My next guest is a girl I’ve known since I was ten years old. God has wound our journeys inextricably together and revealed His character to me through her life of obedience. He has taught me so much through our friendship. Today, Julie shares with us all God is teaching her about waiting. I love the gentle way Julie encourages us not to resent the wait but to accept it as a gift straight from the God who calls us His beloved.
(If you’ve missed the other posts in this series, get caught up by starting here.)
The Gift of Waiting by Julie Cassol
The kitchen was a mess. Between my husband and I we had managed to use just about every dish, pan, pot, and cooking utensil we owned. In the midst of the mess, as we waited on various dishes to cook, I decided to whip up a posset. Pinterest had just recently introduced me to the posset, a simple, three ingredient, tangy English dessert whose roots run centuries back and I was excited to try it. I followed the simple directions and within fifteen minutes I was pouring the sweet, creamy mixture into little glass dessert dishes so they could cool and set in the refrigerator. I was already licking my lips thinking about enjoying this lemony treat after dinner. That’s when I noticed the directions said to, “chill in the refrigeration for at least three hours or overnight.” What?! Three hours?! Overnight?! How could anything take that long? Surely this posset would be ready before then. But with each anxious check into the refrigerator I grew more and more dismayed. The hands on the clock were telling me it was bedtime and the stubborn posset still wasn’t set. I felt cheated. I didn’t want to enjoy it tomorrow, I wanted to enjoy it tonight. My heart was set on it now. In the middle of this childish rant of disappointment it all clicked. I’m always trying to avoid the wait.
My mind flooded with memories from my past: all the Christmases I stealthily peeked under shiny wrapping paper before December 25th; the time I did a little joy ride in my sister’s car before I was legally allowed to operate it; giving my heart away before I could fully understand the consequences; and all the seasons of my life I spent trying to rush into the next one before fully experiencing being right where I was.
I’m currently in the middle of a season of waiting. I don’t like it. It’s uncomfortable. It feels unproductive. I feel exposed and small. Sadly, I’ve spent most of this season praying for God to make it be over. That posset helped me see I’m living for the finish line and trying to skip all the work that it takes to get there. I’m rushing to get to the end to simply check this off my list, and I’m missing the point of why God ever put me in the race to begin with. Isn’t the whole point of this for me to know Him and be changed by Him into something new? Recently I’ve changed the focus of my prayers. I’m asking God to teach me contentment and joy in the middle of the wait.
As I’ve shifted my focus from the finish line to Jesus, I’ve noticed how frequently God uses the wait to teach us. Isaac and his wife Rebekah waited twenty years for Rebekah to finally conceive. Joseph saw two dreams at the age of seventeen and he waited over twenty years before he saw them fulfilled. David was anointed by Samuel to be king as a young man and waited until he was thirty years old before he finally sat on the throne. Esther and Ruth both waited until exactly the right moment to present a life-altering request to a man for help. Paul was blind for three days after his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus before Ananias showed up to heal him. Every account in the bible has waiting woven through it. The waiting is where the truth of our hearts is exposed. The wait is a gift, an invitation to know God in new and deeper ways.
As I’ve asked God for more understanding and wisdom in waiting He lead me to Psalm 40:1, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.” In the lonely, dark space of the wait we are able to see the truth of our faith. The ugly truth was my heart was in no way waiting patiently. I had been rushing around in vain, anxiously trying to make things happen on my own instead of resting in the promises of God and trusting Him to do what He has said. I kept believing the lie that the wait was because I wasn’t doing enough. Now I’m seeing that the wait is the place where God does the most work in me. The wait is where I learn to surrender. To let God transform the ugly parts of my heart into His beauty.
In the waiting I can embrace that I am weak and learn to live, move, and breathe in God’s strength. The wait allows me to find Jesus as my hope and joy. My trust is deepened and my faith grows as I learn to patiently wait. Waiting is a gift worth receiving. When God offers you the gift of the wait, how will you respond?
After living a life pursuing perfection while being stuck in empty religion, finding a real relationship with Jesus wrecked my life. I’m a normal girl, living a normal life pursuing Jesus. Some days that’s easier than others.
I’m thankful for the people God has in my life that encourage and challenge me to keep chasing Truth and sharing my gifts. I live with my husband of fourteen years and am learning how to spot the beauty of Jesus in all areas of life, especially the mundane.
You can share this journey with Julie at SpeakingBeauty.blog.
Whether you’re in a waiting season or not, we all wait for Jesus. May we shrug off doubt and the pressure to perform and simply surrender today. May we trust the transformative power of God’s love and allow gratitude to change our entire perspective this week.
There is still time to enter my giveaway to win a copy of Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin. To enter, subscribe to carried by love and leave a comment on any of the posts written by my guest bloggers. I’ll announce the winner at the end of the series.
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Follow me on Facebook and tune in for live videos every Wednesday at noon. Let’s meet midday/midweek to talk more about how we can contend for the faith. Click here to watch the first three videos:
Part I: IDENTITY
Part II: SPIRIT