Waiting Required - Encouragement Café - April 26, 2016

Waiting Required by Judy Fussell

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.

1 Corinthians 3:6 NIV

Arnold Lobel, a beloved children’s author, successfully created the adorable characters of Frog and Toad.  He shares entertaining stories as these two do life together side by side as friends.

In one story, Toad admires Frog’s beautiful garden.  Frog gives him some flower seeds and advice that gardening can be hard work.  Toad promptly runs home to plant the seeds, and nicely asks them to grow.  When nothing happens, he goes out and shouts at them to grow.

Toad is discouraged after days and days of reading them stories, singing to them, reciting poetry, and playing beautiful music.  Finally, a weary exhausted Toad goes to sleep and is astonished upon waking to see tiny sprouts emerging.  He shares his joy with Frog, but is quick to exclaim that, Yes, indeed… gardening is hard work.

Sometimes, we can be like Toad as we wear ourselves to a frazzle trying to accomplish that which is God’s to do.  Instead, we are called at times to wait.  

Waiting is not giving up or folding our hands in defeat.  It is actually a verb meaning:  stay where one is; delay action; hold on; hold back; stand by; pause; sit tight.  Some other synonyms are:  persist, persevere in, hope, and expect.

God knows our difficulty in waiting and does not leave us helpless.  His Word provides insight and wisdom in that regard.

Scripture tells us to abide in Him, to be joyful always, pray continually, and to give thanks in all circumstances.  He is to be our focus and our hope is to be placed in Him, who can do immeasurably more than we can even imagine.  He will renew our strength.  He is the calm in the midst of life’s disappointments and troubles. 

As always, we have the choice to do it our way or to seek His way.  Our way is to be consumed with worry and anxiety or to manipulate circumstances or people.  This leads to conflict, unrest, and/or physical and mental exhaustion.

When we learn to patiently wait on the Lord, He is able to grow our courage, strength, and perseverance.  We are blessed by His compassion and hope grows.  Our spirits are renewed when we choose to abide in Him.  God’s way leads us to peace and rest with Him, as we trust Him to accomplish that which we cannot do.

Have you prayed for change in your circumstances or yearned with all your being for seeds of faith to sprout and grow in the lives of those you hold dear?  

Do not be discouraged or filled with despair.  Our God is so much bigger and works in ways we cannot see or comprehend.  Receive His peace as you eagerly wait!

Be encouraged in your season of waiting.  Meditate on the following Scriptures.  God will remind you of His power and His benefits in the difficult times when waiting is a requirement. 

Psalm 27:14; Psalm 40:1; Psalm 130:5; Isaiah 30:18; Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 119:8; Habakkuk 2:3

Oh Father, waiting is hard.  We can become discouraged and hopeless when our dreams are dashed and we cannot see Your hand or understand Your plan.  Show us that waiting is a discipline.  Your Word never leaves us hopeless.  Please renew our spirits daily as we put our trust in Your timing and seek to live Your way.  Help us in our unbelief!  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

© 2016 by Judy Fussell.  All rights reserved.

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Originally published Tuesday, 26 April 2016.