Sometimes being 'grounded' isn't all that bad!


Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind. (Isaiah 40:27-31)

Complaining that God seems to be looking the other way when you need his attention right now? Do you think he has abandoned you to some state of misery or woe that you won't be able to overcome? We all have been there at least once, and if we were honest, we'd admit we come to this place a little too often before we realize God never abandons us. We may not hear him as clearly, see how he is moving in the muddle we are in, or be strong in our faith that he is right there beside us, but he never lets us walk through stuff alone. There were times when my kids were little that I'd suddenly realize I couldn't hear them anymore, and I just knew they were likely into some type of mischief! In my losing track of what they were doing, they took full advantage of getting into something they knew they weren't supposed to be into - like pulling the toilet paper all off the roll in a huge pile around them on the floor or dumping out all the baby powder and then proceeding to paint themselves with it! Good news - God doesn't "lose track" of his kids! If we wander into places of "mischief" in our lives, he is right there ready to correct us, redirect us, or recommission us.

There is power in waiting on the Lord to renew our souls, yet so many of us just wander around without the power we could tap into if we'd just take a few moments to wait upon him. It is in "waiting upon" him that we find the "energizing" for the task which lies ahead. Maybe if we learned how to "wait upon" a little better, we might not feel like we are "out on our own" in so many of life's circumstances. To wait means to exchange - we exchange our strength for his, our wisdom for his, our energy for his. The knowledge to do it his way rather than our own is only found in the waiting. The strength to do what is just ahead is only found in the moment of exchange. If this is where the "exchange" happens, we need to learn how to "wait upon" as our "first option" rather than our "bail out" option! There is wisdom in waiting just a little bit before you take your first step, isn't there? What probably should have occurred to us by now is that we don't survive alone! Like it or not, we are not designed to live alone - we are designed for relationship. We are "relational" creatures. So many of us try to walk out this daily existence of our Christian faith alone and wonder why we find ourselves feeling lonely, abandoned, and without a shred of hope to hang onto. 

In the place of feeling kind of abandoned, we veer away from the principles we know to be true. We try something completely different from what we know is reliable, trustworthy, and upright. Whenever I have veered from the principles I have learned through scripture, I've been burned! We can live by all kinds of "good philosophy", but philosophy is just not going to cut it because the basic premise of any philosophy is to improve upon it. God's Word cannot be improved upon! It is more than philosophy - it is tried and true - nothing can be added, nothing taken away. When we gravitate toward living by some type of "philosophy" in our lives, we are more susceptible to living by the culture of the day in which we live. Society says if it feels good, doesn't appear to hurt anyone, and seems to carry some sense of reward for the one doing it, then it is okay to pursue. Just because it feels good to eat a chocolate bar each day doesn't make it good for a person who is struggling with their weight! Just because my actions don't seem to outwardly hurt another, I cannot overlook the fact that someone is watching, and they may be affected by those actions without my even knowing it! 

Allow God's words to get "worked into" the fibers of our lives, then we will have something upon we can rely upon when we are faced with those moments of decision in life. We are only able to stand - or withstand - when we have the right foundation. The right foundation is never based upon something which needs improvement! It is based upon that which cannot be improved upon! This is why we need to get the Word of God into us - it gives us the stability of standing upon what cannot be improved upon! Too many times we "improvise" in this life. To really learn what it is we are designed to live by, we need time to wait upon God. In seeking God, you find yourself - for he designed you! In seeking him, you are free to be who he made you to be. Discovery comes in waiting upon - not just in waiting, but in waiting upon. In the most literal sense, the difference is in the activity level of each. Waiting bespeaks inactivity - waiting upon refers to a level of activity or involvement. When we wait upon God, we aren't just passively standing by until he says move. We are engaging in what we know to do - like prayer, time in the Word, taking the steps of faith we know to take, then patiently listening for the wisdom about the steps we don't know how to take yet. When we engage with him, he engages with us. It is active waiting God is directing us toward, not passivity. Just sayin!

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