Hope in the Wait

I remember as a child waiting in anticipation for my birthday or for Christmas to arrive. Time moved slowly and the waiting dragged on forever.

As an adult, that time moves much more quickly. It seems like Christmas is around the corner again before last year’s gifts are put away. And waiting for birthdays isn’t quite as exciting anymore.

Waiting for the calendar page to turn—that’s not so hard. Until time ends, one month will flow into the next, guaranteed.

But waiting on God is hard. Some days it feels impossible. And other days it takes me right to my knees in tears and frustration.

Perhaps you’re waiting on God too...

…for physical healing.

…for employment.

…for a child to come home.

…for a relationship to be restored.

…for a loved one to come to faith.

Whatever it might be, there will be days when waiting on God is just too hard.

Days when I think I cannot do it one more day. I can’t wait patiently without worry and fear. And on those days, peace gets edged out. In its place are anxiousness, nausea, headaches, tears, depression, anger, and despair.

Despair that feels like hitting bottom, where there’s no place deeper to go—because with despair comes hopelessness.

Hopelessness covers the world in darkness, but not completely. Never completely.

Because the darkness can never extinguish the Light.

I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer remain in the dark.

Jesus came into this world to show us the Light—His Light that never dims. It never goes out. {Tweet this}

We may become blinded to it at times, but it’s there, shining like a beacon—a symbol of hope leading us back to Him.

For where there is Light, there is hope. Always hope.

On the days when the waiting feels like too much—there is hope. {Tweet this}

Hope for a better tomorrow.

Hope that what we’re anticipating and waiting for is right around the corner.

Hope that soon God will reveal His plans for us.

Hope because God is in the wait with us—strengthening and comforting—bringing rest to the weary and calm to the panicked—picking us up when we hit the ground in despair.

Waiting for the seasons to change becomes methodical. Waiting on God never does.

We may not know what’s coming next, but God does. Our waiting and our future is in His hands.

His safe, strong, and more than capable hands.

In Christ,

**There are times when sadness and despair don’t improve. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression (ex. emotions you can’t control, fatigue, lack of energy, not being able to sleep, always wanting to sleep, and/or thoughts of self-harm), please don’t be afraid to seek help. Getting help is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength.**

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com / This post was rewritten from a one that originally appeared on 5 Minutes for Faith.]

Learning to Trust God

Several years ago we were at the beginning of a long walk through health-related issues with a loved one. It was recommended that we visit the Mayo Clinic, so we made the appointment and waited three months until the scheduled date. In the meantime, I worked with the insurance company to request the necessary preapproval.

When I finally received the letter, I was disappointed to read that our request had been denied. Disappointed isn’t the right word. My immediate physical reaction, without being able to control it, was panic—stomach in knots, hands shaking, light-headedness—panic.

While my body took longer to settle down, my mind knew immediately to turn to God. I prayed and told myself we had time, but more importantly, God had a plan. 

I consciously reminded myself of what I knew to be true—God had this under control. I didn't know how and it didn't matter. The more I prayed, the calmer I felt and that sense of peace stayed with me. {Tweet this}

And then one day, in a conversation, I caught myself saying, "I really hope I'm not wrong, but I have a feeling God has this under control."

Even while I was in the middle of the conversation, it troubled me… I really hope I'm not wrong?!?

Where was the confidence I'd had? Why was doubt creeping in if I really believed? {Tweet this}

Please join me at Candidly Christian to continue reading where I'm sharing three things to remember when learning to trust God.

In Christ,

[Photo credit: CandidlyChristian.com]

Linking up with: Kingdom Bloggers, #TeaAndWord, #TellHisStory, Purposeful Faith, InstaEncouragements, #RechargeWednesday, Let's Have Coffee, Worth Beyond Rubies, #TuneInThursday, #HeartEncouragement, #FaithonFire, Faith 'n Friends, Grace & Truth, Spiritual Sundays

Energizing Verses for Every Day

I rarely watch daytime television, but every six months when I go to the dentist The Price is Right is already showing on the screen above the patient chair. Since I don’t know what else is on and I don’t want to flip channels and extend my appointment, I leave it.

Whenever I see it, I wonder once again if excessive amounts of caffeine are required before the show begins to induce the level of excitement (screaming and jumping around) exhibited by the audience—and especially the contestants. Last week, one woman even looked as if she might hyperventilate.

But as I watched, I had a new thought…what if we started our days with even just an ounce of that energy? Not the jumping around and screaming so much, but the enthusiasm to see what might happen.

What would that look like?

* A positive outlook of what the day might bring.

* The desire to see what God has planned for us.

* The willingness to step up, out of our comfort zones, to follow where God leads.

What if the Good News You have been forgiven! stirred the same excitement as You could win a brand new car! {Tweet this}

Whether it’s the anticipation of the game or the longing to hear your name called, The Price is Right has been around for a long time.

But, the new life we have in Jesus has been around much longer and it will never end. There will never be a change in hosts, and we don’t have to wait around hoping to be called up to the stage.

And…we don’t have to work to earn a prize because Jesus has already done the work. He has already been the sacrifice. He has already given us the way back to God.

Once and for all, Jesus has conquered sin and death. He calls us to Him every day and God’s love and grace can’t be taken away. {Tweet this}

Winning on a game show and earning our five minutes of fame might be fun and exciting, and that’s okay. But, what Jesus gives is joyful and everlasting.

He’s there when the days are not fun and fame is a burden.

He’s with us when we don’t think we can walk through the hardest of situations.

He doesn’t leave us when we make bad choices and hurt ourselves and others.

And He doesn’t walk away or shoo us off stage when we don’t have the correct answers and we don’t know what to do next.

And that’s something to look forward to every day.

Just a Few Energizing Verses for Every Day

Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

In Christ,

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]

Change Offers Opportunity

I'm trying to look at unexpected change differently. Instead of scary and unknown, which it can be, I'm trying to look for what it might offer.

Unexpected change offers unexpected opportunities. {Tweet this}

Like the change itself, I don't know what those opportunities might look like, but I want to know they are there.
It's a matter of having a positive outlook, rather than a negative one.

It's not easy. Some changes can be devastating and it takes years to work through the grief. I know that. 

I'm talking about the types of changes that can be fearful or challenging, depending on our attitude—looking for a new job, meeting new coworkers, moving, or doing something outside of our comfort zone.

Fearful is walking through the day with dread, assuming anything new will be bad.

Challenging is walking forward with an open mind and without preconceived assumptions, trusting that God has a plan. It doesn't mean everything will be easy or perfect. It means we don't make new opportunities more difficult because of a bad attitude.

When we only see what we stand to lose, change is frightening and depressing. But when we acknowledge what we might lose while at the same time looking ahead at what we might gain, it feels different. 

Change itself is unsettling, but when we look for new opportunities there's also a glimmer of hope. {Tweet this}

And when hope is there, it changes everything. Whether or not we see it is up to us.

In Christ,

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]

Comfort in the Storm

A few nights ago, I had to comfort our cat, Raven, during a thunderstorm. She's not usually affected by the weather, but something had her scared. So I held her and talked to her. I made a blanket tent for her to sleep under and sat with her until she felt brave enough to burrow under the blankets.

Once she was calmer and safely tucked under her tent, I went to bed. But before I fell asleep, I thought about her need for comfort and how we're not much different in this respect.

Aren't there times we all need to feel safe and to be reminded that we're going to be okay?

Maybe it's not a thunderstorm, but a situation that makes life feel out of control.

The diagnosis.

A relationship that's falling apart.

Sadness and grief.

Financial struggles.

Or so many other possibilities.

Sometimes God will change what's going on around us, but often He will provide comfort for what's going on inside of us instead. {Tweet this}

He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT

Because He comforts us first, we are able to comfort others. 

We may not be able to change someone's circumstances, but we can be there just to sit and let her know she's not alone. {Tweet this}

I couldn't stop the thunderstorm, but I could comfort Raven when she was afraid.

I couldn't stop my mom's cancer last year, but I could sit with her in her pain so she didn't feel alone. 

So many things we can't control, but we can be there.

Even when we can't understand the situation or the pain, just being present can often be enough. It validates another person's emotions. It says, "You don't have to walk through this alone."

And perhaps, as God works through us, it even shines some light into the dark places in our lives.

In Christ,

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]