Thursday, April 30, 2015
Saying Yes to the Wait
Last week, I read this post (We Said "Yes" Too) about how we praise families for "saying yes" to all the children God will give them -but in reality, many men and women say yes to God and those babies don't come - or don't come quickly. The author pointed out how her home may not be "19 kids and counting" but she and her husband did say yes and continue to say yes to a home full of as many kids as He calls them to have. (Thanks Tiffany for sharing this article!)
The article hit home, not because I can even begin to empathize with this strong woman's many hard years of infertility struggles, but because the message of saying yes and then facing a period of waiting seems too often to be a theme in my own life.
We praise someone's courage when he or she boldly says yes to God's calling and nudges, but that praise often comes when these yeses are followed by quick action from God. We often see God's action as a clear indication of someone's willingness and obedience. (Joe said yes to God's calling and his ministry has now led thousands to the Lord. Mary and John said yes to as many kids the Lord would give them and their home is filled with tiny footsteps constantly running around. Anne said yes to purity, to dating with intention and seeking godly marriage, and a godly man snatched her up quickly!)
But, sometimes we feel called by the Lord, say yes and then actively wait and work and hope for response and movement that may takes years to come. And, those yeses aren't always celebrated, but they are just as valid.
In my own life, I have had times where I obeyed, where I willingly said yes -- and then, I waited. The answer may not have come quickly - but my willingness to say yes was no less valid.
Maybe you are saying yes too -- to callings, relationships, careers - and yet you face a time of waiting. You said yes to a house full of babies but your home and womb are still empty. You said yes to a godly marriage, to years of purity to honor both God and your future spouse, but your ring finger remains bare. You said yes to moving for a spouse's job, trusting God would open doors in response to your obedience, but yet you still look for a job. You said yes to ministry, sacrificing of yourself and maybe even moving to foreign countries - and yet the ministry does not grow and hearts remain unchanged. You said yes to raising godly children to fear the Lord,to praying for them daily and teaching them God's words, yet your kids rebel.
Sometimes we say yes to God -- and nothing happens, at least nothing that we can see with our limited viewpoint. Sometimes we say yes to the wait. And, honestly, I think that is the braver yes....the one that is questioned by others (did God really call you to this city, this ministry, this life?) and sometimes even questioned by ourselves (is this really what He wanted?)
A yes to waiting, trusting and seeking joy amidst uncertainty. A yes to future fulfilling of current longings and calling. A yes to obeying even without seeing. A yes to vulnerability and hope and disappointment. A yes to change, growth and repentance. A yes to brokenness, struggle, surrender and pain during the wait. A yes to reminding yourself of God's goodness even when you do not feel it.
These are the harder yeses, the ones that must be said daily, the ones first entered into eagerly and boldly with such fervent hope and willingness -- and later quietly whispered under our breath, eyes full of tears, in submissive obedience as we fight to continue saying yes to things we yet see.
Keep saying yes to God's leading -- even if saying yes leads you first into the wilderness. The real boldness comes not just in saying yes, but in living in the times of waiting and uncertainty that may follow.
And while we are saying yes to the unanswered longings and callings placed on our hearts, God is saying yes to us -- to loving, providing and sustaining us; to hearing our broken prayers through sobs; to restoring hope and nurturing growth; to not wasting our times of waiting; and to giving us strength to continue saying yes to His will and His plans.