Friday, August 29, 2008

Testing, Waiting, Contentment, and Gratitude

Have you ever been through a season of testing and waiting? Like, you know, waiting for gas prices to come back down so you can afford to take a little weekend getaway due to the restlessness you've felt all summer?

I have been tested many times in my life, but the past decade seems especially applicable and poignant.

There are so many goals and dreams that Jim Bob and I have for our future, one of the biggest ones being that we really want to own a decent plot of land and build a real log home (he even went to a log home class to learn how) on it.

We are both about to enter a brand new phase of life: our 40s. Jim Bob gets to try it on for size first as his birthday is this Sunday. Happy birthday, Sweetheart!

But this new phase brings with it an urgency and a desire to move forward and "get it done." Problem is, we don't have all our smaller goals met in order to reach this even bigger goal... at least not yet.

We have been working on meeting those goals. But lately, we have grown a bit impatient with all the steps that must take place in the interim. We are working on those steps, but the truth is that without the Lord's provision, none of it will happen.

So, we wait.

His Timing is Perfect

We wait upon His goodness, grace, and mercy in providing for us in His time and in His way. You'd think that by 40 years of age we'd have learned this lesson, but I think that we are still fighting some of the worldly influences we grew up with, the main one being that if you want something, you just do whatever it takes and get it... NOW!

But the Lord has more in mind for us and for our sanctification. He wants to teach us patience. He wants to test us. He wants to help us learn contentment. He wants us to be grateful; to be full of thanks for that which He has already provided.

So, let the great sloughing off begin, right? Well, the truth is, it's been going on all along. We are just now sleepily waking up to realize that He is working on us and teaching us to wait upon His goodness a little longer. But there's even more to it than that: He wants us to realize that He is good to us in the HERE and NOW. He wants us to live in praise, in prayer, in remembering that His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-24), right were we are.

Many times, this is the ultimate test of our faith: staying where we are currently, even if it seems like the wilderness. Being still, knowing that He is God, and letting Him remove the dross, while we simply rest in Him, count our blessings, and remember all of His faithfulness to us: this—yes, this—is where true growth is found.

Calm My Anxious Heart

See, maybe gas prices staying so high that we can't travel anywhere has been good for me after all.

Now, repeat after me: "I will not look at travel brochures, I will not look at travel brochures."

But I will praise... so, if you happen to stop by or call me, don't be surprised if you hear praise music blaring in the background... I have it turned up to drown out everything else, and keep me focused.

"There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them." —Exodus 15:25b


Mama said...

Great post Amy! Keep that praise music up, when we thank Him, it's so much harder to complain!:) Have a great bday celebration with Jim Bob. Oh, BTW, I found a shabby chic shower curtain at yard sales today...thought of you. Patches of chenille, roses...oh my! It's yours if you want it:)

Lisa Winton said...

Thank you for this post, Amy. It is sometimes hard to be patient and wait on the Lord; thanks for the reminder. :o) I always enjoy reading what you write in HST, also.

Denise said...

Hi Amy Joe, you have a lovely blog and such an important ministry - reaching out to younger women.

I'm nearing 40 (just don't ask me how near, because I won't admit it! LOL) and I so wish I had godly women in my life when I was a young mother with a young family. It would have been encouraging to be reminded that there is a purpose for everything - even the testing - and that many others had gone before me.

The internet is a wonderful tool to share our hearts with others, and you do it beautifully.

Blessings to you,