Have you ever wanted something so bad you can feel it down to your bones? Has there ever been an unknown in your life you constantly and persistently focus on? Have you ever lost sleep over something that isn't in your control at all, but no matter how hard you try you can't give it up?
If you said yes to any of these questions, this blog post is for you.
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! (Psalm 27)
What does patience mean? What does waiting on the LORD mean? I'm currently in the thick of finding out exactly what the answer to these questions is.
You see, six months ago I decided to fast something very important to me for a year to get closer to Christ. Though this sounds incredible in writing, truthfully it has been the hardest thing I've ever had to go through in my entire life.
I've noticed that when I fast, and I assume this is consistent with others, it brings out in me the desires and sins that pull me away from God. When you decide to give up something, your true heart behind that something is exposed. When you decide to fast food (no pun intended) for a period of time, you find out how much weight you give to those meals (again, no pun intended) and how much you rely on them for satisfaction, and in essence saving. If you love food too much, as you fast you can't stop thinking about that juicy cheeseburger, and as a result idols are brought to the surface you may not even have noticed were there.
Additionally, your trust is chained by that desire for your next meal. "God, if you just tell me that my next meal is happening on time and the way that I want it to, I'll trust you in these next couple hours to provide for me." Haven't we all thought something along those same lines before?
As a result, what started out as a worship commitment to Christ has turned into the catalyst for the repeal of your heart back to yourself and your own provision. "God, I know this is what will be my satisfaction, and as soon as I get it I will be able to worship you, but until then I'm going to give this my attention." Sound familiar?
My biggest issue through this fast has been trust. "Are you REALLY going to provide exactly what I need LORD, or should I rely on my own strength and wit to ensure that next meal? Can you just show me the plate, or even the menu so I can feel better about this? One french fry, that's all I need..."
The answer is: we don't walk by sight, we walk by faith.
This doesn't necessarily mean what we desire in our heart won't be the end result, it just means that as we walk by trusting Him and waiting on Him, we can let his perfect timing unfold into something more spectacular than what we have imagined. I so badly want that cheeseburger that I'm too nervous to trust Him for it, not knowing what he has for me is a three course steak dinner.
So I'll end with this: we are so used to seeing strength and courage within huge muscles and a six pack, a go-getum attitude, and a raw instinct to do it yourself, right? What God is saying to us is sometimes the strongest most courageous thing you can do, is to do nothing at all. For where does strength come from anyways? - "The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him." Psalm 28:7