In the waiting

 

In The Waiting

Hold on to your promises, even if they feel a little tattered and torn at the moment.

God moves in seasons.

 

Why?

 

I’m not sure, but I think sometimes that farmers must understand God better than us city kids.

 

There are seasons when we are waiting on God to blow on our dreams and to answer prayers.

Waiting.

Waiting.

Waiting.

 

 

My friend Praveena and I went out for dinner a couple of months ago and she said in her usually brilliant way, “God is teaching me how to hold onto my dream without having any casualties in my relationships along the way.”

Wow.

Doesn’t that sound like the God we know.

The one who wants us to have our dreams.

The one who loves people.

 

The one who wants us to learn how to do both.

Have our dreams and love people.

 

In the waiting, we’re learning how to do just that.

 

Maybe it goes without saying, but waiting is hard.

Correction.

Waiting is really really hard.

 

God’s kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn’t show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.

In the middle of the night someone yelled out, ‘He’s here! The bride-groom’s here! Go out and greet him!’

The ten virgins got up and got their lamps ready. The silly virgins said to the smart ones, ‘Our lamps are going out; lend us some of your oil.’

They answered, ‘There might not be enough to go around; go buy your own.’

They did, but while they were out buying oil, the bridegroom arrived. When everyone who was there to greet him had gone into the wedding feast, the door was locked.

Much later, the other virgins, the silly ones, showed up and knocked on the door, saying, ‘Master, we’re here. Let us in.’

He answered, ‘Do I know you? I don’t think I know you.’

So stay alert. You have no idea when he might arrive.

Matthew 25:1-13

(The Message)

 

We read this verse a lot when we talk about Jesus coming back, but I believe there’s a kingdom principle embedded in this story.

Those who have been wise to hold on to their oil, to not give away their hope and their faith in who God is, get to enter into the party with Jesus.

Why?

Because when the time comes, they have hope that gives them light to see and discern the opportunities God brings our way.

These are the ones that held onto believing the promises of God, even when it felt like you were just holding on by a thread.

It still counts.

Remember Jesus said, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed.

And a thread is bigger than a mustard seed.

 

So hold on to your promises, even if they feel a little tattered and torn at the moment.  God is good and he always comes through for us, the ones he loves.

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Photo Credit: “Sparkler” by Unsplash, permission through C.C. by 2.0

The reality of dreaming

The Reality of Dreaming

My son wants to drive so badly he can taste exhaust fumes.

This past summer, he asked me nearly every time we got into the van when it would be his turn to drive.  Most parents probably dread the day their children start driving and their insurance premiums go through the roof,  but I am so excited for the day when I can hand him the keys and see that look of joy in his eyes.  In my heart, I look forward to him driving probably more than he does.  So why haven’t I let him get his permit and take the family mini-van for a spin?

Because he’s 3 years old.

I will safe guard the dream of his driving until he is ready, not to mention old enough to see over the steering wheel, but if I gave him his “dream” today it would cause him and who knows who else harm. He’s not ready yet.

I’ve explained to him a million and one different ways, why he can’t drive right now and he responds with a quivering lower lip, “okay, someday”.  He has resigned himself to comply despite not fully understanding my reasons.

It’s the same with us.  We don’t always understand when God says, “not now” and our 3 year old hearts distort his words into “no” as we perceive our dreams crumbling into dust.

Dreams are precious things, fragile in the making.  Our dreams are things meant to be placed into the hands of God. He knows this and he’s not willing that we would gain the thing we want most at the risk of losing ourselves.  And so, he has a way of causing us to lay down the thing we want, the way Abraham laid down Issac, so that he can give it back to us at the moment of our maturity.

We all have that something lingering just out of reach.

Maybe you’ve been praying for Mr. Right (or dear God, please fix my Mr. Right).

Maybe your dream is that elusive career opportunity.

Maybe you’ve been patiently waiting for that restored relationship with your parents.

Maybe you’ve been quietly hoping for a child.

Or maybe your dream is simply driving the family mini-van.

The temptation is one of two things: 1. to either try to do everything to make it happen or 2. to do nothing.  If you’re a bold person, you more than likely gravitate towards the first, if you’re fearful you’ll tend to gravitate towards the second and if you’re like me, a cyclone of both – it might just depend on the day.

How do we trust God and act in faith when it comes to something like a dream?

When God told Abraham to go to the promise land, Abraham went. . . and kept going until God told him to stop.  When Joseph dreamed of greatness, he served faithfully . . . and God made him the second most powerful man in Egypt.  When Ruth secretly hoped for her Mr. Right, she continued to care for her mother-in-law . . . and Boaz came along.

Be faithful.

Ask God what your first step is and be faithful to do that thing until he either tells you something new or until that day when your dream becomes reality.  Too simple?  Perhaps, but I think I remember that he likes to use the simple things to confound the wise.

 

 

*I originally posted this when my oldest really was only 3 years old.  He still wants to drive just as bad now that he’s 7.

Pray for us.

–  -No seriously.

One day we’ll have to let our kids drive.*

 

 

Photo Credit: “Key” by Unsplash permissions through C.C. by 2.0