Tonight was such a blessing. Each person who came and helped and served and cooked and donated and then turned around and bought stuff to support me....wow! I am so blessed by each of you!!!
The dictionary defines waiting as The action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens. It implies that you know there is a finish line-and that ultimately, regardless of the journey, whatever is at the finish line is worth it. It is the now you are living in...looking forward to the “then” you are heading to.
It is a means to an end. Waiting in line for the bathroom means that you will ultimately get to use the bathroom. Waiting for your order in the mail leads to having the item that you ordered. Waiting for your paycheck implies you will get paid.
About ten years ago, I heard the word “wait” from the Lord when I was praying about wanting to go to Scotland. For ten years I waited. I proverbially saw the end of the line, so I stood in it and waited. I “placed my Amazon order” and knew the mail was coming.
But then there’s hope. Hope is defined as A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
It is the emotion that happens during the waiting period. It is the longed for idea of what comes at the end of the wait. It is the filler between the beginning of the waiting period and the fruition of the end. If we wait without hope, what would stop us from giving up? Just think: you’re standing in line at Disneyland to get onto a ride without the hope of actually getting onto the ride. I don’t know about you, but I would get out of line before I actually got INTO line.
For ten years, I didn’t just wait, I hoped. I trusted that God knew what He was doing, and I walked with the expectation of His fulfillment. and I hoped in Him. Not just the simple hope of one day being able to move to Scotland, but the hope of knowing the Lord more, learning more about Him, and honoring Him in my every day life.
This didn’t mean I just sat around and waited for my turn. The same way, we don’t just sit in a chair waiting for a paycheck or wait for the mailman without actually placing an order. I may have been in a line waiting to get to a destination, but I wasn’t going to waste that time.
I hoped in the Lord through bible college, working with the youth group and missions trips to Africa and Romania. I hoped in the Lord through heartache, giving up jobs I loved, and through multiple moves (12 times in 8 years!). I hoped in Him through every UP and every DOWN.
In the past 10 years, I have learned so much. I have grown so much. I have experienced so much. Going to Scotland may have been the “wait”, but the “everything-in-between” was the hope.
The biblical definition of hope comes from a word that means “expect” “tarry”, “look eagerly for”. I have walked through these past ten years expecting to find the Lord. I endured through every hard trial looking eagerly for His face in it. I tarried (delayed, stayed longer) through every adventure knowing the Lord would show up for the celebration.
We can spend our life waiting for the “next best thing” to happen to us...and never actually get there. We can wait for something amazing to occur...and never see it happen. Or we can hope. We can live with a hope of knowing that we were meant for more than just living our lives every day waiting for something to happen.
So we wait with hope, but this hope is pointless without faith. The bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Faith is not having to see the finish line to start the race. You know it’s there...but all you see ahead of you is the road you have to run. My faith in Jesus Christ is the ultimate substance of hope. Regardless of what may have transpired over the past ten or so years, I knew that Scotland was not my ultimate goal. Following Jesus as my Lord is the ultimate goal in life.
"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only [that], but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:1-8 NKJV