Happy Sabbath dear hearts! :)
Have you ever read a Bible verse or heard a song many times but all of a sudden one day, it makes perfect sense to you?
A song by Vicki Yohe, "In the Waiting" speaks to me and the message is becoming crystal clear these days because it speaks to where I am in my relationship with Jesus Christ.
I've been upset with God. Admittedly, I've been mad because I have all these questions concerning issues in my life-- past and present-- which I've taken to God's throne repeatedly in prayer but have not thought that God has addressed my concerns. God has been silent.
Earlier this week, I could not sleep at night and in the back of my mind were the lyrics to one of my favorite songs that I have not heard in a while. The song was, you guessed it, "In the Waiting" and it's performed by Christian artist Vicki Yohe.
Now I've heard this song countless of times since I bought the album on which the song is listed but I never paid special attention to the lyrics because I simply loved the melody. At first, I didn't believe I would find the CD buried amongst my countless collection of Christian albums. But God led me right to where I had placed it. So I recovered it and placed it into my CD player which is on the desk by my bed. I found the song (track 4 on Vicki's album "I Just Want You") and slipped into bed as I began to listen to the beautiful melody.
Suddenly, I began to listen to the lyrics of the song and I heard God's heart. He wants me to know that it's OK to feel pain, it's OK to have doubts, it's OK to be mad at Him. Another song I listen to says "God isn't afraid of honest prayers" but back to "In the Waiting"...Ultimately, God let me know that being "in the waiting" between where I was and currently am to where God wants me to be is trying of my faith. But I need to take refuge in knowing that God wants me to know that I can rest in being still and knowing that HE is GOD (Psalm 46:10) and to know that just because all I hear is silence does NOT mean that I am alone. Contrary to the lies the enemy (the devil) constantly attacks me with, God is still here and He's right by my side. Even when I feel that I am distant from God or that I'm mad because I'm mad at Him, God smiles and wraps His healing arms of compassion around me and lets me know that it's okay to be here, in the waiting because He's still here with me and He will take me to where I need to be not only throughout my journey here on this earth, but in my spiritual walk (faith journey) with His Son Jesus Christ.
God doesn't give up on any of His children. He's the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep. There's a story in the Bible about how when even just one of the Good Shepherd's sheep goes astray, the shepherd leaves the rest safely tucked away at home and searches for the one lost sheep until He finds them and then He restores the lost sheep to the fold. Read Matthew 18:10-14.
Dear friends, are any of you lost?
Know that God is searching for you as I write this devotional. Even as you read these words, God has already found you and He's waiting. Yes, God is waiting for you. He's waiting for you to return to Him and is ready and willing to restore you not to what you have been but to what He wants you to be and it's a beautiful picture of God's grace that waits to not only bring a smile to your face with his unlimited blessings which He's eager to pour over your life, but salvation to your soul. Know that Earth in all of its beauty and tragedy is not our home, it's training grounds for heaven.
Someone once told me, "God cares more about our character than our comfort."
God will let us go through trials and tribulations and yes, silence so that He can refine our characters and get us ready for heaven. Remember, we cannot take anything to heaven but our characters. When Jesus comes again, the mortal bodies of His children will take on immortality and we will start the best part of our faith journey with Jesus-- eternity starting in Heaven. God will put a permanent end to sin and all of its cruel effects and the devil and his agents will no longer exist. He will restore this Earth to what it was meant to be and harmony in the universe and between all the worlds will be restored as will God's character. The whole idea behind The Great Controversy is the devil's claim that God's law is unjust, that God Himself is unkind and that the devil's way is better than God's plan.
Beware dear friends, because God's plan leads to eternal life, the devil's plans lead to eternal death of not only the devil but all who follow him. So as attractive and promising as sin looks, stay away because while you may enjoy the pleasures of sin it will only be for a season and you will pay a price if you do not repent and turn to Jesus. That price is loss of the promise of eternal life.
A Bible character named Joshua (who once lived on this Earth) famously said, "Choose this day whom ye shall serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:15).
I choose JESUS and I choose to know His peace that comes with being in the waiting.
My prayers are with you. Choose wisely and trust that if you choose JESUS, He will never leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) and when our waiting here on Earth is over, Jesus Christ will be there to usher you and all of His faithful followers into eternity free of sorrow, free of pain, filled with joy and perfect peace and discovery! Yes, God has great plans (Jeremiah 29:11) in store for us beyond this world!
Praying for you,