Straight from a Pending Heart
March 18, 2021 by Lisa Elliott
It’s hard to imagine that the world has been frantically trying to keep up with a pandemic for a complete year. In the meantime (where we all live), lives, jobs, family gatherings, and life as we knew it has been put on hold.
The waiting period can be a dangerous place. In the waiting, we can lose momentum, confidence, courage, and hope. But could it be there are some things the Lord wants to teach us while we’re in the “in-be-tween”? Could it be that these pending days are helping us to de-pend upon Him?
Here are some things I’m learning to be as I patiently (and sometimes impatiently) hang in the balance:
- Be wise. The last thing we want to do when we’re waiting, is jump ahead of the Lord and make hasty decisions that might not be His idea. Throughout Scripture, we see the benefits of doing things God’s way and consequences when we don’t. One example is when David chose to go about God’s business his own way. In his excitement, of transporting the Ark of the Covenant he put the cart before the horse (er… oxen) and it upset the whole apple cart (2 Sam. 6:1-7). From that time on, he sought to be wise and do things God’s way, according to His well-thought-out plan. Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near (Is. 55:6).
- Be prayerful. It’s always a good idea to keep the lines of communication open when we’re waiting upon the Lord. The power of prayer, His Word, and the input of other believers cannot be underestimated. Pray for His leading. Pray for His direction. Pray for His will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:9-10).
- Be watchful. God is always at work around us. And it’s important to keep our hearts, eyes, and minds wide open to see His activity. Signs of His guidance can be seen as we watch circumstances unfold. For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Phil. 2:13).
- Be assured. God is always in control—even when it seems the world is spinning out of control. But be assured. We can rest in His sovereignty. And trust that He’s working all things together for our good according to His plan and purpose for our lives (Rom. 8:28-29).
- Be reflective. As we wait upon the Lord, it’s a good time to reflect on His faithfulness. As we look back upon our lives and see how pieces of the puzzle have come together, our hearts can be encouraged and our minds put at ease. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lam. 3:21-23).
- Be listening. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, God is always speaking. We’re just not always listening. He speaks through all kinds of means: His Word, His people, His creation, and circumstances. Elijah heard the still small voice of the Lord amid wind, earthquake, and fire (1 Kgs. 18:11-13). Sometimes we hear God speaking loud and clear. Other times He whispers. Either way listen carefully. And wait for His instruction.
- Be alert. Often in the waiting we become lazy or complacent. But there’s a danger in that. Danger is always lurking, whether we realize it or not. Therefore, we must always be mindful, attentive, and on the alert. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man (Lk 21:36).
- Be trusting. The last thing we want to do is take things into our own hands and “pull a Hagar” like Abram and Sarai (Gen. 12). We certainly don’t want to play God. Although the waiting can be painful and long, stick with the program. His ways are always right and His timing is always perfect. As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him (Ps. 18:30).
- Be ready. God’s Holy Spirit doesn’t simply comfort and lead us, He prepares us and prompts us as we readily seek His guidance. Seek the Lord, wait patiently for Him, and, as He prompts, respond in an obedient fashion. Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go” (Is. 48:17).
- Be hopeful. Our future rests in God’s hands. He always has our best interests at heart. And has already gone before you to prepare the way. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Rom. 15:13).
Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD (Ps. 27:14).