by Julia Sterne
July 2, 2012
5 min read
Waiting is the hardest part. I think I have already written a blog on waiting? Amazing how there will always be more waiting in my life—and more blogs about waiting I am sure! This morning I read in Isaiah: “If you repented and patiently waited for me you would be delivered; If you calmly trusted in me you would find strength … all who wait for Him in faith will be blessed” (Isaiah 30:15, 18)
This was exactly what I needed to hear today. I hope for some of you who are waiting you may be encouraged as well.
At the end of May, Alastair and I felt that God was calling us to a time of fasting and prayer. In a weird way I had the impression from God that June was going to be a slow month with lots of time for me to be sitting at home in prayer.
To be honest, I hated that idea initially. I always want to be busy and active and running around accomplishing very important things. The thought of being still, waiting and praying was less exciting and made me think I would be bored and lonely for weeks on end. On the other hand, I did not really have a choice. I wanted to follow God, even if I was hesitant about where he was leading me.
So for the month of June I have been waiting, praying, occasionally fasting, and well, waiting. I have so many things I want to do in this city, so much I want to see God accomplish for Alastair, for St. Peter’s Fireside, for my counseling work, and here I am waiting.
Simply put, it has not been easy.
However, I have felt a peace and calm in trusting that God told me to wait. Every time I feel an urge to jump into a new hobby, go be busy at the gym, organize meetings, or push my way forward in career and church, I feel the Spirit gently remind me to slow down and wait. And then I just sit and pray.
I am not saying this like “Woah, I am so awesome” but rather God has led me and enabled me to be in this place. I have had to repent every now and again for trying to rush God or take control of my time, but he has kept telling me to wait. Sometimes sitting and praying happens out of frustration or a sense of helplessness and sometimes out of joyful expectation. Either way God is helping me be faithful in waiting.
In the last month I am so amazed at what God has done for us, completely without us! We were given UBC Robson Square as a meeting place for St. Peter’s next year. Today I received news that my Registration has passed for Clinical Counseling in BC. God has opened up an office space for me with a local ministry. He has brought Alastair and I a financial guru who wants to help us with setting up a private practice and the church pro bono. He has continued the healing of my back. He has brought Alastair into conversations with church leaders who are eager to help. It is absolutely unreal. All of this while I thought sitting and praying would get nothing done! I was so wrong.
The words of Isaiah are true. If you turn to God, wait on Him, and trust Him, He will show up, fight for you, and bless you in the exact ways you needed. Isaiah spoke these words to the Israelites who were terrified of surrounding armies and fled to Egypt in an attempt to be safe and secure and rescued. They turned to a nation rather than to God. I am not sure I could do any better. If an army were after me I think I would look for shelter rather than wait on God.
The point, though, is not that we should not run for shelter, the point is where do we look for that shelter, where do we look for power, for salvation, for help. The Israelites fled to Egypt. I flee to checking my email every five minutes, researching on the internet, going for a run, complaining to a friend, making plans and outlines and to do lists. I often try to manage life on my own terms and in my own power.
It is in this place where my self has taken God’s seat. It was here that Egypt took the place of the God of Israel. That is a serious offense. Isaiah offers hope to Israel, to me and to you. Egypt will fail the Israelites. My own personal power and ability will fail me. But God will not fail us. All he asks is that we stay focused on him, repent if need be, wait if he says so, but just keep relying and trusting the One True God.
I am amazed at what has happened in the last 25 days. There are 5 more days in this month, and I eager to see what happens while I sit and do nothing but pray. It will be such a testimony to God’s power and ability. I am finding the waiting to be rather exciting now, much better than how I ever imagined!