When God Tells You To Wait

Has God ever told you to wait?

When God Tells You To Wait

My pastor shared from Luke 5 the other day, a message that my weary heart greatly needed. How the fishermen were by the Sea of Galilee, washing their nets when they met with Jesus. They were not catching fish; they were not in the midst of great ministry. Instead, they were in the process of preparing by washing and stretching their nets, to make sure they could keep catching fish with these nets. They were in the midst of the mundane and ordinary when Jesus saw them.

“So it was, as the multitude pressed about Him to hear the word of God, that He stood by the Lake of Gennesaret, and saw two boats standing by the lake; but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets.” (Luke 5:1-2)

I can’t help but wonder, if these fishermen were frustrated and a bit hopeless. They had been out all night, and yet they had not caught any fish. Here they were, washing their nets to prepare to go out again — wondering if they would be able to catch some fish. Wondering if they would be facing failure once again.

That is what waiting often feels like to us — failure. But waiting does not mean failure. Just as it was important for the fishermen to care for their nets so they would not break, it is important for us to go through and grow through waiting seasons so that we are ready for God to use us for His kingdom’s sake.

Why God Tells Us To Wait

Sometimes, it can be difficult for us to see why we would need to wait. We have already been waiting for years — whether it is for a dream to happen, a job, a spouse, health, a baby… We wait, and sometimes the waiting just about breaks our hearts. Our hearts ache when we see others getting the one thing we have prayed for, waited for years now. Every now and then, our hopes get up — only to realize a while later that we are still in the waiting season. It hurts, and it’s hard to explain why.

Oswald Chambers says, “God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience.”

Our faithfulness is tested with the small things. It is in the washing and stretching of nets, rather than when we are catching fish. It is in the mundane, little things. The things that do not even seem to matter much. That is where our faithfulness is tested. That is where our hearts are tested. Just think of the fishermen. There they were, washing their nets when they met Jesus. They had been fishing all night and had caught nothing. Surely they felt the hurt of shame because of that.

What To Do While You Wait

What do you do when you wait? How do you get through this season of waiting that feels so long?

“When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.” (Luke 5:4-6)

God makes us in the seasons of waiting. He speaks His truth, until it is weaved into the strings of our hearts. He tests our hearts, our obedience, our trust — and most of the time, this is painful for us. The pressure on our heart and soul is heavy, unrelenting at times. Yet this is where the unnecessary bits are washed away, where our faith is purified.

In the waiting season, remain faithful with the little things. Those everyday things that feel like they matter very little? They actually matter greatly. In choosing obedience now, God is working a beautiful thing in your heart. He is creating that steady faith in your soul, the one that trusts His goodness through all the seasons and circumstances. Before you know it, He is placing you in that boat, your nets breaking because of the great number of fish.

So hold on, friend. Have patience. God is shaping you right now, right in this season — and great things are coming.

Linking up: Glimpses Link UpModest MondayGood Morning Mondays#MomentsofHope Link-UpCoffee For Your HeartWord Filled WednesdayGrace Moments Link-UpWriter WednesdayGrace at HomeTune In Thursday

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Daring To Dream

Do you have a dream that you have kept to yourself for quite the while now? That one dream you wish would come true, yet you are not sure if it is what God has meant for you?

Dare to Dream

I carried a dream in the secret folds of my heart for years. Maybe it was a desire more than a dream, a wishful desire that remained throughout the years, though I rarely spoke about it. It wasn’t because I was ashamed of the dream. It was mainly because I was not sure if it was in God’s plan for my life. I wanted to lead a women’s Bible study, to equip women to pursue a better relationship with God.

I knew it was not a bad desire or dream to have, no. But I was not sure if it was what God had purposed for me, a wretched sinner, to do. Maybe you know exactly what I am talking about. Maybe this is the place you have found yourself in, as well. That quiet dream in the folds of your heart, the one you feel with every beat of your heart — but you are afraid to set out to do, in case it is not God’s will. I know that fear, friend. I know it so well.

Don’t Let Fear Freeze Your Dreams

What I have learned during these years, is that it takes courage to dare to dream. Fear so easily takes our hearts captive. It runs through our veins and freezes our hopes before we even have set out to pursue them. And the worst part is, that we let fear do so. We believe the lies that fear whispers to our soul at night. We think we are not worthy of such a dream that is in our hearts. Our past and our past failures define us, before we even try to set out to see if this is what God would have for us.

But that is never the will of God.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)

Our past successes and failures do not matter when we give our lives and our hearts to God. He can use us for His glory, no matter what we have done or where we have been. He can also use others, if we choose to not be part of what He wants to work in our lives and the lives of those around us. God’s glory is not dependant on our skills or talents. Yet, God has given us these beautiful dreams — ones that flourish when we choose to trust God and trust His goodness to us.

Dare To Dream

It has been years since I first dreamed of teaching a women’s Bible study. I have carried this dream with me through so many seasons, the hopeless and hope-filled ones. Now, in this season of changes in life and busy schedules — I sit down with a very small group of girls once every two weeks to study through the book of Ruth. I think we are still a long way off from seeing whether this will bring forth any fruit. Yet I can see that my heart is changing, that this dream has finally come to life, carried by the prayers I prayed over the years, the hopeless and hope-filled ones.

Friend, God has given you this dream for a reason. Whether it is for you to do at some point, or to join someone else’s ministry in prayer — God has given it to you for a reason. It might be that this dream needs to be covered in prayer for years, in the quietness of your heart. Or it might be that all it needs is surrendering to God, both your heart and your life.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Linking up: Coffee For Your HeartWord Filled WednesdayWise Woman Linkup

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My Morning Reading Routine

Are you fascinated by how other people’s lives look like? What their morning routine is like? Because I am. Therefore I decided to share my morning reading routine with you, in case you are at all like I am. This is what most of my mornings look like. I allow at least half an hour for my morning devotions. If I am not busy, I usually spend at least an hour doing my devotions. If I have time after doing my devotions, I usually read a spiritual book to help me grow in my faith. Recently I have been (re-)reading Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin, which is such a great book.

Morning Reading Routine

The One Year Bible (NKJV)

The One Year Bible has been a part of my morning routine for the last four years. I find that it is the best reading plan for me, at least right now. The One Year Bible goes through the whole Bible in one year. Every day has a passage from the Old Testament, the New Testament, Psalms and a verse or two from Proverbs. This works great for me. There are different versions of The One Year Bible with different translations. NKJV is the translation I read almost always, which is why I have this one in NKJV as well.

Another added bonus for me is that this is an actual book. I do not like marking my Bible in any way. However, I like writing my insights and underlining verses in this one. It is sweet reading through the same book, and see what I have learned throughout these years. (Which, I’m sure, is how people feel about Bible journaling. There’s just something that stops me from marking my actual Bible.)

My Utmost For His Highest

I got My Utmost For His Highest devotional — the classic version — only last year, and I cannot believe I did not get it earlier. This is easily one of my favorite reads. The words of Oswald Chambers challenge me, encourage me, and inspire me to grow in my faith. There is so much wisdom in this devotional, and in my opinion it is one of the best reads for a Christian. Every reading in My Utmost For His Highest is fairly short, so it is a quick read. However, as short as these are, they still go very deep and have me thinking through the day.

Journal

Right now, I have a Moleskine journal. I do not write on my journal every day, but I write on most days. I write down the verses that speak to me. I write down the things that God puts on my heart. Sometimes I write quotes that have really spoken to me. Sometimes I write down prayer requests or the received answers to prayers. Some days, I also just journal if that is what I feel like. But mostly my journal contains writings from my devotions.

The Bible

During my devotional times I usually just read The One Year Bible. Sometimes, I want to study something deeper or I might even be studying through a book of the Bible. (Currently I am actually leading a small group Bible study through the book of Ruth.) These times I have my actual Bible with me as well. I have had the same Bible through all the years I have been saved. My brother bought this Bible for me, with my name graved on the front and I absolutely love my Bible. It is the NKJV Bible; but sometimes I also use the NLT as I like the way it words and gives me better understanding of a passage.

What do you read during your devotions right now? Do you have any suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!

Linking up: Monday’s MusingsGlimpses Link UpGood Morning Mondays#MomentsofHopeModest MondayCoffee For Your HeartWise Woman Linkup

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Comparison Game and Why We Need To Stop It

I have been thinking about the comparison game quite a bit lately. If you know me, you know that I struggle a lot with feeling like I’m not good enough. Like I should be less and like I should be more at the same time.

Maybe it is because summer is the time when there are notifications of engagements and weddings all over the social media. People are graduating or traveling on the most beautiful summer vacations — and I cannot help but feel the twinge of jealousy as I compare all of this to what my life looks like right now. Not because I don’t like my life right now. Honestly, I so enjoy it on most days. But my life very rarely looks like Instagram perfect.

comparison game

The trap of the comparison game

A few weeks ago, I substituted at a daycare and found myself constantly telling the children that they were not in a race. Because these kids would turn everything from eating lunch to putting on clothes, into a race. They would be racing to see who was the fastest or who would be the first to complete the given task. Soon, there would be tears as disappointment took over the ones who were not the first or who didn’t even know there was a race going on.

I couldn’t help but think of how often we do just the same.

Every area of life suddenly becomes a race when we look at people’s lives over social media. Who has the best marriage? The cutest, sweetest kiddos? Who eats the healthiest, is doing Whole30 for the second time in a row or eats all vegan and gluten free? Who goes to the gym or runs 5 miles every day? Who is the most successful at school or at work? Who just got a raise? Who preaches the best sermons? Who dresses the best and is able to buy whatever is in fashion right now?

I can do none of that, in all honesty.

Why we need to stop the comparison game

We so easily forget that we are not in a competition with one another. Life is not a race. We were put on this earth to complement one another in the body of Christ, our gifts and talents working together to build up and edify. So we need to be aware of the competition game this life so easily turns into — and instead choose to compliment one another. We all have purpose in our being, and that doesn’t take away from you or me. It all works together in unity, to bring something beautiful and glorious when we choose to compliment instead of compare, to encourage instead of discourage.

“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.” (Romans 12:9-13)

Dear friend, our God and Maker has created you so beautifully and wonderfully with a purpose. You have a purpose that only you, just as you are, can fill. We all have our parts, like different instruments have their own part in creating a symphony. It all works together in unity, creating something glorious and miraculous. So you can let go of comparing, trusting that the Lord has given you enough for the moment. Choose to compliment the beauty you see in others, as the same can be seen in you.

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