I was moved by this picture my daughter Alyssa took while on a mission trip to Columbia. It made me think about what this man might be suffering as a blind man. What was he silently seeking or saying? For some of us our sufferings are evident to others around us and for some our sufferings are hidden where others can't see them. Looking at this picture tells a story and I wondered what his story was... How long has he been begging on the street? Is he a lonely man or has he someone to go home to? Does he struggle with bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness or even anger for being blind? What was his need? Has he asked God for healing... is he waiting?
“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests
before you and wait in expectation.” [Psalm 5:3 NIV]
Are you waiting in expectation?
Expectation is a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future. It's not an entitlement which is the fact of having the right to something. They're two different approaches before the Lord in prayer. Both are openhanded gestures. Entitlement is receiving (as the right to) and expectation is surrendering (an exchange). When you're in need, which approach do you go with before the Lord in prayer? How you approach Him will determine your attitude through the journey. Are you approaching God with an entitlement attitude or a surrendering attitude? For me it's been surrendering, which is not an easy thing, but it seems like that's the position I need to be for the Lord to do what's He needs to do.
The journey of waiting well is a challenging one and depending on what you're waiting for can be difficult to travel. Over two years ago, there was an issue that began with my health. Didn't know what it was so I went to see a doctor which started a journey I never expected. Things had been done I couldn't undo, and I cried out to the Lord saying...."I can't do anything about this!" But quickly He responded with... "But I can." Then the scripture in Jeremiah 32:27 was called back to memory, "Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" I've held onto this promise for healing despite what I experienced. Since then I've seen a lot of doctors, which they couldn't give me an answer to the many symptoms I've developed nor treatment to solve some of these issues I'm having. This is very difficult to deal with because there is no clear direction on how to proceed through this type of journey. There were times I've experienced physical pain like no other which left me very vulnerable. I have faced discouragement, hopelessness, and at times I wanted to throw in the towel but couldn't because it wouldn't end the pain. I had to keep fighting! For many of you, you might find yourself at the same place like me. You feel like you're in the center of an intersection at a road which branches off into many different directions and you don't know which one to choose not knowing where it leads. So, you wait and wonder... What do I do? Which road do you take? Or do I just stay here and wait?
Every journey is different and each one has a purpose. Some of them can test you like you never been tested before and depending on your perspective through it, it can make it more bearable or unbearable. The type of mindset you choose to have is very important. You live what you believe and how you see things. During your journey... What are you believing? How do you see your situation? Whatever it is, becomes the platform to how you walk this journey. Seek God through it by praying. Search His Word for direction. Stand on His Truth for strength. Share your burden because in sharing the enemy (devil) loses ground. There is strength in numbers. When someone comes along side of you to support you by praying, encouraging or just listening it builds you up. I love this definition of burden from the bible dictionary. "Jesus uses the same word to describe his burden in Matthew 11:30: 'My yoke is easy and my burden is light.' The reason for having a light burden is described in the previous verse: 'I am gentle and humble in heart.' Burdens will come in this life but they will be light if we have Jesus' approach to life." Do you have Jesus' approach to life? I know it isn't easy when life becomes very difficult, very painful. I remember God speaking this truth to my heart which helped, "These health issues is what you have, it's not who you are. Who you are is who Christ is in you, you need to walk in that." Walk in Christ. Are you walking in Christ?
During this journey I've learned to approach God with a surrendering attitude, an exchange. Surrender my needs for His Grace, my thinking for His Truth, my pain for His Strength, my tears for His Worship. It's amazing to see how God works through this approach. There's an indescribable beauty in the intimate relationship you develop with the Lord. It's a daily choice to walk in Christ and see beyond my own pain believing the truth spoken to my heart that He will restore my health. In the meantime, I'm learning how to wait well and believing there's nothing too difficult for my God. I still go through hard days worn down by pain, but the Lord always reassures me and helps me persevere. Only He knows how difficult the daily battle is to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus when you're suffering. Turn to Him and never give up! I love what Micah Tyler said, "Sometimes the best question is not Jesus can you change these things around me, but instead God can you change me so that I can handle the things that you're walking me through." There is a greater work being done in you through this and while you're learning to wait well, you can"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." [Romans 12:12 NIV]
Song: While I Wait by Lincoln Brewster