Thursday, January 01, 2015

A Year of WAITING and BELIEVING in review

I knew upfront that choosing a year's word of "WAIT and BELIEVE" that it was very likely that I would come to the end of the year still "waiting and believing" and have not much to show.  And that, pretty much, sums up the year, with a few bright spots of accomplishing something.

We began the year waiting for a ministry opportunity to come to fruition.  In January we met with a group of mostly-like-minded people who wanted a house group in their geographic area.  By February we were leading it, and it has been a highlight in a year of waiting. We meet to study, find application in the Sunday sermons, eat and fellowship, and pray.  And I have made friends that I probably would not have even met otherwise. So it was good waiting and trusting.

I began the year longing for a more intimate ladies Bible Study.  I still wait for that. But in the interim, Tree and I have been attending a Mum and Toddler group that does Bible Study one week of the month and that has been a tremendous blessing.  Being with other Mums of Toddlers reminds me that the challenges of this age are normal.  I still long to lead a more in depth group. I miss my Ladies study to this day, four years after having moved away.  But God in his wisdom is still saying, "WAIT" so I will continue to wait and believe that someday I will have that again.

There has been other waiting. There was the waiting for our landlord to decide if he did indeed want the house we were renting back for a family member. Then there was the waiting to find an appropriate house that would still allow us to lead house group. There was waiting to move, to settle, to find our balance in a new village.  There was the waiting for a new rhythm as German changed accounts and travel schedules yet again.

I continue to wait and believe that the words that I have bouncing in my head will mean something to someone someday.  Children's needs seem to crowd it out. But I still hear God whisper "Wait...and believe." Last Christmas the sermon that inspired me reminded us that Simeon may have waited for DECADES to see the Messiah, yet he waited and believed. I knew that I would wait longer than a year for some of the desires whispered in my heart to fruit and flower. It doesn't make waiting easier, but it makes it bearable to know that God has a time table. I have to trust it. I can't say I always wait expectantly or patiently. But God knows that my heart is to learn in this process.  So when I might have thrown my hands up in surrender, he inspired Lisa Jo Baker to pen "If This Whole Year has Felt Like Wasted Waiting". It is a wonderful read of how waiting is normal in our Bible heroes and inspires us to continue to wait.  Reminded and bolstered, I continue to wait.

So I come toward 2015 wondering what word to choose. I considered "persevere" or "pursue" or "patient" but too many of those words seemed like me doing the work, not God.  Then, Christmas morning the sermon was about Mary's song and how she sang with confidence in the past tense because she trusted that God would fulfill what He promised.  The pastor referenced Psalm 96:1-2 that each of us must sing a new song.  That is one of my all-time favourite verses (along with Psalm 98!).  The reminder that we each are constantly singing new songs to the Lord for the good things he has done.  My heart was resonating with the message when he said this,
"We can only find rest when we sing in
with the great composer."
I knew that I had found my word.  I know that this year will be more waiting and believing for the things that I know are promised, but may not be imminent. But I don't want that waiting to be fretful or anxiety-filled.  I want it to be trusting-waiting.  I want to find rest in the wait.  Thus I need to keep harmony with God as I wait.

Will you continue to wait with me?  In the interim, may we seek to live our lives in Harmony with God so that we do not become anxious as we seek his timing.  Whether it is days, or decades, I hope to wait and believe until God brings to fruition all his plans for me.  I pray you are able to do the same.

 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:14-15

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