Do Not Dwindle

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Waiting. Waiting and I are on pretty intimate terms. We've spend quite some time together these past few years. It's a true love/hate relationship between us. I've raged at Waiting. I've cried and shaken my fists and stomped my feet. Waiting can really piss me off. However, I've also come to appreciate Waiting. Waiting has taught me some invaluable lessons regarding trusting the Lord and His sovereignty. Waiting has showed me the ugliness of my impatience and the beauty of God's perfect plan. Waiting can feel like a foe but is often a friend.

I've noticed that it's pretty impossible to avoid a relationship with Waiting. Particularly if you are one who follows the Lord. He likes to introduce and re-introduce us to Waiting throughout our life - because Waiting is a fantastic teacher.

Maybe you're waiting for marriage.
Or a pregnancy.
Or a job promotion.
Or on a wayward child.
The home you've desperately wanted.
Healing from an illness.
A dear friend's salvation.
A husband's addiction to finally stop.
The pain of a loss to lessen.

Or, like me, you're waiting for a little girl to come home to her family. Six years the Lord has burdened me for this little one. Six years ago He put her on my heart so strongly she could have only been from Him.

For a year I waited in prayer for the Lord to soften my husband. Then four and a half years we together waited for her face to become a reality. And now for 6 months we have waited for her precious pout and big brown eyes to come home to us.

Reading in Jeremiah this morning the Lord, in his goodness, made a well known chapter new again.

This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem. Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you many have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! ...You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 'For I know the plans I have for you', says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"
Jeremiah 29: 4-7;10-11

The Israelites were in a horrible place of waiting. Forced from their homes and in exile in a foreign land. Had it been me I would want to stomp my feet and shake my first and angrily ask the Lord to restore me to my home. No waiting in this miserable place please! However, the Lord tells them to get comfortable: they're not going anywhere anytime soon.

Seventy years you will be here He tells them - so go ahead and settle in. Get cozy with this place of waiting. Do not forget me He we warns them. Continue to practice My ways but also use this time and place. Get married, have kids, grow food, be busy! Don't sit around pouting, and begging, and whining. Do not dwindle!

The Lord had plans for the Israelites waiting period. He wasn't being mean or ignoring their cries. They are His Beloved people! But Het used it to bring them to repentance. They had fallen far from His ways and He used their exile to recapture their hearts. He also used it practically. Seventy years gave them time to rebuild their numbers; it helped them physically not dwindle as a nation. The Lord had future vision in the waiting. Vision for a future of hope.

He has the same for you and I. I've seen it as He has used these past few years to grow my faith, grow my family, and lead me repeatedly to His feet. My prayer for you is that you will allow Him to use your time of waiting too. Whatever it may be. And that You will grow and not dwindle.

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