“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40: 31, NLT)
I love the faithfulness of the Lord.
Have you ever had a promise from Him?
I have. Plenty of them, actually. I’m walking in some of them, and some of them I am waiting on with a heart of expectancy.
I wrote in a previous post, “You will not miss out on your own needs or promises. As we take care of Kingdom business, God will take care of ours.”
Here’s one of those many stories.
Isaiah 40: 31 flashed through my mind as I was putting on my finishing touches. I was moments away from meeting with an old friend for coffee. I had no agenda. I had no idea what we’d talked about, and I was beginning to wonder what I was thinking when I asked her for coffee. A thought became an action before I had a chance to process fear and a week later, I’m praying that we can make it through coffee without someone leaving the conversation feeling defeated. 2016 had not been an easy year for our friendship, and we could count on one hand how many times we’d been intentional on meeting and talking over the past year. Over that year, and especially in the last few months, I’d found myself worn out with believing for restoration. It was like a played-out record that wouldn’t stop, and I was tired of hearing the same song. The Lord kept telling me to look to Him, and to pay attention to what was in front of me. I’ve got it, Lord. Keep pouring. Keep writing. Keep serving. Keep leading. Keep resting. I’m okay with all of that, and I know that You’ll restore it all, but I need grace and Your strength to make it through this moment right now. So, that scripture landed in a tender place as I prayed it for myself and my friend before walking out of the front door.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts
And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts,”
(Isaiah 55: 8-9, NLT)
Anyone who knows me knows that I can be somewhat analytical. I like to figure it all out, or at least have some type of plan concerning what I have figured out. But, that’s not the type of God I serve. He’s the “You live from time, I don’t. Trust Me when I say that it will all work out. You cannot see what I am doing, but keep praying and keep believing. What does My Word say? What have I told you?” type-God. So, in the midst of it all, I did what I knew to do: Keep praying, believing, and trust Him as I moved forward, “The righteous keep moving forward,
and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger, (Job 17: 9, NLT). I knew that as I stayed focused on the what God instructed me to do, He’d work everything out in the background.
& He did.
My friend and I met and we talked. We talked about life, jobs, and school. We even laughed a little.
I don’t know how it happened, but in forty-five minutes the Lord restored hope to places I didn’t even know it was lacking. It amazed me how a seemingly bad (& I do mean BAD) circumstance was exactly what He purposed for us to experience His love in a deeper way. We ended coffee with a few next steps concerning our friendship, and we agreed to start fresh and move forward. For a split second, after I got in my car, I still could not fathom a God that loved His children so much that He would purpose a year the way that He did. I will probably never know why everything happened the way it did, and in hindsight, not only does it not matter, I’m glad it all happened. The end result was worth it, and that coffee date was so much more than coffee. It was a glimpse into an eternal God’s thought process.
He showed me how in one year’s time He’d expanded my capacity to love beyond myself, and introduced true love the way that the Bible teaches.
He reminded me of every personal decision I’d been led into over the past year [concerning my calling] that wouldn’t have happened had I not been forced out of complacency.
He showed the both of us that even in the midst of all of the pain, chaos, and not understanding, He’d purposed it all, and that He is trustworthy. He knew what He was doing the entire time, and He knew who to use to accomplish the purpose. (He’d actually shown the both of us, and we didn’t fully understand at the time)
He proved that He is Jehovah Rapha and that when He heals and restores, He doesn’t restore to our definition of what restoration is, but to what He originally intended for it to be.
More than anything, He reminded me that it was so much bigger than us. There were people who were (& will be) touched because a group of friends were able to walk in obedience and share a testimony of how we healed and gained greater intimacy with the Healer during a tough season.
“ Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” (Galatians 6:9, NLT)
So, be encouraged. Concerning the past year, as I started to seek Him, the desire for restoration began to fade. Not that I didn’t want it, because I did, but because I wanted what He wanted more. A few months before coffee, I’d actually settled in my heart that I would be okay if I’d misheard Him and He never restored it.
The next step He’s asking of you may not seem like the logical step towards what you want, but as you move forward with whatever God is telling you to do, know that “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him,” (Hebrews 11: 6b). As you take care of His business, He will take care of yours. You cannot outdo God, and He does not forget His promises. Everything works together for the good of those who love Him.