There is a problem…

I was watching an interview with Naghmeh Abedini. If you don’t know she is, I will explain. Naghmeh is married to Pastor Saeed Abedini. He has been in Evan Prison [in Iran] for the past 3 years. What is his charge? He is a Christian. Since his imprisonment in 2012, he has suffered greatly. He hasn’t had clean water, or decent food. He has been beaten multiple times. He has had to guard his life from other prisoners. In addition to all this, he has internal bleeding and is being refused medical treatment. Naghmeh said during the interview [about Saeed] “Every day I live with this pain in my heart”. Naghmeh has not stepped back in fear, but she has stepped out. She has shared her story in front of congressmen, the President of the United States and even the UN. She has brought tears to the eyes of these people, and been able to minister to some. She is an advocate for the ACLJ and for persecuted Christians around the world, while raising her two children. I was astonished to see joy on Naghmeh’s face during this interview. Although she of all people could complain, she doesn’t. Naghmeh was asked if she was tired and this is the part that blew me away. She said I was praying to the Lord and I said I am tired. She said the Lord asked her why she was tired. He said, “Yet those who WAIT for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” She said the Lord told her there was a problem with her waiting.

WOW! Right then I realized there lays my problem! Not only in the long run, but in everyday life. For example, this week I had a lot of deadlines and projects to take care of. I was going home and having to work after hours to stay on top of everything. I prayed to the Lord and said, “I’m so tired. I can’t catch up” I felt like He said, “You are being Martha when you need to be Mary”. I prayed and confessed that I was trying to do everything in my own strength. I woke up the next day and said, “Lord, You know You have given me something bigger than I can handle, so I need your help. I simply cannot do this on my own!” That day went so smooth and I was able to leave at a normal time and have everything taken care of. On top of that I felt such peace. Only God can do that! I just needed to wait for Him. I needed to say Lord, I can’t do this, but you can. When we are weak, He is strong!

I picked up My Utmost for His Highest in it Oswald Chambers said, “There are a lot of people who work FOR God… But not a lot who work WITH God.” I want to work with God. I don’t want to work for Him. It makes all the difference in the world. God knows I cannot do this job on my own. And when I try- I fail. That entails adding pressure to the rest of the team. But God is just waiting for me to turn to Him and say God, I can’t do this and He steps in. After I asked for help, I had one woman say, “How did you remember that” and another lady say, “How are you managing all this?” and I tell them it is not me. In and of myself I do not have what it takes, but God does! He has given me the mind of Christ.

So maybe today you are waiting for something. Maybe it’s a fulltime job. Maybe it’s for a child. Maybe it’s for your spouse to grow closer to the Lord. Or, maybe it’s waiting for a spouse. I want to encourage you. God knows what is ahead. I’m sure Naghmeh never imagined that her husband would be imprisoned and that she would be raising her two children by herself. And if you are single, maybe the man or woman you’re going to marry has a special calling on his/her life and waiting for their time, attention, or affection will be a daily thing. Could it be that God is teaching us to wait on Him now because there is something ahead where we will have to apply that skill on a deeper level? Could it be that God wants us to KNOW that He CAN give us strength when we wait? That He can renew us in the midst of a difficult situation? I have been very challenged by three verses:

“Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.”
Habakkuk 3:17-19

I want you to fill in the blank. Though _______________ does not come….. Will you still rejoice? Maybe your blank is.. “Though a job not come… Though a spouse does not come… Though a baby not come… God is still sovereign. He owes us absolutely NOTHING, yet he gives us so much more than we ever deserve. But in this season He wants us to trust Him. He ALWAYS has our best in mind. He is a good God and a loving heavenly Father. Let’s wait on Him and let Him renew our strength :)!

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