Waiting

Anticipation

It’s in the white space between the verses.  If it were captured on video, a la NFL Films, they’d replay it in slow motion with a tense musical score leading up to the climactic moment.  It often takes place in a matter of seconds and is hardly ever discussed. But we’ve all read about it. And chances are, we’ve lived it on some level.

The “it” that I’m referring to is that split-second gap between motion and miracle. When the world for just a second goes quiet and you’re breathless with anticipation.

It’s that Breathless Pause, where you’re waiting, anticipating something amazing. [click to continue…]

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Wait in the Quiet – a Prayer for You

by Andy Wood on March 1, 2016

in LV Cycle, Prayers, Waiting

As you move all too quickly (and ever so carefully) through a boiling, brawling, bitter world, I lift you up today to the God of all peace and quiet, praying for you to find in Him a light in your midnight darkness.

Weary from the relentless call to more – more work, more solutions, more impossible demands – I pray that in Him even as your body sleeps, your heart would remain awake to a renewing that can only come to stilled souls. [click to continue…]

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Child sitting on a pier and drinking tea on a cold evening

Believe it or not, the time will come…

the realization will dawn…

your heart will rest

Because for the first time in a long time,

perhaps the first time ever,

you will know that your waiting is done.

But there you will discover another kind of waiting –

one of attending…

loving focus…

adoring and serving.

And then more than ever, it will be worth the wait. [click to continue…]

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elisabeth-elliot-missionary

Elisabeth Elliot is one of the most impactful writers I have read. She was always on my bucket list of people I hoped to meet one day.  We’ll now have to plan for that in glory, as she went into the presence of Jesus two days ago.  I thought I would share with you something from her book Loneliness about the subject of waiting.  The writing is hers; the editing is mine.  Thank you, Elisabeth, for being one of my lifevestors…

Many times in my life God has asked me to wait when I wanted to move forward.

He has kept me in the dark when I asked for light.

To my pleas for guidance His answer has often been, “Sit still, My daughter.”  [click to continue…]

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Sorrow

Rejection is one of the most brutal experiences you and I can face.  To say it hurts like hell may not be far from the literal truth.

Psychologists have learned some things about rejection…

Research tells us that rejection travels the same neural pathways in the brain that physical pain does.  In other words, otherwise-unexplained physical pain may have been triggered by the experience or memory of rejection.

Rejection isolates us from people who didn’t reject us, unless we take steps to reconnect.

Rejection causes surges of anger and aggression (gangs, anyone?).

Finally, rejection makes us temporarily stupid.  It literally lowers your IQ and makes you unresponsive to reason for a time. (Translation:  Don’t make vows or major decisions – especially with the word “never” in it – after being rejected.)

In the biblical story of Joseph, you can find the roots of rejection, as I explored in the previous post.   Joseph lived a very uncertain childhood, marked by the death of his mother and the preferential doting of his dad.  He was a dreamer and, to his brothers, something of a goody-two-shoes. All of this set him up to be the objected of their jealousy and hatred.

What no one knew at the time, however, was that rejection can serve as a trap door, straight into the arms (and plans) of God.  And that’s where Joseph learned the truth about rejection. [click to continue…]

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old deflated soccer ball isolated on white

Somewhere near you there’s a frustrated pastor whose tried-and-true methods for leadership or church growth he has spent much of a lifetime developing aren’t working anymore.  He’s too passionate to quit, but too tired to start over.

Somewhere down the road is an organization that once was the hallmark of success because of its ways of doing ministry or business.  The strategy it perfected was brilliant and worked when others failed.  Until it quit working as effectively.

Somewhere nearby a young man is giving up on everything he knew of the Faith as a boy.  Why? Because his boyhood faith doesn’t give him answers to his adult realities and temptations.  The problem is, he doesn’t yet have a man-sized faith to take its place.

In all three of these scenarios, as described in the previous post, somebody’s system was breaking down… And God has them right where He wants them. [click to continue…]

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Sun Rays Behind the Clouds.Bright Sky 

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day (2 Peter 3:8, NAS).

A Thousand Summers and a thousand more,
Your bride has waited and anticipated
That “blessed hope” You spoke in the language of forever.
Knowing we were born and born again for this,
We will hold on to Your promise and, if need be
Wait a Thousand Summers more.

So we wait, but never barren of Your presence,
And we hope, but never void of Your great care.
So we serve, with boldness standing on the promise
That a Thousand Summers never can compare. [click to continue…]

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Impossible dream

The original premise of LifeVesting is, what would happen if we applied principles of financial investing to all the areas of our lives?  Some of the things we have explored in the process are:

  • There are four – and only four – things you can spend your time and money on.
  • It is possible, like the Bible’s “Proverbs 31 woman,” to position yourself so that you laugh at the future rather than worry about it.
  • God has an economy and you can be rich in it.

Nearly ten years after my son proposed the idea, it still intrigues me.  Lately I’ve been thinking about some wisdom I got from my friend Kirk the Builder.  Kirk works for a major contractor who has built multi-million-dollar facilities all over the country.  One day we were having lunch and talking about the biz, and Kirk shared some profound wisdom.

In construction, he said, people can pick any two of three options:  good, fast, and cheap.  We want all three, but we can’t have all three.

We can have good and fast, but it won’t be cheap.

We can have good and cheap, but it won’t be fast.

We can have fast and cheap, but it won’t be good.

What intrigues me about that is that the principle isn’t limited to bricks-and-sticks construction.  [click to continue…]

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SAMSUNG

There’s no arguing that you’re busy.  No question that whatever you do or don’t get done today, plenty will be waiting for you tomorrow.  Yet somehow you can’t help but feel a little like Rip Van Winkle.  At least a part of your life has been asleep at the wheel, and you’re wondering how you got left behind.

Maybe it was your finances.  Maybe your relationships.  Maybe it was your professional life, or your grasp on what’s cool in the culture.  Regardless, you can’t help but feel alone, isolated from the pulse and vibrant sensations of a life of awareness and relevance.

You’re busy, but suddenly awakened to the fact that you’re living in obscurity.

 +++++++

You have the restless sense that something is broken, and you’re called to fix it.  Something’s missing in the church and/or the world.  The church and its message seem choked of life and the world and its values are increasingly hostile.  And there you stand, somewhere in the middle.  You have a sense of calling; a fire of truth burns in your belly and you’ll die if you don’t get it out there.

And yet, despite the confidence you have in your place in God’s plans, nobody’s giving you a chance to actually live it.  Nobody’s interested in what you have to say; nobody’s taking what you’re offering.  You’re reaching out in love to anybody who will listen, and they’re responding like birds to a scarecrow.

So there you stand, heart and arms outstretched in desperate obscurity.

+++++++ [click to continue…]

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Long Road

Dani has her days and nights mixed up.  She’s driven to finish her degree and excited about the possibilities of life after school, but her brain and body are also fatigued.  She feels like sleeping when she’s awake, but can’t quite shut it all off mentally when she’s supposed to be sleeping.  Dani has a weary soul.  And her weary soul is receiving the call to Wait in the Stillness.

Allen is on the verge of something great.  His ministry organization has experienced a funding breakthrough, which has made it possible to launch an entire new division overseas.  He’s doing Kingdom work, and for months he has lived at the glorious intersection of waiting and working – where anticipating collides with diligence.  So why does this mid-40s man, who is otherwise in such good health, find it so easy to well up with tears for no apparent reason?  Allen has a weary soul.  And his weary soul is receiving the call to Wait in the Stillness.

Teresa is grateful for the progress.  Day in and day out, working with little Pauley, she has seen such growth in her little son with special needs.  Compared to this time last year, both of their worlds have dramatically changed for the better.  But driving home from the latest meeting with Pauley’s case worker, Teresa catches a heart-glimpse of how far – how very far – her boy and she have to go.  And something inside her screams, “Give it up!  You’ll never get there.”  Teresa has a weary soul.  And her weary soul is receiving the call to Wait in the Stillness.

To live in a broken world, teeming with peril and possibilities, is to shoulder a load that defies your own strength.  You may look at somebody else’s yoke and feel sorry for them, or feel sorry for yourself.  Either way, your own life challenges are enough.  And at some point, assuming you care at all, you will find yourself pushing against your own weariness of soul. [click to continue…]

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