Tag Archive | trust

Living Without The Reward


This year has been full of blessings.  A great roommate (shout out to Lianna), our cute little cat Benny and a host of social activities with lovely people who feel more like family then friends.  I admit I am spoiled with favor from the body of Christ.  So much of my journey has been walking closely with like-minded people who serve as friends, pastors, mentors, etc…  It is rare that I have felt alone.

I think God is specific in the gifts that He gives us.  I think it has to do with our calling and purpose and identity.  Those are exciting words right?  There were so many great men and women in the Bible with exciting callings.  But every time I read those stories I see that what makes them great is what they overcame.

I keep thinking about Sarah and Abraham.  Three years ago Holy Spirit hit me hard with a word regarding their story.  He showed me that my journey in waiting would be similar.  Surrounded by love and strengthened with His intimacy, I was encouraged.

That was three years ago.

It takes a unique person to wait on the Lord.  I mean really wait on the Lord.  Scripture makes it clear, when you wait on the Father, it is not by your own strength;  it is by His.

I remember asking Him why He had us wait, to which He responded, “So that I will get the glory”.  When things happen according to the “culture’s” time frame then its easy to say that man made it happen.  The world will say that there was no supernatural force or outside component aiding in the events.  But when Abraham and Sarah got pregnant at 90 and 100 years old respectively, who got the glory?

God.

This couple was blessed in the end like so many men and women of the faith.  God made it worth their sacrifice.  But before the reward came, there were many days the reward was not there.  There were many times of doubt and fear and loneliness, hope deferred and faithlessness.  These things happen while waiting.  It is in this in between state I find myself in.

Many of my friends do too.

The Word says that God is our reward.  I realize that Word was much easier to believe when I actually experienced His love and intimacy.  I can look around and see many kinds of rewards in my life.  Many areas of reaping.

But I feel more like Hannah these days:

1 Samuel 8: Her husband Elkanah said, “Oh, Hannah, why are you crying? Why aren’t you eating? And why are you so upset? Am I not of more worth to you than ten sons?”

Hannah had a husband who loved her and favored her over his other wife.  She was a blessed woman but she desired a child and her husband did not meet that desire.  He was never meant to.  God put that desire in her for a specific purpose; to bring her closer to Him and to lead the children of Israel.

I do not know what my future holds.  I only know my past.  My past is full of met desires and amazing gifts and God’s faithfulness (in my life and the ones I love).  And I understand that even if He never did another thing He has already done too much.

But there is a place for living without the reward.  There is a place for grieving the sacrifice of “Lord, not my will but yours be done”.

And that is the place I find myself in.

SHALOM

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Lessons From A Cat

Yesterday my roommate left for Africa.  It has been a long awaited dream that is now being fulfilled and I bless God for that.  She has been preparing Ben-Samuel all week long for her departure as best she could.  With limited understanding between species who knows how much he actually understood when she told him frequently she would be leaving for a while.  Though I care about Ben he is really her cat and so she does all the heavy duty stuff for him.  When he was sick she took him to the vet.  She changes his litter, buys all his food and is his primary caregiver.  He has also gotten into the habit of sleeping in her room most nights.  For that very reason I have been a little concerned about his response to her departure.

When we got Ben it was clear he was suffering from abandonment and really enjoyed people. He was so excited to be in our home that he made sure he was apart of every conversation and even made it a point to sit at the kitchen table to join us for meals!  I have never seen such a cat.  When we are lounging around the house he easily climbs on our laps and even computers just to snuggle.  But lately I have noticed he has gotten even more attached to my roommate and thus I wondered how would he respond to her absence?

I can’t help but see a parallel of this season with God and Ben’s relationship to my roommate.  She made sure to spend extra time with him, love on him and even tell him that she would be gone for a little while, but if Ben is anything like me, those things would fail in comparison to the seemingly never ending absence.  You see, I can look back on this prior year and see how God was preparing me for the season of “silence”.  I can see how much He was overwhelming me with feelings of His love.  I felt it everywhere and wondered at people who did not.  I can see how He was revealing Himself to me and who I am to Him in my heart and mind, flooding me in every waking moment of this revelation.  I can see now it was all preparation for the darkness to come.

I tell myself cats are like kids and are resilient.  I tell myself Ben will be ok and though he doesn’t know it, her leave is only for a short while.  I must also believe these things about myself.  I am learning resilience these days.  I’m learning to be secure in a love I most days no longer “feel”.  I’m learning to trust the Word over my emotions and I’m learning that though I may still desire a sign a sign has already been given.  Many signs in fact.

Right now as I type this post Ben is sleeping on my leg.  He has joined me for an early morning snuggle after trying to eat my cereal.  For some reason he likes people food…

And in that picture I am shown the need to adapt.  And the need to seek out other ways to have our needs met.  And I am grateful for this picture which I’m sure is given from the Father of all creation.

family-picture

SHALOM