“but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31 (CSB)

 

 

Dearest Reader,

In the hush between night and pre-dawn, with the fireplace humming and the ticking clock, it happened. Isaiah 40:31 dropped into my quiet time.

“but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (CSB)

I scratched the words at the top of a clean page, sipped my coffee while giving them time to settle into my soul.

I get eggy (my favorite word made up by a three-year-old) when things like this happen. History tells me there is something just around the bend I cannot yet see. I wonder, is it good or bad? Will I have Habakkuk’s “Even If” faith?

Will I live with holy anticipation or tremble in fear?

Truth is the past year has been hard, not just personally, but within our family.

The thing is, I know, I know, James 1:2-4 tells us we are not promised an easy life this side of Heaven. And, James goes so far as to tell us why.

Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials,because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” (CSB)

Trials and hard seasons test our faith, producing endurance. As we build endurance, we become mature and complete, lacking nothing. Lacking nothing, trusting and enduring in everything. 

But, I came to the point where I cried out to God, “What else?”

Guess What?

You know the answer because if you are breathing, you too have experienced the “what else.”  When it came, I called my Soul Sister, requesting a coffee date. 

When this kind of thing knocks you sideways, leaving you staggering around, nothing helps like a hot mug of coffee deep as the conversation about to take place.

I showed up with tissues; she brought her listening ear.

Hugging my coffee mug, I poured out my breaking heart. My Soul Sister is the kind of woman you need in these circumstances, one that does not give you trite answers, but listens and listens well.

Did anything change for me that day? No. I can tell you there has been layer upon layer added with each passing day. The unholy hard punched me in a vulnerable place.

I don’t mind telling you; It feels like I have been gutted and turned inside out.

Like Job, I had questions:

  • Will we come out on the other side without loss?
  • How much longer will it last?
  • How much more are You asking of me?

Isaiah 40:31 has stuck with me for months, as 2018 came nearer to its end, it became apparent God was calling me to TRUST Him.

How? How can TRUST be my word of the year? How can I TRUST God with the dearest, most sacred parts of me?

There is no way out of this wilderness only perseverance — steadfastness, endurance, faith, guttural prayers, and TRUST.

Here is what I know:

  • God is good ALL THE TIME.
  • God is good when circumstances are painful.
  • God is good in unknown, unresolved places.
  • God is my stability in the instability.
  • God is LIGHT in the darkness.
  • God heals even when healing does not come in the way we expected.
  • Trust cultivates patience and patience is built through endurance.

In her book, In His Image, Jen Wilkin says this:

“We are bad at counting the cost of trials. Most of us are observant enough to recognize the universal nature of suffering. We do not expect exemption, but we do tend to expect an express lane to the other side. We are surprised when our trial does not resolve in a timely manner after a round of faithful prayer and fasting.

We believe that the amount of time necessary for us to be made complete through suffering is much shorter than what God ordains.

We may overlook the possibility that the waiting itself could be the good and perfect gift, delivered right to our doorstep.”

Trust cultivates patience and patience comes through endurance.

Endurance grows unshakable faith in a faithful God. A faithful God who is good all the time. 

Scriptures While You Wait in Your Wilderness:

Psalms 145:8The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and great in faithful love.”

Psalms 145:13bThe Lord is faithful in all his words and gracious in all his actions.”

Psalms 145:17The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all his acts.”

James 5:7-8Therefore, brothers and sisters, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.”

Luke 8:15But the seed in the good ground — these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, produce fruit.”

Is God calling you to trust Him in a hard season?

From The Wilderness Place,

Your Wilderness Guide

 

 

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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me at tlmashburn@yahoo.com. 

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word is available now. Order your copy today.

In case you missed my latest post:

November to Advent: Coffee and Reflection’s November Edition