So, the year 2020 continues in its oddness and general sense of bizarreness.
It’s a really weird one because some things have definitely moved, morphed and materialised on both a personal and universal level; yet, it seems (or feels) like other things haven’t moved. Or have they? LOL. I don’t know! And this is the ‘oddness’ I am referring to…it’s like, the world was shaken (global pandemic), came to a standstill (worldwide lockdowns and near-complete halt of all economic activity), then experienced notable political and social upheaval (the US Elections, racial justice movements) and natural and man-made disasters, all of which definitely give ‘end of world’ vibes…and so in that regard, 2020 was definitely eventful. But then, all this was still very much framed within stillness/slowing down of time…because for many, 2020 was actually predominantly just a whole long-ass lockdown. Many could justifiably say that 2020 seems to have retarded their progress. So, then, inasmuch as there was ‘a lot’ happening this year, there was also a very contrasting (though may I add beautiful & reflective) quiet quality and essence to 2020. So you catch my drift then when I use adjectives such as ‘odd’ and ‘bizarre’. LOL. And if you happened to be waiting (on God) in this year, then let me allow you to definitely be one of those that feel like 2020 probably didn’t yield much for you. I know. I feel you. Despite all the mad activity of this year, I am sure that it definitely still feels like nothing moved in your circumstances
The season of waiting on God for the/a promise is different than the season of waiting to hear from God. I shared with you how in January 2020, God gave me the framework of my life’s purpose and calling. I had been praying for that since 2017! 3 years. Let that sink in. Then, in July 2018, God gave me Isaiah 43:19. Then, I attached that specific word (read it to see what I mean) it to receiving ONE particular new thing. But then God! Haha. He gave me everything but that one thing. He gave me a new heart, a new faith, a new name and a new character. And it is a continuing work. It is not even done. And the one thing I had attached that word to still hasn’t been delivered. To be sure, it was/is a valid ask. It’s just that its time hasn’t come – 2 years later.
You know the scriptures often emphasise that we are best refined, moulded and filled through trials, tribulations, heartbreaks and sorrow. And any form of waiting on God is just that. Once you hear from God and receive a word or promise, the game changes. You now hope, know or believe that something definite will/should happen. But when? You know what, but you don’t know when! Then the travail, brokenness, sorrow, frustration and despair just continue. And yes, these are the very experiences God uses to deepen and purify our relationship with Him, but that is often not our focus. Our focus is on how much we’re hurting, on what we don’t have, on how long we’ve waited, on how much we’re losing out on and just how forgotten and forsaken we believe we are.
So, how do we keep going and do so with genuine, unshakeable joy in the Lord? One way to think of waiting on God and finding joy therein, is to look for, see and acknowledge the inner work He does in you, even when the prized thing hasn’t been given unto us yet. God is perfect and a master tactician. He works ALL things together for good to those that love Him and are CALLED according to HIS purposes. And other things lie outside of us. In other words, there are other people and situations that God must fix and align before you are introduced into the blessing. And He could do it in the blink of an eye, but no. It is so, so important for our peace to know and accept that God is a God of process and order. And He works in tandem with the willingness of man and his heart…so if others delay, it all delays. But God will still achieve that which He said would be. Mind-boggling and totes (apropos) God-level stuff, right?!
And the stuff that is within us, the gunk that must be dealt with…that too takes time. And being pruned within is necessary and principal. You can have all the tangible/visible blessings, but IF, as a man or woman of God, your heart isn’t healed, filled, re-constructed and re-directed by the Holy Spirit, you’re as good as ‘dead’ and perhaps of no use to Him where His purposes are concerned. And as the Redeemed of God in Christ, we live FIRST to serve and worship Him, not to receive whatever we may desire or ask for. The latter is just a by-product of God being so kind, loving and good. But first, our whole lives (and hearts) must worship Him, whether it is “comfortable” for us to or not. We must become that which He would shape us to become, even if the being bent hurts. Put another way, if you’re waiting IN God, you can’t be lost; you can’t be a dud; you can’t be forgotten and you cannot despair. He knows your name AND He is doing something. The issue simply is time. And Lulu and I also touch on this in our vlog.
Accepting (not just aligning, because who’s the boss of your life?) God’s timelines for our lives is the highest form of being broken. And God WILL bless that. Whether we think He will do it in a way that satisfies us or not, God will bless that, and the fact that He is God, I choose to believe that it would be in a way that is most pleasing and satisfying for us. He honours faith and He honours obedience…and obedience in this case is just surrendering to His preeminence. To say, “Lord, you have NOT wronged me by this delay, for you are a good God and a loving father. Who you say you are in your WORD is who you are. You are not a man that you should lie, EVEN when I don’t understand; even when I am in the valley of the shadow of death and my enemies and foes have cornered me. Even if I die. You are good and WILL reward me in due course.” Jesus was obedient to death and was rewarded after death, in resurrection. He had to die to regain that seat at the right hand side of God…and then, He was crowned Lord and Saviour. God’s ways are far too complex for us to understand, so at a point in the waiting, we HAVE to say, like Jesus did, ‘Nevertheless, not my will but your will be done’.
Sometimes, surrendering the seat of emotions helps us allow God to do what He must do, however long it takes. This isn’t easy. Like surrendering the desire mentally, cutting off the emotional tie to it requires His grace and power. And so we always remain in a posture of prayer and humility, asking Him to give us the help we need to lay down that whose time has not yet come. The humility helps us to ask Him to give us unwavering faith and trust in HIS timing. And God is good enough to help us shake off a desire that He doesn’t have in store for us. So if you can’t seem to shake it, and you’ve prayed for God to take it away and it is a desire that aligns with His Word, but it hasn’t come to pass, you can rest assured that it is most likely a matter of God wanting you to just wait it out. Embrace what He does in your heart and life in that waiting period. And I can’t say how long a waiting period will be – I just can’t. It can be years or months. Or even a lifetime. You may not even see the answered prayer in your lifetime. That is God for you. But, He will always fulfil His Word.
Cos let me tell you for free, you will NOT make it through any season of waiting on God being prideful and angry towards God the whole way through. You will not! Hahaha! Yes, you will have and are allowed days, weeks or months even, of petulance. But the whole way through? Hahaha. No. God will just slow the whole process down and then it will take even longer. It literally takes as long as it takes with God. But being bowed in demeanour and leaning on Him for strength and hope, will quicken things up to a degree. And getting there (AGAIN) is not easy. Having that kind of character (complete humility leading to resolute trust) developed in us is an example of some of the ‘greater’ things God is concerned about bringing about in us, more so than the “prize”. Because the redeemed heart is forever. And God wants it as strong, pure, mature and reverential as possible. But earthly blessings we SHALL live behind.
So, like I said at the beginning…it may seem that some things haven’t moved in 2020, but take it from me…God is always moving; we just don’t always see it. And so, even if your promise doesn’t materialise this year, know that God was/is at work…and at the appointed time, He will do what He has expressly promised to do for you.
NB: By way of reflection and encouragement, please go back to my blog post of February 2020. In it, I was reflecting on the depth of pain I had experienced in 2019 while waiting on God. In case some read this here blog and think “It’s light”. LOL. It is not and has NOT been. When you read that post, I hope you can feel my pain BUT also the hope I fought to finally possess by the time 2020 came around. It is not just reflective and hopeful but also very much prophetic – and God has fulfilled ALL the specific promises that He said He would deliver to me. Uhm, yes – allow me to confidently say ALL! So let my life serve as a testimony that God DOES. He moves, He is good and He does what He says He will do…in due course. 2020 was a difficult year, but right at the top of it, I had sensed God say that He would make it a year of victory, glory, restoration and multiplication for HIS children. Favour ain’t fair baby. And God has done just that for me in 2020. Eventually, He turned my mourning into joy.
But whatever the case, let my experience be a marker of God’s faithfulness. In my February post, I was at pains to detail and specify my experience/pain because I wanted it to be documented and I wanted it to hopefully encourage someone else reading it further down the line. I have BEEEN in the trenches. Countless men and women of faith have been and continue to be in the trenches. Yours is not a unique experience. God is with you and He will come through. Selah.