and doubts, and just embrace his love. In the time it takes us to 'settle in', we are learning to 'wait'. Don't resist the wait - embrace it - grace is on the other side of that 'wait'. Just sayin'.

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