Here I am waiting on God in the desert. Well, Abilene-close enough! Well, exactly 2 weeks ago, I moved to the city of Abilene, TX. Although many of my closest friends remained in Kansas City, I felt called for a season to come live with my grandparents getting to know them and helping in the ways that a 20-something helps those that are in their 60’s and 70’s. My time here has been up and down since I arrived. As I acclimate back to the world outside of IHOP-KC and outside of being a full time missionary and student, I’ve begun doing what I’m supposed to do: Look for a job, make new friends, etc.
These two aspects specifically have been challenging in unique ways. It’s difficult for me not to become obsessive when applying for jobs. I find myself striving in my own strength rather than trusting in God. Also, I notice most times when the word “wait” is mentioned in the amplified Bible, it is stated “wait expectantly”. Let me tell ya, this is a lot more difficult than just waiting. The salvation of the Lord: the perfect job, the holy-fire-consumed friend, even the husband could be right around the corner. Breakthrough by our suddenly God could be ANY MOMENT! Great! Except then the whole ‘are we there yet?’ mentality sets in. I, unfortunately, am the queen of impatience (I pray often for help in this area.) When I don’t see any tangible breakthrough, it leads to another issue: TRUST
So, here I am waiting on God. Back to this again. Faith is all about trust. God never withholds but goodness He takes forever sometimes, it seems. Here we are waiting on God and it seems He is always waiting until the last minute. He stretches us and gives us what we prayed for- what we said we wanted. “Oh God, I want to trust you! Rely on You completely as my only source. God, I want to know you as my husband, my provider, and my refuge.” So He responds to our prayers by waiting so that we can learn to trust Him despite the circumstances (check out Isaiah 30:18… yeah….). So, now here I am growing in trust, streeeeetching. But this time I’m alone. No job. No friends. Hmm… Any wonder, I cave in moments and cry out to God, “What am I doing here?!”
That’s a very long intro to get to what I wanted to write about. Waiting on God in the Desert. 1 Kings 19:9. (Here’s a great 1 Kings 19 commentary.) In this story, God has prepared Elijah for a long journey, giving him sustenance, touches of His holy presence, and grace. Then as he sits in a cave, God asks him the question that I asked myself, “Elijah, what are you doing here?”
His response is the same as mine, “I have been very jealous for the Lord.” That’s it. I must have more of You. You have consumed me. If you told me to go sell tangerines by the ocean with the promise of more of You, I would do it… in a second. I am jealous to grow in love and knowledge of the Lord. So, I walk in His narrow paths.
Now, let me just say, this season has definitely had some fruit. I have felt what the psalmist called the “overflowing of the heart with a good theme.” I have felt such joy since I’ve been here. Grace has filled me. I find myself doing servant-like things with such a strong desire to do those things- whether it is visiting my Gran or loading a dishwasher. True joy fills me and its like I feel grace flowing through my veins where blood should be. I’m also getting to experience my grandparents which I never had the chance to before. It’s been enlightening -seeing their marriage dynamics day after day and listening to their wisdom, learning tidbits that I never knew about their histories. It’s really been a beautiful experience.
My time with God has been incredible too. I find myself running to his presence for hours each day, exhilarated and filled but yet hungrier than when I started. Waiting on God in the desert, I have felt His nearness and heard His voice. And really, when it comes down to it… that’s what this life is all about.
I have a feeling I’ll be waiting on God until my last day.