Friday, April 15, 2016

Be Strong! Take Heart! And Wait . . .


Psalm 27:13-14
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

My resolve before my husband, Danny, and I go on vacation to the mountains is to go as "dark" as I possibly can on all things social media.  While at the cabin, I de-clutter my email and pay only fleeting visits to Facebook.  But I find it difficult to ignore the blogs of those whom I delight in following on a daily basis.  I know my friends will understand.

But still . . .

As I gaze upon the vista spread before me, a sumptuous feast for the eyes and the soul, a lone and distant cell tower pulses its piercing white light with regularity.


It reminds me unrelentingly that the possibility, the temptation of instant communication with the outside world is at my fingertips.  I only have to connect with it to have assured contact with family and friends.

I admonish myself:  This is supposed to be the time intentionally set aside to reconnect with Danny.  With God.

Communication with my husband comes easy, a natural give-and-take, a loving, spontaneous flow.  Conversations and interactions take place in the here and now.  As instantaneous and accessible as the internet, but thankfully, face-to-face.





With God?  Now that's another story.  I spend lots of time in His Word and in prayer while we are at the cabin, but there are no immediate messages coming over the heavenly wires.  Peace?  Yes!  Answers?  Hmm . . .

And there are so many I need.  So many I want right now.

Being accustomed to the instant gratification of the internet, I'm in danger of morphing into a petulant, pouting child, stomping her foot indignantly.  Where are Your answers, Lord?  I know You are there.  I know You are listening.  Why won't You answer me?

Silence.

I step back.  I breathe.  Relax.

And I hear . . . Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Not the answer for which I seek.

But it's the only one that matters.

~

How do you react when you feel God is not answering your prayers?

Prayer:  Father, so often we grow impatient when our prayers are not answered in the time and place we feel they should.  Grant us the strength to wait upon Your timing, knowing it is always perfect.  Let us see Your goodness in the land of the living.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

21 comments:

  1. Sounds lovely... I pray you find that Stillness that makes God's voice so abundantly clear.

    Have a wonderful time!!

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    1. Amen, Phil, and thank you!
      Love and blessings!

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  3. When I was a small child I wanted to learn how to ride a bike sooooo bad! Countless hours of pedaling, falling off the bike, knees scratched up because to my unlearned practice. Then one day, I began to ride and mastered the craft, I might add.

    During the process of learning, I was very discouraged, not realizing that all the falls, my determination to get back up again and being consciously aware that...soon or later I would ride the bike, was apart of my training.

    It's just like that with prayers. We pray and pray thinking in our minds that no answers are coming but in our hearts we have hope that God will answer and give us His perfect will to our petitions.

    Suddenly one day, BANG...we understand! God always answers, it's what we are content with during the training period of learning to wait for our answer that often concerns us the most.

    Continue to have a wonderful time Martha. God bless!

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    1. Shira, you've given us a tremendous analogy here. You took me right back to that summer when I struggled and struggled to learn to ride a two-wheel - like you, I took my share of tumbles, but continued to get back up and try again.
      And it is like that with prayer, too. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God hears and answers prayers, and I reprimand myself for being so impatient sometimes. But I don't get discouraged, I just keep on praying!
      Oh, and we're back home now. :)
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I usually feel impatient, scared, frustrated when God doesn't answer my prayers - and sorely tempted to *intervene*! Waiting is never easy, and it requires trust. I'm working on it...

    Sometimes when my husband and I go camping, we are out of range of anything computer/cell phone related. I must admit, it takes a couple of days for me to release the incessant need to "connect" - and to relearn the joy of solitude.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Waiting does require trust, Sharon; you are right on with that statement! I'm learning, too, to be more patient and simply rest in God.
      And it is difficult to let go of all our tech stuff, even for only a day. But I found it was well worth it for the week we spent at the cabin. There is, indeed, joy in solitude.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Martha, Your post is meaningful as usual. It's so easy to get distracted, impatient when we have to wait these days, thanks to how quick communication is and how fast we can have a meal prepared (thanks to microwaves).

    The wait time for answers to prayer can be frustrating. Sadly, I don't always respond so well--pouting because I didn't get my way. Sometimes, I get discouraged and all but give up. Yet, I know that waiting does reap huge dividends in the end.

    Your getaway with Danny looks amazing!!

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Yes, Kim, I don't think any of us likes to wait and this day and age has taught us that everything should happen quickly. And yes, when we don't "hear" from God, it can be frustrating and discouraging, but as Shira illustrated above, we have to get back up, mount the bicycle, and try until we get the hang of it. Keep looking forward with faith and trust!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Oh my goodness, what a timely message this is for me. I find myself more and more dwelling in the space of quiet contemplation as I get older. In that in between space, in that pause that Life presents to us so often that we regularly overlook it, or label it something else entirely, there are answers. How we interpret the answers is the key, the pivot point. I have put a great deal of focus into not being a reactive person for most of my life, because I recognized from an early age that that kind of hot jump to judgment doesn't serve much good purpose. So, I tend to be more pensive, more quiet and open, and intentionally searching on a regular basis.

    I fall back on a personal reminder that I find brings me peace, and that is, "I chose this, coming into this life, this expression, this reality, with these other souls, and I know there is purpose in it all." Because I know I made that choice, and that same choice plays out each day, each moment, I also know the answers will be made evident.

    I love that you and Danny take this yearly trip to dedicate energy and love to one another and your relationship. It makes me smile, and I think the location you choose for this trip, the energies of the beautiful Smoky Mountains and all that nature around you, creates a stronger harmony.

    Blessings to you, sweet Martha! <3

    - Dawn

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    1. Thank you so much, Dawn, for sharing your deep and significant thoughts here. I, too, crave that "space of quiet contemplation" more and more. Fortunately, since I'm now retired, I enjoy lengthy moments doing just that.
      And though I can still be impatient, I do realize that God's answers will be evident in time and I let Him quiet my heart until all is revealed as He sees fit.
      We are blessed to be able to take these trips (twice a year!) and are already looking forward to our next visit in the fall.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. beautiful reminder of the importance of disconnecting from all our gadgets and just being with those we love - family and God. i find on my silent retreats it takes me awhile to let the noise drip from my fingers and the stillness to emerge. Such beautiful scenery you enjoyed too. Refreshing I am sure. Have a wonderful week, dear Martha!

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    1. Jean, I'm so gratified that you can identify with letting the "noise drip from my fingers and the stillness emerge." Unclasping our grasp to rejoice in open hands offered to us; what could be better? Believe it or not, Danny and I have already made reservations for next October, peak season in the mountains for the fall foliage. Anticipating the wonders God will show us then, but determined to rejoice in every moment in our "cabin" here at home.
      Love and blessings!

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  8. Hi Martha! Silence is so necessary, but then...what if that's all there is? Sometimes the Lord is very silent too. I try not to lose patience, and know that He will talk to me when He has something to say.

    As Jean said, sometimes it takes so long for me to shed the interior noise, and sticking with it through that can be hard for me. Who knows me better than my Maker? He'll find a way when I come to Him in silence and peace, both gifts from him.
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. I love the question you posed here, Ceil - "Silence is so necessary, but then . . . what if that's all there is?"
      As I read your thought and reflected, I came to the conclusion that God's silence far surpasses any noise the world could ever produce. Even when the answers we seek remain unanswered.
      And no one knows you better than God does, that's for sure and certain. Hang on to that hope, that promise, and the peace it gives to us all.
      Love and blessings!

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  9. Such a profound thought Martha it really made me contemplate on a lot of times when I felt I was praying hard to God and I felt He was just not listening to me only to realise later that perhaps at that moment that wasn't what my heart wanted with its entire being.

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    1. I think all of us have experienced those feelings in prayer, Privy, and often we don't hear the answer because it's either what we don't think it should be or we are not fully tuned into God. Either way, He always answers in His good time.
      Love and blessings!

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  10. Martha- a very thought provoking post! I have grown to know that He will answer in His time, the right time. The human nature in me wants instant gratification, and I think that is why it is so hard to stay away from the online buddies that are only a click away. It's a long distance from my head to my heart, and there are times when the desire for a response now is so great! And then sometimes, I'm not quiet enough to hear! One thing I need to pray for more is patience, as I sometimes feel like I am at the bottom of the list!

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    1. Yes, Kimberly, because of all things internet, we are immersed in a culture of immediacy. It's so distracting! And it's more important than ever in this fast-paced world to slow down and simply rest in the Father's presence.
      Love and blessings!

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