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  • Living in the Valley of Wait

    Leah DiPascal SEPTEMBER 25, 2015

    Living in the Valley of Wait LEAH DIPASCAL

    "Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you." Psalm 33:20-22 (ESV)

    We were already late.

    I could feel tension building in the back of my neck as I stared at the long road ahead and wondered, Will we make it in time?

    My son’s basketball game was starting in 30 minutes, and we were still 20 minutes away from the gym.

    The team was counting on Carson to show up and play. Carson was counting on me to get him there on time.

    Then it happened. Up ahead I could see the stream of cars slowing down. Within seconds we were forced to a snail’s pace and then a complete stop.

    Noooo! Not now. Not today!

    With a heavy, nervous sigh I glanced at my watch, hoping the time would miraculously come to a standstill like my car. But it didn’t and as the clock ticked, I began to panic.

    Minutes seemed like hours as we waited … and waited … and waited. There must be an accident up ahead. Maybe a car broke down. Surely it’s something major to cause all this traffic on a Saturday morning!

    Finally, the traffic started moving again. I kept looking ahead waiting to discover the reason for all the road congestion. But nothing materialized, and my panic turned to frustration.

    I wanted to see a tangible reason — something to blame — for all that waiting, waiting, waiting. It’s ironic how my life can be that way sometimes.

    I’ll be moving along, making progress in my journey, when all of a sudden things come to a standstill. But instead of slowly maneuvering my way through temporary traffic, I find myself parked in the proverbial Valley of Wait.

    Not seeing a tangible reason or knowing how long I’ll be there can be frustrating.

    Selfishly, I want immediate answers, and I’m quick to ask, "Why Lord? I don’t understand."

    It’s in those situations and difficult seasons of life that I need to remember the truth of today’s key verse: "Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you" (Psalm 33:20-22).

    As my soul waits in the valley, I am not alone. God is there. Helping me. Shielding me. Protecting me.

    As my soul waits in the valley, I can experience His gladness instead of my own frustration. Simply hearing the whispers of His holy Name fills my heart with joy.

    As my soul waits in the valley, I can trust in God’s goodness by remembering His faithfulness in seasons past.

    As my soul waits in the valley, I have hope despite all that’s around me, because God’s unfailing love rests upon me.

    It’s taken me a long time to learn this valuable lesson: I would rather live in the Valley of Wait with Jesus than journey through life on my own.

    For my soul can only find true rest in His presence. Where He is … that’s where I want to be.

    I may never discover all the reasons why I needed to tarry there, but with God by my side, I’ll know it was meant to be.

    Heavenly Father, I love You and I’m so grateful You love me, too. I never want to be apart from Your presence. I want to experience every moment of my life with You, even if that means living in the Valley of Wait. You are everything to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY: Lamentations 3:25, "The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him." (ESV)

    Isaiah 30:18, "Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him." (ESV)

    RELATED RESOURCES: What if the next big step God asks you to take is actually small? No matter what God has called you to, you can take the next step through Lysa TerKeurst’s What Happens When Women Walk in Faith.

    Connect with Leah DiPascal on her blog today and sign up for her special giveaway!

    REFLECT AND RESPOND: Are you living in the Valley of Wait today? Friend, trust that your time there is not wasted. What is God teaching you? How is it changing your relationship with Him? Who do you want to become during this season of wait?

    © 2015 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • There Is Purpose in The Wait

    Wendy

    "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14 (NLT)

     

    Efficiency is my middle name. I like to get things done and get them done fast. Waiting for my computer to re-load a web page, or my kids to find their shoes, or even for God to come through on a prayer request isn't something I always do with patience.

    In our hurry up, need it, gotta-have-it-now culture, it's easy to think we shouldn't have to wait. Think about it: within seconds we can know the weather in southern Mongolia, order a cute blouse from a trendy store, or move dinner from the freezer to the table in five minutes thanks to microwaves. We can instant message our mom or send a tweet to thousands in the blink of an eye. No wonder waiting is hard!

    King David, the author of Psalm 27:14 was no stranger to waiting and knew full well of its difficulties. So when David wrote, "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD," it was with experience honed through years of waiting to fulfill God's destiny for him. That destiny started in the humble home of his father Jesse, and in the pasture herding sheep.

    It started when the prophet Samuel showed up at Jesse's home to anoint the next king of Israel who was to be chosen from his family. Only one of Jesse's sons would be anointed. That son was David.

    Scripture tells us the Spirit of God rushed over David and was with him the remainder of his days (1 Samuel 16:13 ESV). With such an anointing one would expect David to run to take his seat on the throne. But the only running David did was back to the pasture and his sheep.

    Thus his wait began.

    In the wait, God prepared David to be king. However, the only vocation David had known was shepherding. He did not know the ins and outs of kingly protocol or the rules of royal deity. David did not have the support of the people or armies to defend him as king. He was only a lowly shepherd boy. Instead of taking the position he was promised, David waited for God to move him from the pasture to the palace.

    In the wait, God readied David by teaching many lessons about waiting. By examining and applying these truths we can find hope in the difficulty of waiting, and see how waiting now can be beneficial to our future.

    Even though we are anointed and appointed we may still have to wait. David waited 15 years to be king of Judah and even longer to be king of all Israel.

    If we allow it, our waiting will bring us to an intimate knowledge of God that we would not otherwise have. Most of David's beautiful and poetic psalms were written while in caves, caverns, and the wilderness, waiting on God.

    God does not ignore the cries of His children. David cried and begged God for help, intervention, and defense. God never let David down.

    Our waiting has a purpose for someone other that ourselves. It's not all about us. Just think of how rich our lives are today because of the wait David endured. We have the comfort, compassion, hope, and healing of the Psalms.

    What awesome instructions David's life gives for waiting! Waiting is less difficult and the future is brighter when we let God do His work in our waiting season. When we let our guard and defenses down, we're open to seeing how faithful He is to bring His plans for our lives to fullness.

    Dear Lord, help me wait well. I want be patient as You bring Your plan in my life to its fullness. I can't do this without You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond: Read more about David's life starting in 1 Samuel 16.

    What is your first response to waiting?

    Do you grow closer to or further from God when waiting? Why?

    What has God taught you in today's devotion about waiting?

    Power Verse: Psalm 27:4, "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple" (NIV 1984)

    Isaiah 40:31, "... but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (NIV 1984)

    Lamentations 3:24, "I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'" (NIV)

    © 2013 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Tired of Waiting

    Tracie

    "Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them." Genesis 25:26b (NIV)

    Do you ever get tired of waiting on God to answer your prayers? I do.

    I get tired of saying the same old prayer day after day, month after month, year after year. Tired of telling God about the same old problems still going on. Tired of hearing myself pray about the same old issues, leading me to wonder if God is as tired of hearing my prayer requests as I am of praying them.

    Recently I bowed my head and admitted to God that I was simply tired of praying and waiting.

    In a heavy state of emotional exhaustion, I turned to my Bible. I hoped a few verses would jump straight into my heart and give me patience. That day I read about when Isaac's wife Rebekah gave birth to twin sons. One sentence in particular caught my eye and God used it to speak hope into my soul.

    Genesis 25:26 tells us that Isaac was sixty years old when his twins were born; a simple Bible fact, yet profoundly meaningful to me on that specific day.

    You see, Isaac had waited patiently for the Lord to provide the perfect wife. He was forty years old when he married Rebekah. That means Isaac waited twenty years for Rebekah to bear children!

    He was a man of great patience who waited on God. And eventually his patient faith was rewarded.

    In Genesis 25:21a we see that "Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children." (NLT) He earnestly and strongly prayed about their desires to have kids. He did not half-heartedly ask God for a son, he pleaded! He begged. He poured his heart out.

    He trusted that God would provide and continued to pray the same desperate prayer for a son, day after day, month after month, year after year.

    Isaac never gave up hope that his Lord could make the impossible, possible. And after twenty years, God gave him a son.

    Are you tired of the wait? Tired of pleading with God just like Isaac? It may take twenty years for God to answer, or it may only take twenty minutes. But today, let's find comfort in remembering Isaac's patient faith and take hope in believing that God is not tired of hearing our prayers.

    Dear Lord, please help me have patience and faith while I wait to hear from You. Help me live in excited anticipation for the day when I will see how You answer my prayers. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Related Resources: Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace In Your Chaotic World by Tracie Miles

    Reflect and Respond: Consider prayers that have not been answered, but which you have not prayed about lately. Ask God to give you a renewed hope about those desires and faithfully wait on His timing.

    Have you stopped praying about something because you've grown tired of waiting on God?

    Power Verses: Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." (NIV)

    Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (KJV)

    © 2012 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries 616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org

  • Called to Wait

    “So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon David… “David came to Saul and entered his service. Saul liked him very much, and David became one of his armor-bearers.” 1 Samuel 16:13, 21

     

    The calling of God includes seasons of waiting in faithful service. David was anointed and experienced the power of God, but it was over twenty years before he became King. Public responsibilities require private experience and success. The Lord’s calling starts with a thorny crown of commitment and grows into a shiny crown of respect. The flesh wants to influence the masses prematurely, but the Spirit is patient to pay the price of wise waiting, before proceeding.

    We have the opportunity to be faithful where the Lord has us. His power is prevalent through our humble prayers and our quiet acts of random kindness. Jesus doesn’t discount small deeds done in His name. Thus, whatever we do, we do all for the glory of God. We visit the elderly, we care for the dying, we rescue the unrighteous, we carry one another’s burdens and we shepherd the flock of God—all for Him. We win while we wait, because Christ is positioning us for influence.

    “David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Samuel 17:45

    Do you face a giant obstacle that threatens to derail you from God’s best? Have you forgotten why the Lord has taken you through this trial? His call for you to wait is an opportunity to understand where to go next. In this parenthesis of time, He has prepared or repaired your integrity, so you can engage intense encounters with the enemy, without compromise. Jesus works out His will while you wait. He grows you to grow bold in your belief in Him.

    Furthermore, heed His call to wait, so you can create a sustainable schedule of activity. Jesus has not called you to be everyone’s friend. Everyone’s friend is nobody’s friend. Relationships that are an inch deep and a mile wide die a shallow and slow death. But when you go deep with a few, you grow loyal and lifetime friendships. Create significant space in your calendar, so you can respond to Christ’s call. Budget your time, as you budget your money. God’s call to wait is your opportunity to become humble and wiser. Work faithfully while you wait and watch Him work!

    “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow me in humility and wisdom as I wait on Your next step.

    Related Readings: Psalm 130:5-6; Proverbs 20:22; Isaiah 26:8; Lamentations 3:24-26; Jude 1:21 

    Post/Tweet: God works out His will while we wait. #wait

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…to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
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