Saturday, August 30, 2014

Finding Beauty and Rest in the Waiting

Have you ever had to wait for something?  Of course you have.  Ever find yourself impatient while waiting - especially if it has to do with big life changes?  We are usually so eager to get to the new thing that we miss out on the huge portion of our lives that are found in the in-between… in between the events, seasons, or places.

I have to say that learning to trust the Lord in the waiting is something I have had much opportunity to practice (as I’m sure you have as well), and I’m finally beginning to see the beauty in this precious, just-as-important-as-the-event time.  As I was praying for a friend last night, someone also in this waiting period, the Holy Spirit gave me a clear picture as to the importance and beauty of this time, especially if we are unclear as to what exactly the next event, season, or place is:

It’s as if we are sitting down at a table with Jesus working on a puzzle.  He has all the pieces, and He gives them to us to put together.  He doesn’t put the puzzle together, we do. We have no idea what the picture is either, as it will be a picture of what He has next for us.  If you’ve ever tried working on a puzzle when you don’t know what the picture is, it is practically impossible.  So here we are, putting a puzzle together with Jesus, and don’t know what the end result will be.  Sometimes He will give us a few pieces at once, and sometimes He will wait a while in between the pieces (His timing of a complete puzzle is perfect, right?).  But how do we find ourselves while waiting for the next piece?  We are usually so taken and focused on trying to figure out what this picture is going to be that we are horribly missing out on two other things.  1. We are missing out on the uniqueness of each individual puzzle piece.  Yes, by itself it is not a complete picture, but there aren’t two pieces alike, and each hold a very important place to the whole.  2. We are missing (what is the most important part) actually enjoying the presence of Jesus at the table, OUR table.  HE IS SITTING AT OUR TABLE, YOUR TABLE, MY TABLE!  The act of actually putting the puzzle together somehow no longer seems to be the most important part.  When we have a puzzle piece in our hand, we are focused not on the Giver of the piece, but on where it goes in the puzzle.  If He chooses to wait to give us another piece, it’s because He wants us to just gaze in to His eyes and BE WITH HIM.  

Unfortunately, we are usually sitting there, very anxious, with our hands out begging Him for the next piece because we are SO desperate to know what’s next – to know what further purpose we will have – to find more validation by what we do.  But the puzzle is not the primary point, or even the secondary point.  The primary point of even sitting there working on this puzzle is to BUILD RELATIONSHIP with Jesus.  He is our Savior and our Friend… to just BE with Him, gazing in to the flames of His eyes, seeing His love burn for us, will give us all the validation we need.  The secondary purpose is to build trust, in which we find peace.  And that peace is SO much better than the piece we are usually asking for.  The next piece does not bring us peace… trusting the Lover of our soul is what does; knowing His intentions for us are perfect; believing that He gives us the next piece, the perfect next piece, exactly when we need it.

The fruit of the primary and secondary points of this is what actually makes the task of putting this puzzle together possible.   Like I said before, putting a puzzle together when you don’t even know what the picture is makes it almost impossible.  But, when our focus is on our Savior’s eyes, instead of His hands, we are overwhelmed with His beauty, and holiness, and glory, and love, and we find ourselves able to trust Him.  We then also find our true purpose.  Because we find our true purpose while staring at Him and not the puzzle, we then have understanding for the next piece to the puzzle He gives us.  We see it’s uniqueness, and we see how it fits in the puzzle, even though we don’t yet know the end result. 

With this, the process of putting this puzzle together becomes the necessary growth, character development, and trust building exercise that we need once the puzzle is complete and we finally see what the full picture is.  Had we seen what was next for us before we were ready… well, you can imagine your reaction.  Mine would have been something like fear, inadequacy, fear of failing, etc.  But He is SO good.  He is truly the Lover of our souls.  Not only does He hold the next puzzle piece for me and for you, but He’s also holding our hearts.   

That beauty, HIS beauty, will leave you breathless. 

That is His rest.  It’s in the waiting.

Will you enter in?