So, back near the first of the year, my husband bought a devotional – Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence (a 365 day devotional by Sarah Young) he was reading everyday. Everyday, it seemed what he was reading was meeting him right where he was. It was amazing!
Since he’s been gone and since I am not allowed to send him anything other than letters, I have made it my mission to write out the daily devotions in addition to the letters I send him. My original intention was just to afford him the opportunity to be able to continue reading the devotions he had begun before he left. Of course, what started as an attempt to keep my husband immersed in the word, has turned into something that has been blessing me and meeting me right where I am. No lie, it’s almost like the devotions he was reading were just what he needed when he needed them, but now that I’m the one reading them, it’s like they were intended for me, right where I am now.
Isn’t God good?!
Because of packing, I had missed a couple of days (because I got busy before I got before God) so I didn’t read Tuesday’s devotion until today. The devotion for March 26th talks about waiting on the Lord. Take a look:
WAITING ON ME means directing your attention to Me in hopeful anticipation of what I will do. It entails trusting Me with every fiber of your being, instead of trying to figure out things for yourself. Waiting on Me is the way I designed you to live: all day, everyday. I created you to stay conscious of Me as you go about your daily duties.
I have promised many blessings to those who wait on Me: renewed strength, living above one’s circumstances, resurgence of hope, awareness of My continual Presence. Waiting on Me enables you to glorify Me by living in deep dependence on me, ready to do My will. It also helps you to enjoy Me; in My Presence is fullness of Joy.
The scripture references listed for this day’s devotional are:
Lamentations 3:24-26 – I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Isaiah 40:31 – Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.
Psalm 16:11 – You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Why do I share this? Well, for the last 2 years, I have wondered: “What does it mean to wait on God anyway?” What does the verse in Isaiah mean when it says I will mount up with wings as eagles, that I will run and not grow weary, that I will walk and not faint? I had been waiting on God for 2 years. I hadn’t sprouted wings yet, and I had been plenty tired – though I hadn’t fainted. All I was wondering was when God was just going to end all this garbage.
Apparently, I had been missing the point of what it means to wait on God. I had been directing my attention to Him, and in hopeful anticipation of what He would do, but I don’t think I was really trusting Him with every fiber of my being. I was just holding out hope that He would give me what I was asking for – to keep my husband out of jail. I don’t necessarily think that was a bad prayer. We are married, and my husband loves being a father, so to ask that God would allow him to stay with us is honorable. Right?
While I don’t disagree, I can tell you that what I have been confronted with is having to trust God for my entire life. You see, right now, I am a full time graduate student and stay-at-home mom, homeschooling the two kids we have at home. I’ve not had a “real” job since 2003, and that was at a coffee shop. I did serve 5 years in the Navy, but that ended in 1998. I don’t have a resume ready because I’m still in school and wasn’t planning on needing it. My husband and I had fashioned our lives, from early on in our marriage, in such a way that he would be the provider and any job I have will be icing on the cake.
That was our plan. I thought it was a pretty good one too. It allowed me to finish school and continue homeschooling. You know what it would also do? It would ensure that I didn’t really have to think about the fact that God was the one providing all of our income.
You see, until confronted with the idea that my husband could go to jail and I would be left with 2 kids, graduate school AND no job, no benefits, no paycheck, no home, and no idea what I would do about it, it never occurred to me that, even though I had said the sinner’s prayer and believed that I was saved, I had never really made Jesus Lord of EVERYTHING in my life. I had no idea that there were a few things that I had been holding back from Him. I had no idea that maybe I didn’t really believe that I could trust Him with my life or my marriage or my husband or my kids.
But God is faithful. See, when you pray something that God desires for you to have in your life, he sets about answering that prayer because it will be one more thing in your life that will bring Him glory. That includes even simple, seemingly benign musings about what it means to really wait on the Lord.
My family was in limbo for 2 years while this case was being processed. We were told by people who had been through similar situations that the longer it took, the better it looked for our side. So, I figured that after 2 years, our waiting would be over. God would intervene and we would be vindicated. The truth would finally be revealed and all would be well because, then, our lives would be restored to what they had been before.
Well, that’s not what we got! Now, we have even longer to wait. Our 2 years has been made 7.
What about the promises to those who wait on the Lord?
Renewed Strength: Yeah! People keep asking me how I’m doing. Well, I don’t have any frame of reference for this aside from being the wife of a man who has deployed numerous times. But this is not quite the same as that, unless you consider this a mission from God. So…that’s what we are doing. My husband will get out of jail, and much like when he comes home from deployment, he’s going to be looking at me and our kids and our home and hoping to see that I have not lost my mind or gone off the deep end and have managed to hold things together until he returned home. Well, I’ve had help, but I am making it. And I feel pretty good! It’s still early, but so far I’ve only had one day that really just got to me.
Living Above One’s Circumstances: Again, I’ve been married for nearly 20 years to a man who has deployed numerous times. I’ve never been able to know exactly where he was, what he was doing, or if he would be making it home. Letters were sparse because he was always moving, and there were no real phone conversations. Well, at least this time I can write to him. I know right where he is. I can visit, and I know that he is safe, eating, and able to take care of himself physically and spiritually. These are assurances I didn’t really have before.
Resurgence of Hope: There is an appeal process that starts immediately. But better than that, I know that my God is a God of justice and of truth. My husband did nothing wrong. And he would not take a plea saying that he did something he didn’t do, even if it meant that he would get to spend more time with us. That was not just his decision. It was mine too. In fact, I told him not to dare say he did something he didn’t do. The person who accused my husband is a disturbed individual. Much help is needed for this person and my prayer is that the help will come. What I do know is that there will be no real healing for this person or for this person’s family until the truth comes out. So, my hope is that God will allow the appeal to go through and that he would move in the heart of the individual who accused my husband so that the urge to tell the truth could not be avoided. AND, news of our ordeal has circumnavigated the globe. There are people from here in Maryland all the way around the globe and back again to Virginia praying for us and for this individual. God will not leave that many prayers unanswered (where 2 or more are gathered…).
Awareness of my Continual Presence: Well, as if these devotionals weren’t enough, God has shown up in the form of people offering to help with packing and moving. People respond to my posts on Facebook when they see that I’ve left an update about my husband. People have called out of the blue to tell me that they found a scripture verse for me. Men have stepped up to take our youngest son under their wings while my husband is gone, as have women who want to spend time with our teenage daughter.
If what God wants is my utter dependence upon Him, He’s got it. There is nothing else I can do right now but that. But it has been good. While I wouldn’t wish this situation on anyone, I really believe that this is going to be the best thing that has ever happened to both my and my husband’s walks with the Lord. And isn’t that what He’s been after this whole time?