Friday, November 10, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: Life Lessons about Waiting on God to Show Up

Waiting On God
A devotional by Sharon Musgrove

The Lord said, “Go out and stand at the mountain before the Lord. The Lord is passing by.” A very strong wind tore through the mountains and broke apart the stones before the Lord. But the Lord wasn’t in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake. But the Lord wasn’t in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there was a fire. But the Lord wasn’t in the fire. After the fire, there was a sound. Thin. Quiet. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his coat. He went out and stood at the cave’s entrance. A voice came to him and said, “Why are you here, Elijah?” 
–1 Kings 19:11-13 (CEB)

How do we respond when God does not show up when we expect Him to?

Do we question Him along the lines of: Is He real? Does He care?

Maybe we question ourselves thinking, Did I misunderstand? Am I a fool for waiting on Him? Questions like these can be detrimental to our faith, tearing us down from the inside. But rather than wondering what went wrong between us and God, these are times that build us up in relationship with Him.

Elijah’s experience, written in 1 Kings 19:11-13, of waiting on God has helped me stay steadfast in faith and quiet the internal relationship interrogation. Elijah was told that God was coming and to wait for Him. Elijah waited through all sorts of calamities that any of us would hope to find God in. Yet God did not present as expected.

This passage reveals that though we go through difficult times, God will show up in His time, not ours. And when He shows up, we will be filled with awe. I had this experience years ago when our family took a week’s vacation to Hawaii. Upon landing, I had this sense that God wanted to say something to me. So, I began each morning reading my Bible and opening my ears to what He wanted to disclose.

Day one of listening for God to speak went by and yet I heard nothing. Day two...nothing. Days three, four, and five...still no word from God. I began to question both God and me. Looking heavenward I prayed: Hello, up there. God, did You say to listen or am I just making it up?

By day six I was weary of the waiting. I felt like I had wasted a vacation waiting on God’s arrival. But in that moment, I felt an urgency to take my journal down to the seashore. Yet it was raining outside, so I prayed: Father, I have trusted You all week. I am confused and disappointed that I am not hearing what You have to say to me. Yet as Elijah, I will take my journal to the ocean as soon as the weather clears.

The weather cleared the day we were departing. Remembering my promise to God, I gathered my book and pen and walked over to a rocky inlet near our accommodations then sat in silence.

In that cove there was a sea turtle eating greens growing on the volcanic crag. Waves rolled in and out, tossing that creature wildly to and fro. To my eyes it seemed a dangerous place for an animal to be, the Pacific’s strength working against her.

In that moment, God visited me. He spoke to my heart about His design on my life, using the unique sea turtle design, the hard shell, sharp beak, and the flipper-like feet, as metaphors for His equipping me to live in rough “surf”. Immediately I was filled with awe and humbled to the core for the personal word spoken over me. The doubts I’d had throughout the week dissipated and my faith grew in our relationship.

Are you struggling in your relationship with God because of hard times? Have your expectations of Him gone unmet? Friend, God is not absent nor unaware of your problems. He will arrive to meet you in your moment at the perfect time, one that grows your faith in Him.

Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, we thank You for sharing Elijah’s story to help us know You. We ask to be built up in our relationship with You that we might be faithful people to You and an encouragement to others. May we always look on You with awe. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection #1: “Wait on the Lord” by Donnie McClurkin. Listen to it here.

Song of Reflection #2: “In the Waiting” by Vicki Yohe. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Sharon Musgrove is a self-proclaimed sociologist. The opportunities opened to her, over the years, have led her on a fascinating journey observing human behavior.

She has a diverse background in business, fitness, and health industries. This background led her to a unique position writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both programs primarily served women in the homeless community.

Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She’s been privileged to participate in Leadership camps for maturing young women. These annual camps have a mission of encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young Maasai girls.

Identifying personally with the brokenness of the women she’s served, Sharon sees all people as needing more encouragement regardless of cultural or socioeconomic status. Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.

In her leisure time, Sharon enjoys her garden, health food, travel, and a good story. She and her husband, Jeff, divide their time between Oregon and Hawaii. They have two grown children.

Currently, Sharon is encouraging others via her inspirational blog, but prefers sharing face to face. Additionally, she is studying Christian fiction writing.

Connect with Sharon:

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