“I waited patiently for the Lord. He inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Psalm 40:1)
The bible doesn’t say how long I have to wait patiently. It could be a month. It could be six years.
I know He does hear my cry. I know He loves me. I just don’t know if the pain I have will ever go away. Right now it is my constant companion. Try as I might to get rid of it, it is there.
But He is more than enough. He is more than enough to fill in all the gaps. All the longings. All the desires. He brings healing and light. He lifts up all who are bowed down1.
I’d rather have discomfort and lean in to seeking Him, than have a comfortable life and forget Him. Oh how often I have forgotten Him.
What is your purpose in all of this, Lord?
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me2. The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me2. The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me2.
There is so much hurt and suffering in the world. The refugee crisis – over a million people have fled Syria, Iran, Africa for the shores of Europe. They’re displaced, living in camps with deplorable conditions, waiting for their court date, hopeful for visas. Human trafficking. Famine. Civil unrest. Corrupt governments. Religious persecution. The list goes on and on and on.
And here I am, with problems that most of the world would kill to have. Forgive me Lord for my self-focus. Help me to look outward more. To have eyes to see. Help me to see people the way that you do. To have your heart for people. And then to do something about it.
((And yet I know the Lord cares for me. He numbers my tears on His scroll3. I am poor and needy, but the Lord takes thought for me4. The God who formed the heavens and who cares about the destitute also cares about my hurting heart. I don’t deserve that. But God….))
Where do you want me in this larger story? Where should I go? I watch a documentary on Athens, and I want to be there, serving the refugees in one of the medical clinics. I want to welcome people on the shores, and share the hope I have in you.
I watch Free Burma Rangers, and I want to be there. I don’t know what I would do, but I just want to go. “Here I am, send me!!”
I listen to Francis Chan and I want to be among unreached people groups, sharing the gospel. This gospel that I so struggle to put into words, yet burns so strongly in my heart.
But I’m here, right now, in Southern California. How can I be faithful now? What is the next step of obedience? What do you want me to do now?
I remember….”If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23) And “If anyone serves me he must follow me; and where I am, there my servant will be also.” (John 12:26) This is right after He warns that those who love their life will lose it, but those who hate their life will keep it for eternity.
I pray, Lord, that I will be faithful now. That when I wake in the morning, I’ll be patient and loving with my kids. That I’ll be faithful and loving to my husband in deed and thought. That I’ll consider them more than myself. That I’ll be a good neighbor. That I’ll make the most of every opportunity5. Help me to take one step of obedience at a time. You don’t need me, but I get to co-labor with you6. What a privilege, what a joy.
One benefit of the pain is that it has loosened me from things I once held dear. Entertainment holds very little value in my heart. I almost couldn’t care less. I don’t want to fill my mind with frivolous things. I want to move forward, onward, upward, and have very little care for pointless noise. In the words of the great philosopher, Sweet Brown, Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Keep refining, Lord. Keep pruning. Wound me that you may heal7. Lead me with cords of love8.
1 Psalm 145:14
2 Psalm 138:8
3 Psalm 56:8
4 Psalm 40:17
5 Ephesians 5:16
6 1 Corinthians 3:9, 2 Corinthians 6:1
7 Hosea 6:1
8 Hosea 11:4