Sunday, 29 November 2015
Is waiting agony for you? For most of my life until recently, it has been torture for me. The sermon this week shed some light on why being left hanging has been so hard in the past. The way I was handling waiting was all wrong and I was sabotaging God's solutions. In the last few weeks God has been specifically teaching me about this area of waiting. Today the topic of the sermon was waiting and what Jason had to say lined up perfectly with what God had already been teaching me. I love it when God's spirit arranges for confirmation! So what was it in this weeks sermon that was so helpful?
First of all while waiting we need to embrace our vulnerability. In the past I have been ashamed to even admit my areas of vulnerability and certainly not embraced them. But recently I have experienced the difference being humble and honest can make. Last week we had a truck incident. The dash display died, the engine light came on and it would not shift into reverse or park. So we took it in to get a quote of what was wrong and what it would cost to fix it. I don't know how you respond when your vehicle breaks down. This is not a situation where I normally shine. I just find it frustrating to have an extra unexpected bill thrust upon me and I don't handle it well. This particular bill was for 1500 just for parts with labour on top of that. Yikes! I think part of why I freaked out about car repairs in the past is that I never really planned for it. I would whine to God about why He would allow our car to need repairs when He know I would have to get the money out of the line of credit. I was living dangerously and just hoping that it never happened. How unreasonable is that! I think my coping technique of denial was a rather poor choice. I was denying that it was my weakness of not planning ahead that had me in such a pickle. God convicted me about half a year ago of this very fact, and since then we have been paying into a vehicle fix fund each month. So when my display went cu put I was not as stressed as I usually am, because I had saved some money to have it fixed. I had faced my weakness and allowed God to correct it.
However, I am sad to say that at the mention of 1500 I still freaked out. That is huge amount of money - way more than was in the vehicle fix fund. It was then I applied point two from the sermon: Search for God. In the past my habit when something bad happened was to I whine to God, but that was the extent of my contact with Him. I probably don't have to tell you that whining is really ineffective when it comes to finding solutions to problems. But this time I stopped the fit of questioning fear and evil foreboding. I gave this problem to God and then waited for Him to come through. If we are anxious, and imagining all kind of horrendous things that might happen while we are waiting it is agony. I had to admit that my own weakness of responding in this manner was not making waiting a good time for me. The problem has never been that God was taking too long to answer - the problem was me. I seem to be saying that a lot lately! So I admitted to God that I was having a problem with worry, fear and hopelessness when it comes to owing huge amounts of money to fix my truck. Admitting my vulnerablity again.
Why did I respond automatically with fear and anxiety when faced with a problem. Obviously I was having trouble trusting God or I would have been experiencing His peace. If I can't trust God why would that be? It says in James that when we ask God for wisdom we should not doubt or we will not receive from God. Could my doubt not only be causing misery while waiting but preventing me from receiving God's answer? Times in the past when it seems like God has not come through were all times when I was doubting that He could or would help me. God was not silent just for the heck of it but because my doubt was preventing Him from answering. Again the problem was me! So this time I examined why do I feel like God will not answer me in particular. Why do I fear the answer and feel like God has awful things in store for me in the future. I am not expecting God to do good things just to do things that will "develop my character" and that I will barely make it through. Wow writing that down really shows how silly a thought that is. What was point two of the sermon again: Search for God. I realised that I had not been finding or trusting the true God. The God I was serving was not like the God described in the Bible. Where did I get such a negative view of God. Satan had whispered a boat load of lies into my head and I had bought them hock line and sinker. If you think God is out to get you than waiting certainly is not a happy place to be. So again the problem is me and my wrong view of God. But the solution is easy - search for the real God and get reacquainted. Getting to know the real God blew my fear and anxiety out of the water and then I was able to ask for wisdom with faith and God answered!
I gave God my truck and control of the whole situation. I renounced fear that I might be disappointed and decided to try faith for a change. I did not even spend hordes of energy trying to figure it all out first so I could let God know how to fix it. In the past this bossiness on my part would often lead to disappointment when God did not fix it the way I wanted Him too. I put the creator of the universe in a box I created with my limited brain - not my most shining moment! So from now on I don't want to limit Him at all, which is why I give Him total control of the truck situation. My job is joyfully trust God to sort my life out and just do what He tells me. I don't need to feel shame that I can't fix it because my need just sends me to God who is the strong one anyway. That way God gets the glory too, which is how it should be. I searched for God and when I found the right, true one I trusted that He was working on the situation and that He had good planned. Being free from anxiety and fear made waiting so much more fun! In fact waiting was not even an issue, because the outcome was not something to fear but something to look forward too.
So what was God's answer? How did God help us with our truck. It is a good thing I did not try to figure it out because vehicles are really out of my realm. God gave the answer to my husband, who was able to order a used part on line from the states and put it in himself. We were able to cover it with the money we had saved so far in the vehicle repair fund. God is good. Trusting instead of worrying while waiting really is better for our stress levels! Then as a bonus God meets our needs. No wonder Satan has been lying to me for so long. He is the thief who comes to steal and destroy. Jesus came that I might have life and have it to the full!!
But don't get stuck in your vulnerability