Friday, July 15, 2011

When the Brook Dries Up....

Elijah waited beside the brook, watching the gushing water slowly dwindle to a tiny sliver and then disappear entirely. The birds flew away and the animals left, seeking water elsewhere. Elijah stayed, following God's instructions to wait until He was told to move on.  He did not grow impatient, make His own plans and then rush off in search of other streams. He left only when God told him to.

It is hard to wait, even harder to do so patiently, especially when your brook , your resources, are diminishing. Our culture demands action. "When the going gets tough, the tough gets going." In reality, the super strong exercise wisdom, prudence and trust. They wait until a full plan is developed and a clear path is visible. It takes more self-control and strength to wait, than it does to run.

In the movie We Were Soldiers, Lieutenant Hal Moore, played by Mel Gibson, refused to panic and run when faced with overwhelming enemy numbers. He ordered his soldiers to hold their ground while he formulated a course of action. His men trusted him, and obeyed.  According to the movie version, Lieutenant Moore stood still, perfectly still, ignoring the raging battle until his plan was fully developed, a plan that not only saved the platoon, but defeated the entire enemy force as well. That greatly impressed me.

I have yet to develop that amount of will power. My first inclination is to run, or at the very least pace in near panic, unable to think clearly. This time around I am trying a little harder to remain focused, patiently waiting for the next step to present its self.

I am not inactive during this waiting period. I search the job ads twice a day and send out my resume to every one I feel I am qualified for, and I pray - a lot. However, I am striving not to worry and ruin every moment of everyday, missing out on the blessings God sends: beautiful sunrises and sunsets, morning coffee and conversation with my husband, warm summer afternoons on the patio, and visits with friends - to mention only a few. I do my best, then wait with expectant hope it will be enough. With God, it will be.

Of course, God isn't sitting by idle either. He is working behind the scenes and sending me comfort and encouragement through signs, particularly scripture. This week my bible fell open to Jeremiah 42:10-12 as I was paging from one listed reading to another. The words seemed to float off the page.

If you will be quiet and remain in this land, I will build you up, and not pull you down: I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for now I am  appeased for the evil that I have done to you. Fear not because of the king of Babylon, of whom you are greatly afraid; fear him not said the Lord: for I am with you, to save you, and to deliver you from his hand. And I will show mercies to you, and take pity on you, and will cause you to dwell in your own land.

The next morning my bible fell open to Daniel 3 in the same manner. The story of Sidrach, Misach and Abendago in King Nebuchadnezzar's furnace has always given me comfort and encouragement. Interesting how the two scriptures are related in meaning.

I don't know what the future holds. All I can see is today, an hour at a time - stepping stones leading me toward the fulfillment of God's plan for my life. Regardless of where the path leads, what sorrows I will endure, I can be sure the path will also be filled with great joy.

16 comments:

  1. I know what you mean...I've had to learn the wisdom of waiting on God's timing. God certainly ministered to you through those verses! Thanks as always for sharing from the heart.

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  2. Thank you for stopping in and commenting, Judith. It is hard to wait, but as I am sure you have experienced, the delay means an even better outcome than we imagined. And, this virtue seems to be tested on every Christian. My circumstances are certainly not unique. There are many who have been tried, are in the middle of a trial, or are just coming out of one, and God is right there, offering hope, encouragement and comfort. I can't imagine life without faith.

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  3. I agree it's hard to wait, hard to trust when the bank account says one thing, but the bills that need to be paid exceed that amount. And it's hard to do nothing when He says to wait. Even Billy Graham will say, "We need to do our part", so it's confusing when you hear so many different things. Should I wait? Should I do something? If so, do what?

    I've been praying that very thing. If God wants me to take an active part in the solution to my problem, I've asked Him to tell me what, exactly, I need to do. So far, I'm getting the message to wait on Him.

    I took a huge step of faith last month, and I'm waiting now to see where it leads me. I do know this: that step of faith is not off the edge of a cliff, but it is on solid ground.

    God bless.

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  4. You are right, Lorna. Sometimes it is really hard to know what we are to do. And, you have also stated it well: we wait until God plainly tells us to move. If we are open and receptive, He will tell us whem and what. Sometimes it is a quiet conviction in our heart from the Holy Spirit. Other times He may use more dramatic means to give us direction. As with Elijah, until we know we are to act, we wait, then promptly obey when He tells us to act. Of course a close relationship with Him and daily prayer will keep us tuned into His messages, and that will make the whole process easier. I pray for you as you continue in your leap of faith. And, you are right again, your leap will not be into thin air, but onto solid ground of His making. Blessings to you, Lorna.

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  5. Cecilia,
    What a great post! I understand about waiting and wondering where your "supply line" is coming from. Of course - God has what we need - but we often grow anxious as the wait is extended. I wrote a similar post about Elijah and his anguish during a time of exhaustion. As you said, we have to remember that God is working in the background, all for our good and His glory!

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  6. Thank you, Deborah for commenting. Yes, Elijah is one of many great examples of faith and obedience we can apply to many of our current situations. And, obviously, great minds think alike!

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  7. What an encouragement is your post today.....

    Many years ago, I heard Tony Evans say the same thing you said.....It's either coming, you're in it, or it's on it's way...trouble that is......and you know the drought period can be in many areas of one's life.....some we can put our finger on like finances other less visible like emotional distress of many kinds...The heart that is aching to be understood and appreciated, etc.....but thank goodness, God knows our every need and has promised to take care of them.....That's a promise we can take to the bank..in His time which is always perfect.........

    I so appreciate your willingness to share your heart and I can't wait to see how God is going to answer your prayer for provision.......

    Hugs and blessings to my sister in Christ,
    Nancy

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  8. Thank you, Nancy. I love it when God sends confirmations from many sources. I heard the quote about trouble recently from a devotional post by Pastor Greg Laurie. He may have quoted Tony, but I don't remember for sure at the moment. Yes, it will be interesting to see what God has planned for the next phase of my life. I have learned long ago to share, as I have explained on my page Lions, Tigers and Bears,Oh My! Blessings to you on your writing and life adventure.

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  9. Thank you for speaking straight to my spirit and soul. I worry to much, I hear the ticking of the clock, the enemy reminding me how old my husband is and how we aren't prepared for the future. I needed to read this and be reminded..we are in God's hands and He is fully aware of the future and His provisions for us.

    Blessings as God continues to pour out His wisdom and peace on you as you seek His face in this job hunt.

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  10. Janette, I so understand. It is hard not to worry when we do not have the usual "safety nets" the world demands we have. We both know God is our safety net in all things, but being human, we do need reminders of that fact. Thankfully, He is compassionate enough to give them to us. I pray for your family's future too.

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  11. And when you've done everything, stand.

    That waiting thing. So hard.

    Hugging you.

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  12. Sandra, thank you for your prayers. Yep, waiting is always the hard part!

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  13. I think it's completely beautiful how you are allowing this time of walking through the fiery financial furnace to refine you rather than consume you. He will provide, Cecilia--until then, keep enjoying those sunsets, Honey!

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  14. Thank you, Jolina. I do intend to keep appreciating all the beautiful gifts He gives us every single day. It does take some work and concentration some days, but it is worth the effort. And all I have to do is look back at other critical moments in my life to see how He has always provided. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

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  15. Hello Cecilia, What a lovely and inspiring post. I just know you will find the right job He picks for you...I understand what you are going through, I'm awaiting in the next week or so to see if I still have a job. Your post put a smile on my face, and I just love the music on your blog!
    God Bless my friend,
    Jackie

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  16. Thank you for stopping in and commenting, Jackie. I will pray you get good news next week - getting to keep your job. I'm glad you enjoy the music. Each one of these songs has a story behind it, all of them are tied to past miracles an are thus very special.

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