Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hope Restored

I had been nervously looking forward to it. The appointment was set. It was scheduled for sooner than later. Courage had brought me to this moment. Butterflies in my stomach. Hope in my heart. I waited, thankfully, not too long. I explained my history to the physician. He spoke. I listened. We conversed some more. I was direct with my question and he with his answer. Then, it felt like the hope I had was merely a poof of air with his answer. I had asked if this is what it is and always will be. I felt like my heart fell because I had such high hopes in what I desired and the resolution I had hoped.

I left the maze of the medical building just wanting to get to my vehicle. Focused on the long drive home, my mind was pondering on the negative, the doom, the gloom. Yet, my heart wanted to refuse the negative focus, the lost hope, and the less than favorable solution. I wanted to restore my hope by believing in God to provide a course of action and end result different than I was just told. As the information and papers lay on the seat next to me in my car, I declared to give the power back to God. I literally "laid hands" on the papers given to me. I prayed for God to use this course of action and the prescriptions provided. I felt empowered by the simple act of placing my hand on these papers while I prayed.

My mind then began to wander after that prayer. What about a new purse? You know, I could use one slightly bigger to hold my prayer log. What about a Bible cover? You know, one that would hold my Bible, notebook, and study guide. What about some shoes? You know, I've never found a good pair of brown ones yet. What about a new hair do? You know, that usually excites a woman. What about a new house? You know, I wish my house would sell and I could move.

I'm sure you can see what my mind was trying to do. I realized I was trying to fill a hole with something else. I wanted to sooth the disappointing words with something that would temporarily excite my heart. Of course, as expected that didn't work as I didn't even feel like making any of those purchases. Even those would not ease my heart's sorrow. I felt a cloud of disappointment and I didn't want to be under that cloud. Rather, I wanted to feel the ray of the Son shine. I felt in my heart, I needed to change the state of my mind and heart. I turned to His Word. No, I didn't crack open my big ol' bible while driving. I wanted to be proactive though and "do" something instead of wallowing in my disappointment and seemingly loss of hope. So, what does a person do? Turn to your dashboard. That is, if you have scripture placed on it. I hadn't memorized any new scripture strips* lately. So, I knew there was no better time. As I recited the verses over and over, I felt rejuvenated. In a time of disappointment and looking at the negative, I was restored with hope in this issue by God's Word. The residing theme of these got it...the rewarding but painfully difficult task of waiting.

Here are those scriptures. I hope one or more of them will speak a special word to your heart and life.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14a

Be still before the Lord; wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10a

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. Psalm 28:7a

You will seek Me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3

The Lord is good to those who wait on Him, to the soul who seeks Him. Lamentations 3:25

Now don't think I'm superwoman with a photogenic memory. I didn't memorize all eight verses in a half hour. Only the first two were new memory verses. The others were review. However, the combination of them all gave me such a combination for a great message from God.

We see how waiting for God is not only good for us, but He asks it of us and rewards it. We also see that in our times of not only waiting but also times of trouble, He is there to help us. He either gives us strength to endure the waiting or help in our trouble. Waiting has so much to do with being still and seeking God.

I don't know what you may enduring but I can also guess that there is a need for waiting, a need for being still, a need for seeking Him. It seems much of our Christian walk involves waiting for something, many somethings at different seasons in our lives. If you are tempted with not waiting or not seeking Him, may you gleam strength from one or all of the verses above. He is our strength. Lean on Him as He so desires us to do. I know for myself in several areas of my life I cling to Lamentations 3:25. I have to believe as I'm faithful to wait on Him for answers and resolutions to several issues, that He will be faithful and good to me as I wait and He'll provide a result out of this world. Remember, Ephesians 3:20 tells us that He is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever imagine or ask...but it also goes on to say...according to His power that is at work within us.

Allow His power within you to work in whatever your life presents to you. Let Him be your strength and He will fulfill you.

Hoping in Him,

*Scripture strips are my creation of strips of paper about one inch tall and five inches wide with about three or four verses typed in small font. The strip is small enough to not inhibit my view of the odometer, speedometer, etc. on my dashboard.


Abbasgirl said...

Persevering and waiting in hope are such a big part of who we are in Christ, though polar opposite to the thinking of the world.

I pray the Lord increases your hope and faith and I pray you are filled with His peace.

Laura said...

It is amazing how His Word can restore hope. I've felt it too! I'm praying for you, Paula.

Shanita Waters said...

Praise God, Sister. Thank you for this post. I will be praying for and that you will continue to rest in and rely on the promises of God.
This was such a timely message.Remember, with His stripes we are already healed in Jesus' name.


Tonja said...

What a timely message for my heart. I have been waiting and praying for help from God for Alex for so long. I know He hears, and I know His desire is to see Alex whole and healthy. But, not yet. He DOES give you strength to wait. AAnd there must always be that HOPE! Our hope is in Him and Him alone.

Beautiful words and message today. Thanks!

And, whatever your disappointing news and situation, I pray the waiting will be a time of growth and learning more of Him. I pray that your healing will His time.

much2ponder said...

This post is a good reminder. We all go through similar times when we need to wait for change, and trust the one we cannot see to handle the details. This is no easy task, especially when time seems to drag on, but I feel your pain and I am with you, just coming out of a long waiting period. Be encouraged, he is with you and things will change, one way or another.

Amy said...

I am going to write these down on pieces of paper for myself too. You know that I am waiting on God's promises in several areas of my life, and it is so comforting to be reminded of His faithful words to us, especially during times of discouragement.

Thank you for sharing this post with us. I am praying for you, Paula.

Much love,

Anonymous said...

We are encouraged to keep on walking but sometimes we need to rest too.

Dianne said...

I'm sorry that you are going through whatever it is that is hard right now, but I am glad that you found some sweet comfort in the word of God.

I also recommend John 14:16, 26 & 27.

Love and blessings friend.

Sharon said...

Paula, As you know I am waiting on God for direction, so this is wright on time. But I am worried for my friend, I wish i knew exactly what I need to pray for!
You know I am here and I love to listen. If you need to talk, we can email or I can give you my number. You know you mean alot to me, know that I love you my friend!
You just let me know what I can do ok. Meanwhile please know that I am praying & thinking about you.
God Bless you my friend

Connie said...

Prayed for you and rejoicing that you gave this to God and relied on his Word for your hope and you felt better. Blessings to you...Connie

Wendy said...

My dear friend,

I love this post. I am so guilty, like so many, of filling voids in my life with things (I just colored my hair and bought a new shirt two weeks ago -- I didn't "need" to do either!!). What a wonderful moment God designed for you to look to Him (even if it was only to your dashboard) and your scripture strips. I love it!!

I will hold you in prayer. Please let me know how we can support you in your time of waiting and endurance. You are never alone.

Thank you for your continued prayers and blessings as we prepare for the new Beth Moore study on Tuesday. I can't tell you what God is doing, but girl I can hardly sit still for excitment. I guess, the fact that I am blogging again, kind of conveys that.

Much love,

Melanie said...

What a beautiful post! Waiting is ALWAYS so hard (at least for me), but it what God wants and what we need to do. For it is always right when it is in God's time... not our own.

I'll be praying for you...

Anonymous said...

waiting....that requires patience and perserverence...not my finer qualities. I love how you gave the power back to God!! And turned to his word. You encourage me everytime I visit your blog. Praying for you as you wait.


**I have an award for you at my blog if you have the time--I found it to be very therapuetic :)

Laura said...

Hi, friend...
Thanks for being sweet on my blog today. I'm not a confrontational person and that one was hard. But hypocritical is one thing that I hope I never am either!
I couldn't agree with you more about coming close to end times. I guess that's another reason that all this banter has bothered me. Whatever happens, it will be to fulfill His purposes, right?
Nothing we can do or say, no vote we cast, no cause we support-nothing-will stop His will from being fulfilled.
Wish we could sit down with a cup of coffee to gab!
Love to you...

Carol said...

Paula sweetie. I so realte to your post, I know when you want the outcome different, and when we have to wait on God. Praying for your daily my friend.

I'm off to the doctors myself in a minute. Talk with you later.

Sending you super big hugs, and lots of prayer.


Tracy said...

What an awesome post, and one I've read in God's perfect timing. Thank you for this powerful encouragement my friend. Know that you remain in my continuing prayers. Thank you for sharing these heartfelt thoughts.


P.S. I love your scripture memorization method. Think I might have to try that.