Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Darkness Before the Dawn- Fingertips of Waiting

I have a lot of things to flesh out this early morning- but I want to recommend the commentary on Isaiah by Ray Ortlund. I don't know if I could have made it through these last 8 weeks without this book. I'm writing this blog in such a way as to one day and look back on these times and reflect and remember. I don't know if I will ever remember the depth of my hurt or really appreciate how the Book of Isaiah, written over 2700 years ago, allowed the presence of God to minister to me with wave upon wave of healing medicine on a daily basis.

And I will say this one more time- I have read hundreds of commentaries in my 30 years of being a Christian- and this is the best Bible commentary ever written. Ray writes in such a way that God's Word just leaps off the page. So before I do into my self-absorbed pontification of life- let me tell you this tip. If you ever get to a point in your life where you are so beat down that you just want to escape and walk away from the game- get this book. Take your Bible and see what passage the chapter will be on. Pray, then read the Bible passage. Then take Ray's book and slowly read it- write notes in your Bible- I promise you this- you will encounter the Living Messiah in this process. An added help to me was including praise music in the background... every now and then I would stop, my heart racing, my mind absorbed- and hear beautiful music "I lift my eyes up.." or "You shall overcome this".. or "Beauty will rise" or "If my God is for us, what can stand against"... and found myself lifted up from the mire of pity and pain.

Ok- where am I? This is the dark time of the waiting game. I have hit the road the last 6 weeks- my travels have taken me to B'ham 3 or 4 times, Huntsville, Northern Kentucky, and Savannah, GA. I don't even want to know what my cell phone bill looks like or what the cost of gas and hotel stays will add up to. This, by the way, is part of 'waiting'- it is not passive- it is an ACTIVE openness. The thing that has been most amazing in this new job search is that technology has opened up the possibilities and speed of opportunities like I have never seen.

And now- here it is- Superbowl Sunday- and my guess is that the 'searching traveling' is done ( I do have 1 more small trip next week) and now there will be a final gathering of information of the offers. I am so thankful to have options. I hope my next big trip is to to go to the place where we have said "Yes".

I woke up at 5 this morning and began to pray and process. I do know in my heart there is still a deep hurt and a deep wish. God knows these things- and I had to pray that He would handle both of these with my hands open- He is the potter and I am the clay. I am fully prepared for Him to take away the wish knowing that it may not be forever, but even if it is- I am willing to be ruled by Him.

Part of the final decision is the fact that my family is such a huge piece - trying to find a job with one daughter going to college and needing to support a family- makes this a major shift for all of us. I do think my house will sell and we will move with an understanding that finances will play a large part of where/how we live, but we are ready to walk by faith. God has always taken care of us in this area and He will do it again.

And it is now waiting..... I don't know why the Lord does it this way- but part of His proceedings is to step back in the delay. He was so present in the first few days of the hurt and now that a decision time is drawing nigh- He steps away. He gets quiet. As they say, the night gets darkest right before the dawn- God did not bless Jacob until daybreak- Jesus will one day return and the city of man will be very dark. My guess is that the darker the night, the brighter the glory will shine.

The mental picture is that I have been hanging from a ledge and waiting. My fingertips are white and my grip is cramping- and the final pieces are coming in one little dew drop at a time.

Ever felt like this? It is no fun at all. It puts a lot of strain on everyone. But I will not let go. In the end actually the truth is that He will not let me go. And it makes me pray. I am completely dependent on Him now. All the behind the scenes conversations- the conversations by the decision makers-the push back- the doubt- the debate- the decision- and pulling the trigger is all in His hands. "The heart of the King is in the hands of the Lord".

And then there will be a point in the near future where I will, by faith, say "This is the way- let's GO". I wish it were tomorrow, but I am afraid it is still days away.......

I have had over 800 page views in the past 3 weeks so I know someone is checking in on me. I hope I haven't hurt myself by being so transparent about this process. My goal in writing this blog is for someone to see my heart and be encouraged to never doubt the goodness of God and the beauty of the gospel. What you are reading is the words of a sinner- saved only by God's grace- deserving nothing- but I been given it all. It is also good for me to be able to click and go back to where I have been in the past. But as of right now- I don't know where I am going. But I do know this- I am ready to work harder and better and smarter than at any other time of my life.

Here is how Ray said it this morning:
"God meets not the brilliant one, not the lucky one, but the one who is joyfully, humbly going along in the simple, ordinary path of obedience. That's where God can be found- not with a guru on a mountaintop, but right where you are, if you're willing. You don't need to run from your life; it's where God wants to meet you. You don't need to wait for ideal conditions. You just need to use the life you do have to remember God and His ways. Are God's ways your ways? Is He the center of your lifestyle? For all of us, that's an adjustment worth making."

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