Monday, April 8, 2013

The shaping of our faith...

Do you ever get tired of waiting for God to answer your prayers?

I do. 

It isn't that I don't think He hears me, or that I don't believe He's at work to deliver the answer... it's just that the time between when I start praying for something, and when the final answer comes... is sometimes much longer than I am comfortable with, actually... it's usually MUCH MUCH longer than I am confortable with!

God knows that...

It's part of his plan to shape my faith and build my trust in Him. The things that I can't control, seem to be where He knows I need the most instruction. Instruction in HIS ways, which means learning to trust God more completely.

I have found this to be true... 

Usually there are no quick fixes, shortcuts, or pat answers, and no fast 'getting there' on the prayers that are my deepest needs and longings... 

It's IN THE PROCESS of my prayers and my waiting on Him, that He works into me what He knows I need. It also deepens my faith as I see how trustworthy he is. 

Could God answer my prayers faster? It's an obvious 'yes' to that question. Of course He could, just as He could have come right down off of that cross and not died that day. God can do anything, But think of how quickly we forget a lesson learned when it drops right into our lap. We go out and do the same thing again, until we have seen that another way is better, usually through more than one series of trials and errors.

When God wants change in me, He does it His way... and He knows full well that it will require my dependence on Him, and obedience to what He is saying. I know how to 'take charge' of my life pretty well, so I am always having to learn His ways, often to re-learn them.

The truth is, I seem to need a lot of that instruction ... all the time.

We do NOT dig deeper and see God in new ways when things are only smooth, when our trust muscles are not required, at least I don't. I don't mean that we only grow as christians through hard times, but there is a deeper learning curve that God has designed in us to know him better, and it usually involves circumstances or situations where we must trust. 

I am waiting, again, on some answers right now, you probably are too. I'm beginning to understand that I will always be waiting on something from God, and that in the waiting, this 'pot' is on His wheel, and He's shaping it into what He always intended!


 "Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out  of our wordless sighs, our aching groans." Rom.8:26-28

20 comments:

Vee said...

I thought of this very thing...the long wait for answered prayer...as I was reading about Edith Schaeffer's passing last week. I'm sure that she prayed for her son over and over through the years. It's nice to know that she had an answer to that prayer and I can only hope that she was aware of it. I know this...I can trust a God Who has our best interests at heart. And, yes, He certainly does work on His own timetable.

Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

Well you know that you wrote this for me!! Today through tears I told a friend these things...even while I am not seeing the answers. I keep thinking..."Lord don't you think my muscles are strong enough yet?" And yes, yes...no pat answers.
Thanks so much..this spoke straight to my heart and the place I find myself.

Patrina's Pencil said...

sonja,

I just had this subject of unanswered prayers...with my sister yesterday. My Bible Study girls and I had the same conversation last Tues...

I agree...we will always be waiting to hear from God on something...but that is also how He planned it... He's not an instant gratification God... that's the way of the world. We are set apart. He's set before us a different way.

We do grow spiritual muscles in the waiting...waiting on God does deepen our faith walk... our patience with issues and trials and people...grows. Or at least I think that's His intended plan for us... it helps us grow into mature Christians...not just babes.

Ive been praying for years..about some things that haven't materialized the way Ive been anticipating. And yet, He answers other prayers before I even utter them...sometimes even better than I could have ever hope for.

All I know is that He told us to pray without ceasing...and to rejoice in all things. It takes a strong Christian to rejoice in all circumstances. But the longer we are on our knees...the closer we become to Jesus. At some point, we begin to see some things clearer than before. Somehow, the waiting becomes anticipation of just coming before Him in His Presence.

I have to remind myself...to not miss His Presence... the pleasure of His company...while I'm waiting.

Thank your for bearing your heart here. Thankfully we do have Jesus to bear our hearts to in prayer. If it were not so...we would be a sorry case for sure.

hugs to you my friend
patrina <")>><

Maryann said...

I would have to agree with you, I think we will always be waiting on something from God. I am learning to wait better on some things, others not so much...the wait keeps me dependent on him, so even though I don't like it, I know he uses the wait for his purposes (usually to change me)

Debbie Petras said...

This is so true! There are prayers I've prayed for many years that are still not answered. I prefer quick answers but that's not how God works. And His ways are higher than mine. So I learn to trust Him and His perfect timing. In the meantime, I am being changed. Sometimes I can almost see it happening as I grow in my faith. I love to be in His presence and learn.

Love you,
Debbie

joy said...

You are right Sonja. Have to learn how to wait too:)
Very inspirational.

Marsha @Spots and Wrinkles said...

Oh, Sonja,
I am right there with you. Waiting is an "acquired skill" for sure, as we just don't come by it naturally, do we?

I love a little magnet on my fridge that has a quote from former president Jimmy Carter. It says:

God always answers prayer,
sometimes the answer is "yes"
sometimes the answer is "no" and sometimes the answer is "You have got to be kidding." :)

Blessings to you - Marsha

Debbie said...

I think there will be many who will soo relate with this. I know I do for sure. Waiting on God to answer certain prayers has just become a way of life hasn't it? Sometimes our answers come right away (and not necessarily as we hoped) and yet I think your right. Soo much of our trust comes in the wait! He must know I don't have that down yet. ; )

Sharon said...

So well said, Sonja. And yes, waiting is a very difficult challenge for me, too. There have been many *discussions* between me, Mrs. Clay, and God the Master Potter!!

He always knows best in the end, though. And He answers my prayers - in His way, and in His timing. I just have to trust that His way and His timing is ALWAYS in my best interest.

GOD BLESS!

Farm Girl said...

Wonderful reminders. I could write you a book here about it. I won't to spare you but He is faithful and He does answer every one.

Just a little something from Judy said...

This is so true and so well said. I keep forgetting that to God, one day is as a thousand years, and for someone as impatient as me, that is difficult to swallow at times. I like how you stated that He wants to build dependence on Him in each of us. In our instant society, patience for His perfect answers, tests me so often. Waiting with you my friend, for His answers.

Debbie said...

Oh how I love this post! I relate so very much and just like you I need those trust muscles exercised.

myletterstoemily said...

so we pray and we wait . . . like the hebrew
boys, " . . . and if not."

this is so encouraging, sonja!

Sassy Granny ... said...

Hardly a day passes that I don't have to remind myself that "God doesn't wear a watch or post to a calendar." That's why I nodded my head throughout the reading of your post. Soooooo wise!

Andrea said...

I'm always in a deep need of God's instruction.
Hugs and prayers,
andrea

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm constantly on the learning curve of faith, Sonja. My trust muscles have been exhausted in recent days; in this time, I've often wondered when I'm going to arrive at the place of actively (in full assurance) living out the faith I profess to believe.

Thanking God today for the break-thrus that have arrived for both of us.

I value your life of faith so very much, and I look to you for instruction. Thank you for being willing to pour into my heart.

peace~elaine

Susan Marlene Kinney said...

Oh this is powerful. We better not faint with the waiting. We had better ABIDE in Him and we well come through. Isn't there something about the silver smith...who waits till he can see his reflection in the silver when heating it to take out the dross? That is the exact time to take it off the heat. God KNOWS what we need and when. If only our emotions would cooperate!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

I am glad that after all is said and done, HE is in the driver's seat! I try and I pray and just wait but then like a good father, a great teacher, He lets me figure things out, go through the journey and have that "Aha" moment. What a great God we serve. SONJA! Good to see you dearest! You too had a little BROWN coat! The memories are precious and I am grateful that God has given us arts and other venues to express our lives. Be well and never forget where you are from; I know your past is filled with such fond memories. Anita

myletterstoemily said...

ha ha! i will always imagine you with black
lipliner now . . .

Felisol said...

The danish Christian philosopher Soeren Kierkegaard said, "Life can only be understood backwards, but it has to be lived forwards".
I never understand the need for waiting in the heat of the moment, but backwards I have come to understand, He was there all the time, and never lost my needs out of sight.
He Actually still is the shadow of my right hand.

Job 35:14 "How much less, then, will he listen
when you say that you do not see him,
that your case is before him
and you must wait for him,"

Sadly, I'm still the impatience old me.